Once upon a time, one of my favorite video stores was closing and selling off its stock and so I went to feed upon its carcass like a slobbering vulture. I had a limited amount of funds and so many a Sophie-esque choice was made that day, one of which would come to haunt me in shameful, near psychotic ways. My haul was to be complete after one final DVD decision. I could either get AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS (1973) or THE INCUBUS (1982). I had not seen the former and I owned the latter on VHS and so in the spirit of open mindedness and expanding my horizons, I left doe-eyed THE INCUBUS behind. What kind of a person does that? A fool.
As it turned out I had severely underestimated my love for THE INCUBUS and richly overestimated my giving a crap about AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS! In order to rectify the situation, I jumped over to Amazon to rescue my mistake only to find it out of print with its price tag soaring by the minute! To buy it at three or five times the amount that I had recently snubbed my nose at was impossible! I was an idiot and suddenly my life was incomplete. There was a hole in my heart that went all the way to China and that howling abyss could only be filled by one thing. It was as if I had lost a leg in a war and was now cursed with a phantom ghost leg except for the war and the leg part. (Please note that while all of this nonsense is going on there are actual real tragedies taking place all over the world.)
What was wrong with me? By my calculations this behavior was the exact opposite of Zen. I was acting like one of those horrible record troll people who hang off of cardboard boxes at garage sales with crazed looks in their eyes prepared to strangle anyone who gets in the way of their precious Gollum prize! I had to snap out it. I had to stop checking Amazon every week with the sole purpose of torturing myself! Why was my sense of well being tied to something so trivial and why did I feel like I had somehow betrayed a part of my youth? I’m not what I own and yet I can’t help thinking nobody deserves to have this DVD more than me! I might have just stopped the madness and bought it at any price but you know…you just know… as soon as I did that it would become available again and I’d be a chump again.
I had to get off the merry go round and so I gave up. The dust settled, the cuckoo went back in the clock… and soon, as predicted, THE INCUBUS was rereleased on DVD! See miracles really do happen when you set your sights low and happen to be the pettiest person on Earth! I even waited (the hubris!) for a used copy and got it super cheap! Victory was finally mine! It came in the mail and I welcomed it with open arms and I was contented for exactly one second! Hooray for me.
I really do like THE INCUBUS more than I lead on in THIS review. Now that we’ve been through the ringer together our relationship has grown even stronger. It’s got some hammy acting, at least one instance of truly horrendous dialogue (I don’t want tenderness!) and a less than stellar script (based upon a book that probably shouldn’t have been adapted in the first place) but Lord love a duck, the general vibe of it sings my wretched song. How are you are not going to love this perfect bubble of time when the eighties were becoming the eighties but were not all bright and wacky yet? Is there anything better than a movie that wants to be a slasher and a gothed-out supernatural tale at the same time? I want to be both those things too!
I know some folks find this movie super sleazy on account of all of the wall-to-wall demon rape going on. I guess it is but it’s all presented as so grim and depressing that it’s hard for me to see it as exploitive. Personally, I’m more interested in the oppressive wall of monstrous sexual angst I believe it shares with the same year’s AMITYVILLE 2: THE POSSESSION and THE BEAST WITHIN. Seriously, what is it with that year? Where the planets aligned in some specific way? Anyway, in my book, director JOHN HOUGH is criminally underappreciated. He’s done great stuff (TWINS OF EVIL, LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE, the excellent AMERICAN GOTHIC), some noteworthy stuff (WATCHER IN THE WOODS, the WITCH MOUTAIN movies) and even a lovable stinker (HOWLING 4: THE ORIGINAL NIGHTMARE). Really, what DVD collection is complete without all of his movies? Oh no.