Incense for the Damned
incense for the damned | bloodsuckers | robert hartford-davis | julian more | patrick macnee | peter cushing | alexander davion | orgy | ritual | united kingdom | vampire | vampires | cult | murder | death | novel | based on | simon raven
Film: Incense for the Damned (Bloodsuckers)
Director: Robert Hartford-Davis
Writer: Julian More
Starring: Patrick Macnee, Peter Cushing and Alexander Davion
This film starts off introducing us to the most important character, played by Patrick Mower. He is very intelligent and is being groomed to take over at Oxford. He is engaged to be married to Madeleine Hinde. Her father is played by Peter Cushing and he is the one that has taken Mower under his wing to take over his position. Mower’s best friend is played by Johnny Sekka. Mower though has gone to Greece to study on an island to learn the history of it. Mower’s father is important in the British government and it seems that he has gotten himself into trouble with a young woman whose father is in the Greek government.
A young man played by Alexander Davion goes to a party where he meets Cushing, Hinde and Sekka. Cushing asks Davion to go to Greece in order to bring Mower back to Oxford before a scandal breaks. Hinde and Sekka also come with him.
They arrive in Greece and Davion meets with Patrick Macnee who fills him in on what is going on. Through what he is telling, we see that he is spending a lot of time with Imogen Hassall. We then see that she is wild. Both she and Mower go to a party where there is drug use and then it turns into an orgy. The images that flash of cult practices and then we that a young woman is stabbed to death. Her body is dumped and then an old woman finds it.
Davion, Macnee, Hinde and Sekka get close to finding Mower, but they learn that they have moved on during the night. They then have to try to find his trail again. Hinde and Sekka get into an argument where we first learn that Mower might have left England and run off with Hassall due to the stress that Hinde and Cushing put on him. Hinde is walking away from the hotel when the old woman is sitting outside. She gives a signal and four young men follow her. Sekka sees this and one of them picks up a knife. He goes after her and gets into a fight with them. He does fight them off.
Hinde decides not to press charges and they are back on the trail. Davion does fill her in on Hassall and that Mower has been seeing her. They end up following Mower to a fort on a hill. They are at a monastery when Hinde freaks out, thinking she sees Mower and that a bunch of rubble falls on him. She is taken to a room where we learn that she had a little too much of the moonshine that the monks make and the sun caused her to become dizzy. The other three go up to fort.
We then see that they Hassall are having her followers attack a young woman and her boyfriend. They rip her shirt off and go to sacrifice her while Mower watches. The three men break in though and prevent this from happening. They know something is wrong with Mower as he doesn’t look good.
They try to find a way to get him down as he is ill. They take him outside and he calls out to the gods. He then sees an eagle that swoops 5 times. He tells them that there is too many of them up here and that one of them will die. Their mules are gone so they send Macnee to go to town to find a way to get Mower down.
Hassall is still lying in wait though. There is an argument between Davion and Sekka. Davion doesn’t believe all of these counter religious beliefs, but Sekka tells him that there is voodoo and others like this even in England. Macnee does get a military man who allowed them to use his helicopter and ask him to use it again to get Mower out of Greece as soon as possible. Hassall makes her way back up to Mower and Macnee chases her. Hassall starts to suck the blood of Mower and we see that there is an issue with him being impotent. Macnee falls to his death trying to prevent her from getting there, so Mower was correct. What else is he right about?
With Mower back in England, will he go back to his life before he left or will it be too much? What about Hassall and this new forbidden fruit that he has tasted? Can he marry Hinde and live a normal life?
What I liked best about this film was that it brought the idea of vampirism and made it realistic. You have a group of educated men, none of them believe in it except Mower and that is because he is engaging in it. Sekka does a little bit, but that is because he is from African where he was exposed to it much more. I do like that they explain how a man like Mower could engage in this counter culture and it is due to him being impotent and it is a form of sadomasochism. Hassall is exotic and attractive, seeing her topless was nice. There is also some nudity during the orgy scene as well. The acting across the board was pretty good as well.
The biggest issue I had with this film was that it was boring. It took a little long to get going and it kind of meanders at first. It does pick up when the rescuers encounter Mower and the cult. It also gets much better when they get back to England and we really learn why Mower fled. This film is also short and it could use a sub-plot or two to help it be a much fuller experience.
With that said, I would recommend this film only if you like realistic horror films from the 1970s. The acting is good and the concept of the film is as well. The problem with it is that it is a tad boring and meanders until the middle where it picks up. I like to see educated adults try to figure out a logical explanation for these problems. The film could have used more Cushing. Not the greatest film out there and I think many would find this to be boring, so if this sounds interesting, then definitely give it a chance.
My Rating: 5 out of 10