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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Manitou")

 

Directed by William Girdler
USA 1978

 

What surgeons thought to be a tumor growing on the neck of patient Karen Tandy (Susan Strasberg) is actually a fetus growing at an abnormally accelerated rate. But when Karen reaches out to former lover and phony psychic Harry Erskine (Tony Curtis), she discovers that she is possessed by the reincarnation of a 400-year-old Native American demon. Now with the help of a modern-day medicine man (Michael Ansara), Erskine must survive this ancient evil’s rampage of shocking violence and forever destroy the enraged beast known as The Manitou.

Stella Stevens, Ann Sothern and Burgess Meredith co-star in this infamous shocker produced and directed by William Girdler (Grizzly, Day of the Animals) from the best-selling novel by Graham Masterton.

***

Low-budget horror director William Girdler's last film stars Susan Strasberg as Karen Tandy, a San Francisco woman who develops a strange growth on her neck. After an operation fails because the doctor is forced to cut his own hand, Karen seeks out an Indian shaman (Michael Ansara), who tells her that the thing on her neck is the fetus of a reincarnated witch doctor. Eventually, Karen goes to the hospital and gives "birth" to a silly-looking creature played by Cousin Itt himself, Felix Silla. It runs amok in the building until boyfriend Tony Curtis figures out that his love for Karen can boost the hospital's electrical supply to zap the pesky beast. Generally acknowledged as one of the silliest horror films ever made, The Manitou should please camp buffs more than serious fans.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 15th, 1978

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:43:24.698        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,067,003,310 bytes

Feature: 32,310,693,888 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.97 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1570 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1570 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1563 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1563 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Shout! Factory

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,067,003,310 bytes

Feature: 32,310,693,888 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.97 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• NEW Audio Commentary With Film Historian Troy Howarth

• NEW Interview With Author Graham Masterson (28:11)
• NEW Producing Girdler – An Interview With Executive Producer David Sheldon (10:59)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (2:11)
• Original TV Spots (1:32)
• Image Gallery (6:56)
• Still Gallery


Blu-ray Release Date:
April 16th, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Shout! Factory have put The Manitou to Blu-ray in a "NEW 4K Scan Of The Original Film Elements with a NEW Restored Stereo Soundtrack". It's on a dual-layered Blu-ray in 1080P with a max'ed out bitrate. But this doesn't seem to help the image appearance which has many inconsistencies mostly looking clunky, obviously flat, hazy and heavy. It is in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and shows a few marks and an uncomfortable softness that, we presume, is due to the available source or original production. You can judge by the screen captures below. It doesn't look very crisp or glossy - but thick and rather uneven and lumpy with, what can appears as, background artifacts. 

Shout! Factory give the option of two DTS-HD Master tracks - one in 2.0 channel stereo (new) and the other in mono. There are some funky effects and a
score is by Argentinean Lalo Schifrin (famous as the guy behind the Mission: Impossible theme as well as Rollercoaster, Charley Varrick, Day of the Animals, Hit!, Man on a Swing, Tango and many other films) which adds to this quirky film - normalizing it somewhat with the extensively dramatic music. The stereo has some buoyancy and depth where the mono is, predictably, flat. There are optional English subtitles on this Region 'A' Blu-ray.

Shout! Factory adds a new audio commentary by Troy Howarth who is one of my favorites filling the film with some wry humorous comments and plenty of details on the cast, crew, composer and director, plus differences from the book - barely taking a breath throughout. There is also a new 1/2 hour interview with author of The Manitou Graham Masterson who has a lot to share about the film and evolution of his book to the screen. We also get 11-minutes of Executive Producer David Sheldon in a piece entitled Producing Girdler - he seems frank and open about the film's director. There is also an original theatrical trailer, original TV Spots and an Image Gallery.

The Manitou is a fascinating camp film experience. Truly one of the stranger films of its time - an ambitious horror that, for many, fails... but you can't stop watching to see what is next - especially as it may be so over-the-top that it's laughable. The
Blu-ray transfer is probably done the best that it could - 4K-restored with a full bitrate - but it's seems apparent that nothing can save this film from its fate - a bizarre 'campy' effort that only its niche could appreciate.

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

    

Distribution Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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