DirectorWilliam Girdler Initial DVD releaseMarch 6, 2007 Duration LanguageEnglish
Release dateApril 28, 1978 WriterGraham Masterton (novel), William Girdler (screenplay), Jon Cedar (screenplay), Thomas Pope (screenplay) CastTony Curtis (Harry Erskine), Michael Ansara (John Singing Rock), Susan Strasberg (Karen Tandy), Stella Stevens (Amelia Crusoe), Jon Cedar (Dr. Jack Hughes), Ann Sothern (Mrs. Karmann) Similar moviesMad Max: Fury Road, John Wick, I Spit on Your Grave III: Vengeance is Mine, Deadbeat, Taken 3, Furious 7
TaglineEvil does not die… It waits to be re-born!
The manitou trailer
The Manitou is a 1978 American horror film produced and directed by William Girdler. It stars Tony Curtis, Michael Ansara and Susan Strasberg. It was based on the 1976 novel by Graham Masterton, which was inspired by an old legend about the American Indian Manitou spiritual concept.
A woman named Karen (Strasberg), who is suffering from a growing tumor on her neck, enters a hospital in San Francisco. After a series of X-rays, the doctors begin to think it is a living creature: a fetus being born inside the tumor. Eerie and grisly occurrences begin; the tumorous growth perceives itself – himself – to be under attack as a result of the X-rays used to ascertain its nature, which are starting to stunt and deform its development. The growth is the old Native American shaman, Misquamacus; he is reincarnating himself through the young woman to exact his revenge on white men who invaded North America and exterminated its native peoples. Karen's boyfriend, psychic fortune-teller Harry Erskine (Curtis) contacts a second Native American shaman, John Singing Rock (Ansara), to help fight the reincarnating medicine man, but the kind of spirits he can summon and control appear to be too weak to match his opponent's abilities.
Tony Curtis as Harry Erskine
Michael Ansara as John Singing Rock
Susan Strasberg as Karen Tandy
Stella Stevens as Amelia Crusoe
Jon Cedar as Dr. Jack Hughes
Ann Sothern as Mrs. Karmann
Burgess Meredith as Dr. Snow
Paul Mantee as Dr. McEvoy
Jeanette Nolan as Mrs. Winconis
Lurene Tuttle as Mrs. Herz
Hugh Corcoran as MacArthur
The film was released theatrically in the United States by AVCO Embassy Pictures on April 28, 1978, with "Evil does not die...it waits to be reborn!" as the tagline.
Critical reception for The Manitou has been mixed to negative. Variety gave the film a positive review, writing, "This bout between good and Satan includes some scares, camp and better than average credits". Derek Adams from Time Out gave the film a positive review, praising the film's special effects and calling the film "a successful excursion, spoiled only by the director's habit of plopping in postcard views of the Golden Gate Bridge instead of exteriors". Donald Guarisco from Allmovie gave the film a negative review, criticizing the film's script, and weak direction but complimenting the acting, special effects and ending. It currently has a 43% "Rotten" rating on film review website Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 10, based on seven reviews.
The film was released on DVD by Momentum Pictures on October 24, 2005. It was re-released by Anchor Bay on March 6, 2007.