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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


Time could not stop him. Space could not hold him. Science could not destroy him. The MANITOU...it has awakened! 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
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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 »


Dr. Snow: Just assume for a moment, sir, that this woman - she's a young woman?
Harry Erskine: Yeah, a young woman.
Dr. Snow: Just assume that she has a problem, now now assume also this problem has to do with Indian magic. Well, my God, son, you do have one hell of a problem!
See more »


Featured in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: The Manitou (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Not an 'Exorcist' Ripoff.
7 November 2000 | by See all my reviews

Rating 2** out of 4

Okay for one Graham Masterton's novel based upon The Manitou was made before The Exorcist however William Peter Blatty's novel for The Exorcist and movie was before The Manitou. So you might just think that The Exorcist rip-offed The Manitou.

In my own opinion, The Manitou is a good film but to most sadly they think of the film as a laughable picture. Stars like Burgess Meredith and Ann Sothern try so hard to keep the film in place. William Girdler's direction is great though. The Manitou is basically an adequate film about a woman (Susan Strasberg) who discovers that a lump on her neck is a demoniac Native American witch doctor growing inside a tumor. However doctors (Jon Ceder, Paul Mantee) disagree about it soon becomes clear that all hell will break lose in the San Franisco hosptial. It is up to a psychic (Tony Curtis) a witch doctor (Michael Ansara) and a spirit speaker (Stella Stevens) to help her. I still enjoy this spooky and bloody film and it still shocks today. Lalo Schifrin music is awsome and Graham Masteron went on to make the sequel Revenge of The Manitou but sadly producers said not to make it into a film.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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