INKUBUS DVD Review
Directed by Glenn Ciano
Written by Glenn Ciano & Carl V. Dupré
2011, Region 2 (PAL), 77 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on February 13th, 2012
Mike Cerrone as Officer Mudge
Jessica Conlan as Jenny
Kevin DeCristofano as Miles
Tom DeNucci as Officer Pax
Robert Englund as Inkubus
It's the sort of horror movie that thinks itself edgy because it spells 'incubus' wrong and has one of the letters the wrong way round. Eponymous serial killer Inkubus walks into a soon to be closed police station and unleashes all sorts of violent trickery upon the unwitting skeleton staff. Like a cross between Assault on Precinct 13 and A Nightmare on Elm Street, director Glenn Ciano's second feature is a love letter to 80s sci-fi shlock.
And that love letter has scored quite the coup with Robert Englund playing its villain. Despite his face being the only one on the poster and his name getting top billing, I was still surprised by the role Englund plays. Too many times have I been burnt by movies claiming to star some B-Movie legend or other, only for said actor to be relegated to one or two measly scenes. I'm looking at you, Diagnosis: Death (billed as a Flight of the Conchords horror comedy, but without any of the Flight of the Conchords). Even Jesse Eisenberg's face got in on the act recently, with his controversially advertised Camp Hell.
Thankfully, Robert Englund is as pivotal to Inkubus as the promotional material suggests. The horror legend plays ancient serial killer Inkubus; a sneering cross between Freddy Krueger and David Copperfield. The former's influence is particularly felt – Inkubus even has himself a signature blade like Freddy's iconic glove. There's a moment when he says “abraca-fuckin'-dabra” where I found myself looking for the fedora and stripy jumper. If you like, you can pretend Inkubus to be a really avant-garde remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street. John Saxon would have been fantastic in this movie. Playing the grim ex-cop to Englund's bombastic monster is the underrated William Forsythe and his wonderful hair.
Good as Englund and Forsythe are, it would appear that the filmmakers spent the majority of the budget on their actors. The others don't stand a chance against Robert Englund. He's is more subdued than you might expect from the erstwhile Freddy Krueger, but it's good to see him playing a villain once more. With a fashionable goatee and smart black trenchcoat, he's a magnetic figure drawn from a much better movie. As the only other actor of note (no, we're not counting N Sync's Joey Fatone), it's a shame that Forsythe doesn't share more scenes with Englund nor much of a role in the story. Their eventual showdown feels a bit limp and silly, employing a ridiculous special effect that's just hilarious. It's 'special' alright, but not in the way that the filmmakers intended. It may have the best of intentions, but Inkubus has a very unfortunate stink(ubus) about it.
The pitch black, overly serious tone of the film sits ill at ease with the silliness of the effects and story. It kicks off with an opening seemingly inspired by 80s' body horror sci-fi and continues the craziness throughout. All involved try to keep a straight face, but that just makes it seem worse, although there are some genuinely good ideas behind the shoddy execution. The kill sequences and gore gags are fun if predictable and the pace quick enough that it's never a chore to watch. With its interesting villain and talented lead actors, the story leaves itself wide open for a sequel. One is left hoping that the potential series finds its feet and recovers from this, the shakiest of starts.
Inkubus should have been a fun throwback, like Adam Green's Hatchet films. Instead, it's hamstrung by its low budget and over-seriousness.
Video and Audio:
The visuals are incredibly cheap; it's distracting to see actors like Englund and Forsythe in a movie that looks like a Youtube short.
None, apart from a trailer.
Want to comment on this review? You can leave one below or head over to the HorrorTalk Review Forum.