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The Manitou (1978)

R | | Horror | 15 April 1978 (Japan)
A psychic's girlfriend finds out that a lump on her back is a growing reincarnation of a 400 year-old demonic Native American spirit.



(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Erskine
John Singing Rock
Karen Tandy
Amelia Crusoe
Dr. Jack Hughes
Mrs. Karmann
Dr. Snow
Dr. McEvoy
Mrs. Winconis
Mrs. Herz
Hugh Corcoran ...
Anne Newman Bacal ...
10th-Floor Nurse (as Ann Newman-Mantee)
Jan Heininger ...
Wolf, an orderly
Michael, an orderly
Cindy Stanford ...


Karen Tandy enters a San Franisco hospital suffering from a tumor growing in her neck. Her surprised doctors think it's a living creature, a fetus being born inside the tumor. Fortune-teller Harry Erskine dismisses it -- until one of his customers begins speaking in tongues and fatally throws herself down a flight of stairs, and Karen's surgeon attempts to cut off his own hand rather than excise her tumor. Erskine finally seeks help from another fortune teller, Amelia Crusoe, and her husband, to try to learn the cause of these supernatural events. When Karen's tumor gets larger, Dr. Snow speculates that within her tumor lives vengeful 400-year-old Indian spirit. Erskine travels to South Dakota to enlist the aid of Indian medicine man John Singing Rock to force the evil spirit out of Karen and back where it came. The Indian spirit is driven from Karen's tumor, but will it take over others before Singing Rock can send him back? Written by <Blythe379@cs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Evil does not die... It waits to be re-born! See more »




R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

15 April 1978 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Manitou  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Last film of director William Girdler. Shortly before the film's release he was killed in a helicopter crash in the Philippines while scouting locations for an upcoming film. See more »


John Singing Rock: [praying over his medicine circle] Gitche Manitou, hear me. Hear me and protect me.
Harry Erskine: [as Karen Tandy opens her eyes] John, look!
John Singing Rock: Who are you? Where do you come from?
Misquamacus: [speaking through Karen Tandy] I am mightier than you. Your medicine is of no consequence.
John Singing Rock: What is your name?
Misquamacus: My name... Misquamacus. Leave the whites, little brother from the plains. Do not help them... or die.
Harry Erskine: John, what's the matter? What... what is it?
John Singing Rock: It's Misquamacus. The greatest medicine man of all. He turned rivers, made ...
See more »


Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

So weird, so bad, that it's a beautiful thing. Don't miss it.
15 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

How can I begin to describe this amazing film? Random images pop into my head from memory... Tony Curtis as a dashing fortune-teller and huckster, prancing around his San Francisco bachelor pad wearing a sorcerer's outfit... one of his elderly female clients being possessed by an Indian spirit and being tossed down a flight of stairs... (you don't even need the pause button to see that the stunt "double" going down the stairs is a big dude in a dress and wig!!)... Burgess Meredith muddling through one of his last film roles, playing a senile old coot with amazing realism, to no one's surprise... an Indian shaman with a Yiddish-sounding New York City accent and a penchant for stale one-liners... a naked midget dressed up like an evil reincarnated Indian fetus covered with goo... a topless Susan Strassberg hovering in the fourth dimension and firing lightning bolts at the evil spirit using electrical energy from a huge 70's-model computer... YOU MUST SEE THIS FILM!!

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