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The Incubus (1981)

I have always been fascinated with John Cassavetes on screen from my earliest memory of seeing him as Victor Franko in The Dirty Dozen to recently sitting thru his entire Johnny Staccato television series. So here we are with The Incubus and I suppose like any working actor he needed a paycheck. Probably to help fund one of his more personal projects behind the camera and directing his wife Gena Rowlands in front of it. This is a pretty muddled thriller and I’d like to think that somewhere in the editor’s room there was footage left on the floor that somehow would have made the film a little more coherent.

The director Jon Hough is capable of putting together some winning drive-in fare from Dirty Mary Crazy Larry to perhaps my favorite haunted house thriller(I have a few) Legend of Hell House as well as Hammer Film’s Twins of Evil! So where did this one go wrong? Script I guess as nothing seems to really make much sense which would explain never seeing scriptwriter George Franklin’s name again on a theatrical film. Still, Cassavetes dominates the screen when he is on camera and apart from Canada’s own John Ireland he doesn’t have too much competition. The film is a Canadian production and since I live nowhere near Hollywood it’s fun to recognize a swimming hole in the flick that I have actually jumped into. I can’t say that about to many films. Horror movies go through sub-genres of what’s hot at the moment and demon films influenced by The Exorcist were and still are released regularly. So for the John Cassavetes lover check it out and remember that his ultimate contribution to horror cinema was way back in 1968. If you don’t know the name of the film I am talking about then I can only shake my head and suggest you go find out. 🙂

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