Sukkubus - den Teufel im Leib [Succubus - The Devil In The Body] (1989) - Milk, It Does A Body Good March 1, 2019 09:00
Lost in the annals of the German cult film archives lies the little Swiss "horror" Sukkubus - den Teufel im Leib translated Succubus The Devil In The Body. Sometimes the most obscure films can turn out to be hidden gems, unfortunately that's not the case here. In short Sukkubus should be re-titled Hirt - den Teufel in sich (Herdsman - The Devil Within), to have more accurately reflected the content of this film.
Set in 19th century Switzerland Sukkubus follows three cattle herdsmen on their journey in the Swiss alps, Senn (the leader), Hirt (the perverted right hand man) and Handrbub the teenage apprentice. The film does a fine job of conveying the harsh weather and isolation that would have faced herdsmen on the Swiss alps, opening up with Handrbub witnessing an avalanche and discovering the carcass of a fellow herdsmen packed in the snow and being fed on by birds. It also does a good job of illustrating the superstitious nature of herdsmen who had their rote phrases and prayers that they would repeat as a way of appealing for protection.
Along the way we learn a bit about the three characters. Senn is a very gruff by-the-book guy who doesn't tolerate mistakes or fooling around. Hirt is perverted and only seems to have one thing on his mind, and with no women in the alps he pushes the limits of satisfying his desires, making multiple passes on Handrbub which eventually gets him a much deserved beating from Senn. He's also the one ultimately responsible for summoning the succubus with some ritual procedures. Handrbub is kind of a freak himself, getting bizarre pleasures from one of the cows licking his stomach.
But this is called Sukkubus and is supposed to be a horror film which features a succubus, unfortunately it takes the film a solid forty minutes (halfway in) to even introduce the title character. The setup begins when Handrbub finds a piece of wood which sort of resembles a face. He brings this back to camp and this excites horny Hirt who proceeds to assemble a life-sized doll of a woman, but he's quickly stopped by Senn. A few nights later in a drunken stupor Hirt gets the ball rolling again and this time both grown men get into assembling this woman. As they start dancing around with it Hirt being the horny freak he is takes it too far and starts humping it and magically the doll morphs into the curvy body of Italian model Pamela Prati!
After shocking everyone and a brief struggle it turns back into a doll and they all go about their duties the next day, likely assuming it was all a drunken hallucination. Yet the succubus appears to Handrbub later that day in the fog and freaks him out, and makes another appearance to all of them again after a huge thunderstorm. By this time it's clear to them she's not a hallucination, and she begins to taunt them more and more, with Hirt trying to hump her any chance he can get, and the other two trying to avoid and get rid of her because they know she's evil. Eventually she becomes violent and one by one they struggle to stay alive.
Sukkubus seems to follow a pretty common trend seen in many of these types of films, very little "creature feature" and a lot of filler. Again the bulk of the scenes involving Pamela Prati as the succubus are limited to the last twenty minutes of the film. If you can manage to sit through the first hour there's a high chance you'll not care about the fate of any of characters, especially Hirt, so their demise really sparks no sympathy, you'll just be happy there's finally some action and you get to see Prati prancing about.
There's no denying Pamela Prati is hot, and likely the only reason anyone would know of, or search for, this film. She's perfectly cast for the role and a couple of scenes, like the one where she drinks milk from a cow's utter, are definitely memorable in her limited film career. Unfortunately it's a crime how sorely underused she once again is, which was a complaint of mine regarding her role in Transformations where she also played a succubus. Had she been introduced much earlier in the story, and been given a larger role, it would have definitely made the film more enjoyable, not to mention make it something mildly close to a horror. As it stands Sukkubus is 90% mediocre drama, with a lot of beautiful scenery, and 10% horror-ish content. So the ultimate question, is a combined ten minutes (at the most) of Prati running around nude worth sitting through forty plus minutes of very little dialogue and meager character development... no.