Story: You know the kid in the family everyone calls “the oops”? What if “the oops” wasn’t just your little brother? What if “the oops” was actually a 400 year old medicine man that grew out of a tumor on your mother’s neck? You’d certainly want to have Tony Curtis, Stella Stevens, and Burgess Meredith around in case that noise started to happen. Good thing Susan Strassburg has that kind of a support system because Misquamacus is about the throw himself one hell of a re-birthday party.
The Film Itself: I don’t what to write about “The Manitou” that probably has been written before. I’m not even sure if I saw this movie. Did I really watch a deformed Native American birth himself out of a women’s back? Did I see Tony Curtis toss a typewriter at a midget? Was a doctor really bitten by the semi-transparent ghost of a puppet reptile? Did Susan Strassberg end up topless, in a hospital bed, in space, shooting the soul of a computer out of her fingertips? I think I must have fallen asleep during a good horror movie and dreamed this “Exorcist meets The Match Game” movie up. What’s wrong with that? I love “The Exorcist”, I love the “Match Game”, I love “The Manitou”.
Adding to the fun are all the delightfully nuanced performances. Tony Curtis, whose girlfriend is deathly ill/possessed/pregnant/who knows, gives a performance that falls somewhere between Catskills comedian and Chuck Heston. Susan Strassberg is confined to a bed most of the time, but her job in this is to look loony and possessed, unlike Burgess Meredith whose job was apparently to look like a cross between Freud and Colonel Sanders. What else can I say? A slimy midget fetus, floating possessed septuagenarians, and cryogenically frozen nurses–this movie has it all! You will believe a 70 year old woman can fly! You will marvel at the power of spiritually enlightened office equipment!
The strangers thing about “The Manitou” is that the premise of the movie is so unique and bizarre that I actually found myself drawn into it. Recommended for fans of “The Sentinel”, “The Tempter/Antichrist”.
DVD: This DVD is available from Spookydudes.com – mike c.