Stars: 4 of 5.
Running Time: 104 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Tony Curtis (SOME LIKE IT HOT, SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS), Michael Ansara (IT'S ALIVE, THE OUTER LIMITS: SOLDIER- the basis for THE TERMINATOR), Susan Strasberg (THE DELTA FORCE, PICNIC), Stella Stevens (THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, CHAINED HEAT), Jon Cedar (CAPRICORN ONE, FOXY BROWN), Ann Southern (FOOTLIGHT PARADE, A LETTER TO THREE WIVES), Burgess Meredith (ROCKY, THE TWILIGHT ZONE). Music by Lalo Schifrin.
Tag-line: "Evil does not die... It waits to be re-born!"
Best one-liner: "Gichi Manitou? Harry, you don't call Gichi Manitou. He...." –"Oh, yeah, well he's going to get a person to person call from me....collect!"
Not everyone is ready to just dash headlong into this freaky beast.
But I'm here to tell you that studies have found THE MANITOU to be non-habit-forming and completely safe when used as directed. Side effects may include a more enlightened view of the universe. Also, the forces of the Manitou apparently counteract the effects of Alka-Seltzer (there is actually a scene devoted to this). So let's take this nice and easy, in steps:
#1. Faux-psychic Tony Curtis ends a session with an old biddy.
As soon as she leaves, he flings off his druid robes, removes his fake 'stache, pumps up the power on some thumping disco, and exquisitely sips from a wine glass filled with Coors.
Click on the pictures for a larger view.
So damn satisfying.
#2. Susan Strasberg nonchalantly describes the GIGANTIC, terrifying, fetus-encasing tumor on her neck-
"Ohhhh, I guess I've had it about 3 days...it kind of moves sometimes...4 or 5 times a day...feels kinda like someone turning over in bed..."
So nonchalant. Your pappy Lee taught ya well.
#3. Burgess Meredith mutters and mumbles and improvises and holy shit- it's like watching one of the great jam bands play a set- except instead of the Allmans riffin' on a groove, it's Burgess Meredith jammin' with the English language!
#4. Bogart said "the whole world is 3 drinks behind." Well, the entire cast of THE MANITOU is about 3 'ludes AHEAD, and consequently have a tough time differentiating between 'mind-numbing shock' and 'complete boredom.'
This is how I react when I see a giant Native American head made of tar slowly rising out of the dining room table.
#5. By the time we get to the denouem- JOHNNNN SINGING ROCK!
A totally ripped, naked Native American dwarf fighting naked, bedridden Strasberg with laser fingers IN SPACE!!
Typewriters! Lizard fantasies! More lasers!
HALLUCINATORY LIZARD....THAT BITES!
Giant vagina in the sky shooting asteroids! Fireballs! A rehash of 2001's trippy finale!
"PANAH WITCHY SALATU! PANAH WITCHY SALATU! PANAH WITCHY SALATU!!!"
Whew. Let me catch my breath. This thing makes ROBOT JOX look like a Merchant/Ivory production. I'm speechless. Just, uh... Um, make sure you've truly readied your mind and body before you give this a spin. Now I'm doin' the six-gin stumble. Need to lie down for a minute. Yes...
2009 Halloween Countdown OVERFLOW
1. [•REC] (2007, Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza)
2. THE MANITOU (1978, William Girdler)