Thursday, 10 September 2009

Incubus Resuscitated

Some wonderful representative of all that is best in the human race has put Incubus up on youtube.

Horror/fantasy critics can say what they want. But one thing that always struck me about the foolishness of neo-liberalism is that the idea demand creates money which creates pressure for improvement doesn't work, and no-where is this more evident than in sci-fi/ fantasy films.

Just watch one of William Shatner's earliest works. A Richard Matheson penned work of genius called 'The Nick of Time' from 'The Twilight Zone'. It's about a bloke and his bird in a Midwestern town. They find a tin with a rubber head on top which gives ambiguous, yet accurate, answers to their questions. It ends with them leaving, knowing that otherwise they will be enslaved to the device, always in suspense whilst it is better and braver not to know. As they leave a desperate, sweaty, sick couple come in and feed coins to the box.

And its brilliant: William Shatner, a cute bird in a checked dress, a metal box and a rubber head make superb television. Just compare that to modern sci-fi horror. It is all boring, pretentious and full of special effects. Scott Bacula V someone with a plastic face, v a giant octopus v a giant shark v the largest CGI spaceship ever doodled onto a screen by a nerd.

Sadly, this is what the fantasy genre has turned into, and sadly I doubt if Incubus will ever get a new cinematic distribution or be released on DVD.

Incubus is a beautifully shot black and white film, with an equally beautiful and stark script. A devout young soldier and his sister move to a village where there is (on the plus side) a magical well and (on the negative side) an infestation of demons.

I will not give away the story, but it is a very beautiful and imaginative work. The Esperanto language works perfectly, enhancing the dream-like atmosphere.

What is also striking is the use of a Christian narrative by a science-fiction director Leslie Stevens, creator of 'The Outer Limits'. I do not know if Stevens had faith himself, yet the religious message is very beautiful and integral to the plot.

Sadly, I suspect that like many early science fiction/ fantasy directors, he assumed that faith would erode away leaving altruistic and knowledge-seeking rationalists

Perhaps he was right, but given the intellectual hegemony of neo-liberalism in secular Britain, I am not so sure if this is likely. At any rate, this economic system hasn't been kind to the very enlightenment ideals of rationality, freedom and equality that created the societies that consumed it; or which it consumed.

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