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The Manipulator (1971)

3.7
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Ratings: 3.7/10 from 168 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 4 critic

An insane Hollywood makeup man kidnaps a woman, keeps her prisoner in his warehouse full of props.

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Title: The Manipulator (1971)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
B.J. Lang
...
Carlotta
...
Old Charlie
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Storyline

An insane Hollywood makeup man kidnaps a woman, keeps her prisoner in his warehouse full of props.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

15 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

B.J. Presents  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

Charlie dies with his hands to his sides and this is how he's always shown, except in one shot where his fingers are interlocked across his chest. See more »

Crazy Credits

After the closing credits Mickey Rooney is shown in fast forward acting around on stage. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Remote Control (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Chattanooga Choo Choo
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Sung by Mickey Rooney
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I'm hungry Mr Lang!"
5 November 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Weird doesn't being to describe this one. Even if you're a fan of bizarre films you're going to have trouble with The Manipulator. Mickey Rooney plays B. J. Lang, a psychopath who is making a film in his own head in an abandoned theatre. He talks to people who aren't there, sees people who aren't there but has a very real woman held captive, whom he forces to play Roxanne in his imaginary film of Cyrano De Bergerac. At some point Keenan Wynn turns up as a tramp. That's the plot.

So, how do you stretch that out to feature length? Well, Rooney basically babbles, screams, dances, sings, rolls about the floor, stares into space, drools, wears a fake nose, wears make up, whispers, talks to dummies, sweeps the floor and plays forward for Manchester Unitied while the film passes by in slow motion, speeded up, flashes subliminal images, changes perspective and even location several times.

There's a ten minute stretch that takes place entirely under a strobe light, which caused me to put off the film for a while to have a break, and another ten minute stretch of people laughing in slow motion while Rooney walks around saying 'love' and holding a baby. Or how about the bit where Rooney rolls about the floor saying 'pills' over and over again? Or the jungle noises? Or the bit where someone goes mental with a moog while Rooney chases that woman about. For about ten minutes. In slow motion.

This film is an endurance test for the viewer and although I'm not sure what the point of it all was, I'd pretty much reserve this film for folks who think they've seen it all, just to see their jaws drop. It's by no means a good film, but it's too weird to hate either. I wonder what Rooney thinks of it (yep, he's still alive…189 years young).


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