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The Manitou Blu-ray Review


“The Manitou” has to be seen to be believed.

Based on the novel by Graham Masterton, “The Manitou” revolves around a woman (Karen) who develops a growth on her back. This is no ordinary growth though. Instead, it’s the reincarnation of an ancient evil Native American Medicine Man. Yes, you read that right. Karen’s lover Harry (a Tarot Card reader) does everything in his power to try and help her, but the growth’s power is immense and fights back (it even causes people to do things). Luckily, Harry finds an ally in a shaman named John Singing Rock who might be able to stop the evil and save Karen.

While watching 1978’s “The Manitou,” it’s shocking that this movie came out in a post “Star Wars” world. Not only does it look cheap, but the special effects are atrocious. What’s even more baffling is that this movie made it to the big screen with some major stars like Tony Curtis and a small role by Burgess Meredith only two years after “Rocky.” And yet, I doubt many people would have it any other way as “The Manitou” has become a bad movie gem over the years. To say this movie is bonkers is an understatement. Among the things you can expect to see here are a floating old lady, lasers, crazed overracting, dialogue so bad that it will make you laugh, the aforementioned back fetus, a lizard demon, an exploding typewriter and a ridiculous ending that defies description. Clearly, the movie was trying to capitalize on the success of films like “The Exorcist” and “Rosemary’s Baby,” but boy does it go off the rails in a spectacular fashion.

About the only thing the movie has going for it is a memorable performance by Michael Ansara as John Singing Rock. It’s amazing he was able to be so professional with the crazyness he had to work with.


Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? Truthfully, this looked more like a DVD. The transfer was not impressive and had many defects (including flickers).

Audio Track: DTS-HD Mono. How does it sound? A soft but adequate track.

* 3 TV spots and a trailer for “The Manitou”
* Still gallery
* A solo commentary by film historian Troy Howarth.
* A 28 minute interview with Graham Masterton about his life, work, and, of course, “The Manitou.”
* An interview with producer David Sheldon.

April 10, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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