CineSavant Column

Saturday December 3, 2022



As is being reported on a web posts originating from a French website, on the Classic Horror Film Board and through Facebook posts by David J. Schow, it looks as if an improved print source for the ‘semi-lost’ film Incubus has been found. The feature has lingered in something of a gray area because all that had previously been located was a 16mm print with burned-in French subtitles. About 24 hours after the announcement, all-things-Leslie Stevens expert David Schow is already on the case. He says that the Le Chat qui Fume people are already ‘busy’ doing a 4K scan.

Yes, this is the famed oddball production directed by Leslie Stevens and photographed by Conrad Hall and Bill Fraker up in Big Sur, with the style of both visuals and music lifted directly from The Outer Limits. Even more strange is Stevens’ choice of filming the show in the Esperanto language.

We wonder if this new print sourse is the same one that Wayne Schmidt was being offered on Ebay not long ago. The new possessors are investigating the rights, yet already talk as if a ‘restoration’ is underway.

Should we presume that this 35mm print has no burned-in subtitles?  The image does look invitingly good in the sample images.



And the dependable Gary Teetzel found this ‘oopsie’ promotional graphic, which looks intended to identify a screening at a film festival. (It enlarges.)

It’s of course for the always-welcome Don Siegel thriller Invasion of the Body Snatchers, except we didn’t know that our favorite old wheezy-voiced cuss Andy Devine had a major supporting role.

Hey, maybe Devine was meant to play Santa Mira’s phone operator. When Miles Bennell is trying to contact the FBI, you need to imagine Devine’s distinctive voice whining away on the other end of the line: “No, I – I – I, I’m sorry but all those lines are still DOWN at this time.”  Andy does look appropriately concerned — will the extraterrestrial takeover mean the end of Devine’s TV show Andy’s Gang?

We know that this first version of Invasion had several potential titles, none of which seems 100% adequate. But you’d think that the French distributor would have found something that’s less of a mouthful than “L’invasion des profanateurs de sépultures.”

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson