Rev. Warlock DRACONIS BLACKTHORNE (dblackthorne) wrote,

The Manitou

The Manitou
{XII A.S. Directed by William Girdler. Written by Jon Cider, William Girdler. Starring Tony Curtis, Michael Ansara, Susan Strasberg, Burgess Meredith, Felix Silla. Genre: Horror}

"Manitou: a supernatural being that controls nature; a spirit, deity, or object that possesses supernatural power." - American Heritage Dictionary.

When a fetus grows on the back of his girlfriend's neck, it is up to Harry Erskine, a psychic scheisster, to find help for her. Seems he began to meddle in certain occult practices that he could not handle, and so his problems surmount, amusingly displayed when an elderly client is possessed and floats out the door and tumbles down the stairs. Despite all attempts to help her condition using "white man's medicine", he realizes he must consult alternative methods including a seance where an "evil spirit" manifests as a black head rising from the table.

While researching, he finds the name of professor Dr. Snow {Burgess Meredith} who recommends he fight fire with fire, leading him to a reservation where he meets reticent Medicine Man John Singing Rock, who takes on the challenge for a generous donation to the Native American education fund and some tobacco. When he discovers the fetus is the reincarnation of a legendary powerful shaman named Misquamacus {played by Felix "Cousin Itt" Silla and Joe Gieb}, his reticence grows but nonetheless decides to attempt a fight, despite a warning by Misquamacus to not help the palefaces. Every effort is met with defeat as Misquamacus summons everything from a lizard demon, the zombified body of a dead orderly, to the elements themselves, transforming the floor level into a veritable cave. Unfortunately, Misquamacus is deformed and diminuative due to profuse X-radiation while attempting to decipher the mysterious growth.

When John Singing Rock explains that all things have a manitou, even seemingly inanimate objects, and when all else fails, Harry conceives of an idea to use the manitous of all the hospital's computers, hoping to amass their combined energy to combat Misquamacus, who at that point has summoned forth "The Devourer", a supposed equivalent to The Devil, which leads to a surprisingly impressive phantasmagoric ending.

With subtle shades of Koyaanisqatsi, the plot seems to convey a message of the progression of technology at odds with the natural world, although in the end, a cooperative balance can be found.

"Mighty be the powers of the old medicine man
Whispers of his rain dance flow across the desert sands
Guardian of the elder spirit summoning the storm
Awaiting his arrival, Manitou of flesh is born..."

~ 'Manitou' by Venom; At War With Satan.

Pana - Witchi - Salatu

Tags: spechtreum

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