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The Manitou (1978)

R  |   |  Horror  |  15 April 1978 (Japan)
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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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Title: The Manitou (1978)

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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
Paul Mantee ...
Dr. McEvoy
Mrs. Winconis
Mrs. Herz
Hugh Corcoran ...
Ann Newman-Mantee ...
10th-Floor Nurse
Jan Heininger ...
Wolf, an orderly
Michael Laren ...
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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In The Grisly Tradition of 'ALIEN' 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?


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


John Singing Rock: Normally I wait three risings of the sun before I take on a job.
See more »


Referenced in Remote Control (1988) 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!!

33 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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