The Manitou 1978 Full Movie

Title: The Manitou (1978) Full Movie: A Supernatural Horror Classic


Released in 1978, “The Manitou” is a supernatural horror film that has gained a cult following over the years. Directed by William Girdler and based on the novel by Graham Masterton, the movie combines elements of Native American folklore, ancient rituals, and supernatural occurrences, providing an eerie and thrilling cinematic experience. In this article, we will delve into the plot, reception, and frequently asked questions about “The Manitou.”

Plot Summary:

“The Manitou” follows the story of Karen Tandy (played by Susan Strasberg), a young woman who discovers a mysterious growth on her back. Seeking medical advice, she consults several doctors, but they are unable to diagnose or remove the growth. As the growth continues to evolve, Karen and her boyfriend Harry Erskine (played by Tony Curtis), a fake psychic, realize that it is a malignant tumor with a supernatural origin.

They seek help from a Native American medicine man, John Singing Rock (played by Michael Ansara), who explains that the growth is the reincarnation of a malevolent Native American shaman seeking revenge on humanity. As the growth rapidly grows into a full-grown manitou, a powerful spirit, the characters must work together to prevent the shaman from wreaking havoc on the world.

Reception and Legacy:

Upon its release, “The Manitou” received mixed reviews from critics, but it has since gained a dedicated fan base for its unique blend of horror and supernatural elements. The film’s special effects, particularly the growth’s transformation, were well-received at the time and are still considered impressive today. Despite its initial reception, “The Manitou” has become a cult classic, known for its campy charm and bizarre storyline.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. Is “The Manitou” based on a true story?
No, “The Manitou” is not based on a true story. However, it draws inspiration from Native American folklore and spirituality.

2. Who directed “The Manitou”?
William Girdler directed “The Manitou.” Sadly, it was his last film before his untimely death at the age of 30.

3. What is the significance of the title?
The term “Manitou” refers to a spiritual force or entity in Native American culture. In the movie, it represents the malevolent shaman’s powerful spirit.

4. Who plays the lead roles in the film?
Susan Strasberg plays Karen Tandy, while Tony Curtis portrays Harry Erskine. Michael Ansara appears as John Singing Rock.

5. Where was the film shot?
“The Manitou” was primarily filmed in Los Angeles, California, with some scenes also shot in San Francisco.

6. Does “The Manitou” have any sequels?
No, “The Manitou” does not have any official sequels. However, a TV movie titled “Curse of the Manitou” was released in 2005, serving as a loose continuation of the story.

7. How was the film received by audiences?
While the film received mixed reviews upon release, it has gained a dedicated cult following over the years.

8. Is “The Manitou” suitable for all viewers?
“The Manitou” is rated PG-13 and contains some intense scenes and moderate horror elements. Viewer discretion is advised.

9. What are some notable scenes from the film?
Notable scenes include the growth’s transformation, the climactic battle with the shaman, and the surreal and atmospheric visuals throughout.

10. Does the film explore Native American culture?
“The Manitou” incorporates elements of Native American folklore and spirituality, although it is primarily a work of fiction.

11. Is “The Manitou” available for streaming?
Yes, “The Manitou” is available for streaming on various platforms, including Amazon Prime and Shudder.

12. What are some other notable films by director William Girdler?
William Girdler is also known for directing films like “Grizzly” (1976) and “Day of the Animals” (1977), both of which are also within the horror genre.

13. Can “The Manitou” be considered a horror classic?
While opinions may vary, “The Manitou” has gained a cult following and is often regarded as a cult classic within the horror genre.


“The Manitou” (1978) is a supernatural horror film that has become a cult classic over the years. With its unique blend of Native American folklore, ancient rituals, and supernatural occurrences, the movie offers an eerie and thrilling cinematic experience. Despite mixed reviews upon release, “The Manitou” is cherished by fans for its campy charm and bizarre plot. If you’re a fan of supernatural horror, this film is definitely worth a watch.

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