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THE MANITOU - 3 Slimes
Rated R
Copyright 1978 AVCO Embassy Pictures
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Harry - Second rate psychic, he's still in love with his ex wife though she's growing an Native American out of her back.
  • John Singing Rock - Medicine man who agrees to help fight the Manitou.
  • Karen - Harry's ex wife who develops a tumor the back of her neck, only it turns out to be a fetus. (Yes, ewwwww.)
  • Amy and Mac - She was the one who tried to teach Harry spiritualism, Mac is her husband.
  • Dr. Hughes - Specialist in tumors who doesn't believe in Indian spirits until one bites his hand.
  • Dr. Snow - Burgess Meredith of all people, a professor who studies ancient cultures and does some Kentucky Fried Chicken commercials on the side.
  • Misquamacas - The most powerful medicine man to ever live, he's returned in the body of a midget to destroy the white man.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Imagine for a moment that you've got a strange bump on the back of your neck. Now imagine it's growing at an astounding rate. As a final insult you find out it's not a tumor, but an Indian medicine man being reborn! (At this point you wake up sweating and probably swear off tequila.)

What I'm trying to get at is the plot of this movie my friends, it's all about a very unhappy shaman being reborn from an enormous pimple on Karen's neck. You'll actually spend about forty minutes of the film learning that, stand by for plenty of silly dialog. Harry isn't quite ready to be a father so he looks up Dr. Snow, after ten minutes of Colonel Sanders spouting nonsense he's off to find a medicine man who can help.

By now it should be clear how John Singing Rock ends up in a hospital (in a skyscraper no less) fighting superimposed lizards, blizzards of grated coconut, and one very mad Manitou. Fighting is a harsh word, mostly it's John whacking ceremonial paddles together and chanting at Misquamacas. The Manitou gets to do all the neat stuff, ripping people's skin off and freezing the entire floor they're on (including the nurse, it's great when Harry is knocked into her and she shatters).

The protagonists play their last card, turning on all the computers in the building so John can channel their power and defeat Misquamacas. It doesn't work, but just when you think all is lost Karen jumps up (her top inexplicably sliding off) and zaps both the evil medicine man and Satan into pyrotechnics heaven. What should amaze you the most is every character in this movie delivers their lines with complete sincerity.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Psychics can predict heartburn.
  • Beer is best served in a wine glass.
  • Nothing fixes failed marriages like a fetus growing out of your neck.
  • Never draw the death tarot around an old lady.
  • Levitation is the number one cause of injuries among the elderly.
  • No matter where you go in San Francisco you'll travel over the Golden Gate bridge.
  • Walls are natural spirit barriers.
  • Medicine men like the air conditioning on high.
  • Coconut makes very convincing snow. (Hehehe!)
  • Typewriters have souls.
  • Defeating the Devil looks much like the ending of a Doctor Who episode.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 4 mins - I want to watch a movie, not five darn minutes of opening credits.
  • 6 mins - Some dramatic foreshadowing with that background poster...
  • 12 mins - Not disco music, arrrggghhh!
  • 34 mins - Is she having an orgasm or something?
  • 65 mins - John, that's more of a half circle, notice the wall breaking your circle? Stupid second rate medicine man...
  • 82 mins - How about taking him to a treatment room, not somebody's office you bunch of goofs.
  • 87 mins - Meanwhile, on the set of "Earthquake."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note manitou1.wav Amy: "I am calling on any spirit who can help us. I am calling on any spirit who can guide us."
Green Music Note manitou2.wav Harry: "Dr. Hughes called you and told you that the tumor on her neck is definitely a fetus."
Green Music Note manitou3.wav Dr. Snow: "Just assume for a moment sir that this woman - she's a young woman?"
Harry: "Yeah, a young woman."
Dr. Snow: "Just assume that she has a problem. Now, assume also this problem has to do with Indian magic. Well, my God, son, you do have one hell of a problem!"
Green Music Note manitou4.wav John Singing Rock: "The machine's manitous won't come, it's white man's medicine. Harry, they won't come."
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipmanitou1.mpg - 1.9m
Karen has just woken up and is calling on the white man's magic to defeat Satan. Computers have souls and those spirits can give you the power to fire particle beams from your palms!

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 2 3 [4] 5
The Manitou
Reply #25. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by JoJo
I rented this convoluted laugh-a-second years ago at a now-defunct rental chain where I also found "Day of the Animals", as well as my first uncut Hentai flick. Andrew was right about the actors saying everything with a straight face. Meanwhile, I was either laughing like crazy or just staring with my mouth hanging open. I especially enjoyed the Burgess Meredith/Colonel Sanders guy. My favorite part, though, was that scene on the operating table where the surgeon cut his own hand while Karen kept repeating that stupid phrase over and over again. I couldn't get that lame, made-up phrase out of my head for weeks after that movie! I think I'll stick to the Hentai.  
Re: The Manitou
Reply #26. Posted on March 10, 2007, 11:35:30 AM by onionhead
I just received the recent Anchor Bay copy of The Manitou.  Amazing how it stands up to the claims that it is the silliest big-budget horror movie ever made.  Burgess Meredith is characteristically over the top, Michael Ansara gives his all to save a sinking ship, but I mostly liked Tony Curtis' serious delivery--although his scenes as the sham psychic are intentionally and effectively comic.  Yeah, I love the light show at the end, and  Susan Strasberg was a dish.
Re: The Manitou
Reply #27. Posted on March 10, 2008, 11:39:56 PM by Giant Claw Jr
I saw this movie on TV its pretty awful when it comes to being scary
Re: The Manitou
Reply #28. Posted on November 25, 2008, 09:02:31 PM by Rev. Powell
It is interesting that the performances are actually pretty good in this.  I think the one talent Girdler had is that he could get convincing performances out of actors, even if the lines they were being asked to read were terrible.  Carol Speed did a pretty good job in the equally silly but less entertaining ABBY.

And dig that crazy cosmic climax!  It's like the finales of THE EXORCIST, STAR WARS and 2001 and rolled into one!  Laser beams, fiery meteors and kaleidoscopic nebulae everywhere!  I only wish it had lasted longer!
Re: The Manitou
Reply #29. Posted on November 25, 2008, 09:05:30 PM by Psycho Circus
I liked the manitou, it was really weird and the whole idea freaked me out. My dad brought it home one day and I watched it followed by Dr.Strange. I think I was about 9 or something....ahh memories...
Re: The Manitou
Reply #30. Posted on March 06, 2010, 03:33:17 PM by Cecelia Rios
I saw this movie a long time ago and I liked it then and I like it now.  Sure it's crummy on a lot of levels but the acting is competent and the creepiness factor was pretty pronounced.  I appreciate that the actors made it watchable for the viewers and I will see it again in a few days.  It was something different for it's day, that's for sure.
Re: The Manitou
Reply #31. Posted on March 18, 2010, 05:38:11 AM by Thomas Niksa
All the time Burgess Meredith was babbling about how powerful Indian magic was I kept thinking, if it was so powerful why couldn't it make the white man vamoose?
Re: The Manitou
Reply #32. Posted on April 03, 2010, 01:07:29 AM by Flu-Bird
Saw it on TV and wow was it scary at times
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5
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