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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.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Harry Erskine
...
John Singing Rock
...
Karen Tandy
...
Amelia Crusoe
...
Dr. Jack Hughes
...
Mrs. Karmann
...
Dr. Snow
Paul Mantee ...
Dr. McEvoy
...
Mrs. Winconis
...
Mrs. Herz
Hugh Corcoran ...
MacArthur
Ann Newman-Mantee ...
10th-Floor Nurse
Jan Heininger ...
Wolf, an orderly
Michael Laren ...
Michael, an orderly
Cindy Stanford ...
Neighbor
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

In The Grisly Tradition of 'ALIEN' See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

15 April 1978 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Manitou  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reportedly William Girdler and his co-writers Jon Cedar and Thomas Pope bashed out the screenplay in three days. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Featured in Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 2 (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Absurdist Fun

While I must agree with many of the reveiewers of this film that say it is preposterous, silly, laughable, and the like, I must also add that watching the film is an entertaining experience. Yes, the story about a fetus growing on a woman's back and then becoming a four foot Indian ripping his way out of a tumor the size of basketball stretches the line of credibility. This pint-sized spirit has amazing powers as he can literally freeze an entire hospital ward, call forth the devil himself, and take the skin off of people's bodies through his mind. The most ridiculous aspects of the film, however, are the explanation and execution of how to fight the manitou. Apparently all things in life have their own manitou, so we see this incredibly powerful spirit temporarily beaten when Tony Curtis throws a typewriter at him. We are to believe the spirit of the machine harmed this powerful spirit. Yeah, okay. The special effects are very outdated and some of those will just make you burst out laughing. The scene where Tony Curtis(the former boyfriend of the girl with the shoulder-weilding fetus/pint-sized Indian spirit) and Michael Ansara(playing John Singing Rock or something like that who just happens to be an Indian medicine man ready, able, and willing to do battle with the most powerful Indian medicine man's spirit that ever lived...and this one apparently has ripped through the shoulders or bellies of five previous people) walk into the hospital room and see what I guess is suppose to be space will have you slapping your knee. But the very worst scene has to be the finale which I will not explain in great detail. Suffice it to say that Susan Strasberg(the poor woman aforementioned) is sitting up on a bed topless..., yes, you heard me, TOPLESS, throwing ele trical current from her fingers as she battles the manitou. It has to be seen to be believed. The acting in the film is not very good, but again very likable. Curtis plays a mystic and some of his scenes are good in the beginning. Ansara is ok, and Burgess Meredith gives the best performance in his five minute cameo. The little Indian who could was played much of the time by Felix Silla, the same fella that played Cousin It on The Addams Family and has appeared in countless horr/science fiction films.


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