VHSaturday:: The Incubus (1982)

Hey, let’s start a new feature around these parts! I get super lazy without structure! Without structure there’s absolutely nothing to stop me from sleeping. Do you think death will be like sleeping forever? I sure hope so. Anyway, VHSaturday will be all about me sharing my love of VHS tapes! I even wrote a theme song for this super new feature that should be sung to the tune of Tracey’s Ullman’s “They Don’t Know”.

“And I don’t listen to their Blu-ray lies, if I adjust your tracking, I can see you fine.‘Cause they don’t know about VH-us and they never heard of love.”

I’m working on it. It’s a process. Anyway, today I want to talk about my lovely VHS tape of 1982’s THE INCUBUS. I doubt it’s worth very much in the world of collectors but since I’m never in a million years going to sell it, that doesn’t matter a lick. You can read a review for this wonderful movie that has altered the course of my life in a multitude of ways HERE, presently I just want to appreciate the tape itself as a one of a kind objet d’art!

Is there anything more adorable in the world than this “Horror” sticker? Why is it pink instead of the usual green and why are there two stickers? Was the sticker below the top sticker not doing its job properly? What weirdo decided to place the sticker over the cast credits when there is so much empty space that can easily be utilized? Did they have some deep seeded subconscious disdain for John Cassavetes?

Let’s face it, this box is beautifully, perfectly weathered. It has just the right amount of natural well-earned wear and tear. Don’t you hate it when folks try to do fake erosion in photoshop and they go overboard and it ends up looking like a remnant of the Johnstown flood? I keep this particular tape in a clear plastic squeezable container so that its aging process is thwarted as much as possible. I only have about a dozen of said protective containers so if you are a VHS tape in my house, it is a coveted and illustrious fate as to be shielded in one.

Look at this VESTRON label! So simple, so pure! Such a relaxing muted taupe-grey! Do we really believe that THE INCUBUS (Simply INCUBUS in the opening credits) is a precise 90 minutes long? That seems a bit convenient if you ask me (IMDb says 93). The tape itself is tightly wound and mostly uniform with little to no sign of warping or (God forbid) mold. They really knew how to make sturdy tapes back then. This baby is built like a tank! We can conclude from the genre-identity label on the front that this is a formal rental but notice there are no paranoid security labels and no bossy threat stickers. I like that! I’m going to assume that this tape enjoyed life in a very trusting and casual video store environment. It had to be a mom and pop shop. Do I even remember where I got this tape? No, I don’t. It’s always been with me.

Let’s check out the back and admire how VESTRON keeps it classy yet again. They throw the official tagline up top in bold in case that’s all you have time for and below there is a more detailed description that respects the director’s previous work and avoids making outlandish promises the film itself may not be able to keep. Sure, maybe the ending won’t actually have viewers “sitting on the edge of their seats” but it could! Ya never know! I can see it happening. Kudos on the lone image that gives nothing away and for the mentioning of Paul Mazursky‘s THE TEMPEST, I love that movie!

Finally, let’s close out with some general appreciation of the art transferred from the movie poster/ ad campaign. That font really captures THE INCUBUS’ personality as an against the grain gothic shocker at the height of the slasher boom. I’m again going to award high marks to the folks at VESTRON for keeping it simple and not crowding the cover with desperate bids for attention. This almost looks like an ancient tome of some sort, which fits the movie to a T. There, that’s the end! I love you, INCUBUS VHS tape! You know I do (kisses it)! Will I return next week for another addition of VHSaturday? It’s all up to the chemicals in my head! We’ll have to wait and see.

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5 years ago

Never saw “The Incubus”. For as long as I remember, I mixed it up with “The Entity”, which I did see.

That be fun to watch on VCR I found a nice SANSUI
TV/VCR combo for five bucks!

Matt Sunshine
Matt Sunshine
5 years ago

My VCR busted 2 years ago and I’ve been missing it lately. I still wouldn’t be using it much if I had one, I enjoy the theater quality of sound and picture from DVDs and blu rays, but there are things I miss that I can only see on my VCR. Also, sometimes I miss viewing certain movies the way they looked when I was growing up, and the nostalgia hits me in the head and stomach hard.

I remember a post Unk Lance made about the viewing experience of The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane on VHS. While I enjoy my new blu ray of that film immensely, I know exactly what he’s talking about. The ending with Jodie Foster sitting in front of the fire place, while still brilliant, doesn’t quite look the same or make me ache the way the VHS did.

I hope to see that one included on one of the many VHSaturdays to come.

Ben S
Ben S
5 years ago

It is a big secret that THE FOG and SUSPIRIA are scarier in full screen on VHS! I think it’s because they’re more disorienting!