The Incubus (film)

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For other uses, see Incubus (disambiguation).
The Incubus
Directed by John Hough
Produced by Stephen J. Friedman
Marc Boyman
John M. Eckert
Screenplay by George Franklin
Based on The Incubus
by Ray Russell
Starring John Cassavetes
John Ireland
Music by Stanley Myers
Cinematography Albert J. Dunk
Edited by George Appleby
Distributed by Multicom Entertainment Group Inc.
Artists Releasing Corporation
Release date
  • August 27, 1982 (1982-08-27) (US)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget CAD 5,100,00

The Incubus (also known simply as Incubus[1]) is a 1982 American horror film directed by John Hough, and starring John Cassavetes, Kerrie Keane, and John Ireland. The plot focuses on a small New England town where a mysterious figure is raping and murdering young women.[2] The film was written by George Franklin, and based on the novel of the same name by Ray Russell.

The film unofficially features the NWOBHM band Samson, in the form of show clips taken from the film Biceps of Steel.


In a lake at a rock quarry, a young woman named Mandy and her boyfriend, Ray, are swimming. The two spend the night at the lake camping, but are attacked by an unseen figure; Ray is killed, and Mandy is taken to the hospital with a ruptured uterus and serious trauma. As the attack occurs, teenager Tim Galen experiences a recurring nightmare he has in which a woman is tortured by a monstrous figure; his grandmother, Agatha Galen, tries to dissuade him of his suspicions about the premonitory dream. At the hospital, Mandy is treated by Sam Cordell (John Cassavetes), a surgeon and physician in the small community of Galen.

Sam's teenaged daughter, Jenny, is dating Tim, but he disapproves of their relationship. At the hospital, Sheriff Hank Walden (John Ireland) questions Sam about Mandy's injuries, and a nosy local reporter, Laura Kincaid, arrives to question Walden, who forces her to leave. That night at the local library and museum, a librarian named Carolyn Davies is brutally raped and murdered while closing the building. During her autopsy, Sam finds she suffered similar wounds as Mandy, and finds an inexplicable amount of semen in her vagina.

Attempts to question the comatose Mandy about her attacker are futile. Sam shows Laura pictures of his deceased 2nd wife and their amazing resemblance to each other. The following day, local farmer Ernie Barnes and his two daughters are brutally slain at their farmhouse. Tim again is tormented by his vision, and runs into a local movie theater in an attempt to distract himself. While there, a young woman is raped and murdered in the downstairs bathroom of the theater, and the metal stall door is found nearly bent in half. Sheriff Walden and Sam arrive at the crime scene shortly before Laura, who insists she may be able to help the investigation. She confides in Sam that she discovered historical records detailing Satanism and similar crimes occurring throughout the town's history.

Tim confronts Jenny at her home, hysterical, and says he believes his dreams are responsible for the crimes. Sam gets a sample of Tim's semen to compare against that which was found inside the victims, but they do not match. Tim and Agatha meet with Sam, Jenny, Laura, and Sheriff Walden at the library that night, where Laura reads a passage from a book detailing the shapeshifter known as the incubus, which manifests through dreams and can appear in human form. Agatha reveals that Tim's mother had died before his birth and had been accused of witchcraft due to psychic powers she possessed; Agatha claims that the Galen family has a legacy of witch hunters, and that his dreams are a result of this.

Laura and Tim return with Sam and Jenny to their home. As Laura takes Jenny upstairs to go to bed, Sam attempts to induce Tim's dream to prove its connection to the murders. Tim goes into a seizure-like state and runs upstairs into Jenny's room where he tries to attack Laura with a dagger given to him by Agatha, but Sam intervenes and stabs him to death. Laura then approaches Sam, and her face briefly shifts into that of the monstrous incubus; it is revealed that Laura has in fact been the incubus all along, manifesting in female form. As Laura embraces Sam, he looks over her shoulder to see Jenny's dead body lying on her bed, blood pouring out from between her legs.


  • John Cassavetes as Sam Cordell
  • John Ireland as Hank Walden
  • Kerrie Keane as Laura Kincaid
  • Erin Noble as Jenny Cordell
  • Helen Hughes as Agatha Galen
  • Duncan McIntosh as Tim Galen
  • Harvey Atkin as Joe Prescott
  • Harry Ditson as Lieutenant Drivas
  • Mitch Martin as Mandy Pullman
  • Matt Birman as Roy Seeley
  • Beverly Cooper as Pru Keaton
  • Brian Young as Charlie Prescott
  • Barbara Franklin as Mrs. Pullman
  • Wes Lee as Mr. Pullman
  • Neil Dainard as Ernie Barnes
  • Jennifer Leak as Deena Ferrin
  • Denise Fergusson as Carolyn Davies
  • Jack Van Evera as Matt Davies
  • Helene Udy as Sally Harper
  • Lisa Bunting as Anita Barnes
  • Michelle Davros as Jane Barnes
  • Jefferson Mappin as Clem
  • James Bearden as Lacey
  • Alan Bridle as Interrogator
  • Jude Beny as Witch
  • Jeremy Hole a Torturer
  • Brian Montague as Swimmer
  • Dirk McLean as The Incubus


  1. ^ The film's title card reads merely "Incubus," and its copyrighting is under this title as well.
  2. ^ Fry, Carrol Lee. Cinema of the Occult: New Age, Satanism, Wicca, and Spiritualism in Film. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. p. 256. ISBN 978-0934223959. 

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