Robert Miles is a psychic that can communicate with the dead. He also has the ability to control the mind of his cat (who incidentally is black). He uses the cat to take vengeance upon his ... See full summary »
A Canadian archaeological team in Sicily accidentally unleashes vengeful ghosts of five demonic nuns who were murdered 500 years earlier, and the ghosts now set out to kill the group and townspeople alike.
In 2072 Rome, Italy, the ruthless CEO of a TV network plots to stage a modern series of gladiator games for ratings while one 'contenstant' learns of a conspiracy behind the true nature of the results.
"Susie always screams before she goes on a journey"
So, what's the worst Fulci film you've sat through? Is it Sweet House of Horrors? Well, that had some gore in it at least. Or it Aenigma? That one had some women in the scud, and a picture stabbing itself. Or is it Conquest? Well, I reckon that one is a classic myself, because it's got drug snorting werewolf men in it.
Nope, for me it's Manhattan Baby. I've sat through 14 of his films now, and even his later period films like the deranged Cat in the Brain are more entertaining than this. It's taken me three viewings to get a handle on what story there is, and it does have some positive aspects, but Fulci completely fumbles the ball on this film.
It starts off really well, in Egypt, where Christopher Connelly is doing some sort of dig into an ancient tomb. His wife and daughter, meanwhile, almost immediately fall into Fulci's nightmare world, when a blind (like the Beyond) woman hands the kid an amulet. Connelly, on the other hand, breaks into the tomb only to get his guide killed and himself blinded by purple laser beams (eh?).
This is all atmospherically done, but the moment the family return to New York, the film slips its moorings. Strange things begin to happen, like Tommy, Connelly's son, walking into a cupboard filled with light. But it's okay, because a few scenes later he's back, and nobody really cares anyway.
That's the main problem with this film. Fulci goes for the same disjointed series of scares that worked so well in The Beyond, but here manages to completely arse up just about every scene but making it either too inexplicable, too tame, or just too stupid. Sometimes the kids are terrified by what's happening, and yet other times they think it's some sort of game. Plus, there's almost no linking between the scenes whatsoever, no attempt to let the audience in on what's happening, until that last twenty minutes, and by that time I swear you'll be beyond caring. The final insult is that the ending is as lame as a one-legged donkey.
There are some positive aspects to this film that raise the rating slightly. The cinematography is uniformly excellent, the Egyptian scene is a great way to start the film, and there's a couple of scenes that do genuinely work, like the Psychic rolling about on the floor, screaming in Connelly's daughter's voice.
I'd love to know if this was the film that Fulci intended, because I don't reckon it is. There's too many hints that something went badly wrong in production, like the disjointed story or the recycled soundtrack (from the Beyond).
Only to be viewed as a person familiar with Fulci's work. I'd hate to see some unsuspecting horror fan's reaction to this mess.
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