Manhattan Baby (1982)

Italy, 1982
85m
35mm film, Techniscope, Telecolor, 2.35:1
mono, Italian

An Italian horror film directed by Lucio Fulci.

Plot Summary

A group of discover an Egyptian tomb and accidentally release the evil spirit that dwells inside. The spirit possesses the young daughter of one of the team and goes on a murderous rampage.

Credits

* = uncredited

Crew
Directed by: Lucio Fulci
© 1982 Fulvia Film srl
A film produced by Fabrizio De Angelis
Production Manager: Palmira de Negri
Story and Screenplay: Elisa Livia Briganti, Dardano Sacchetti
Assistant Director: Roberto Giandalia
Continuity: Rita Agostini
Director of Photography: Guglielmo Mancori
Cameraman: Franco Bruni
Assistant Cameramen: Aldo Marchiori, Adriano Mancori
Chief Electrician: Franco Brescini
Key Grip: Ennio Brizzolari
Stills: Franco Bellomo
Film Editor: Vincenzo Tomassi
Assistant Editors: Pietro Tomassi, Rita Antonelli
Color by: Telecolor Spa – Rome
Negatives: Eastmancolor
Lab Processing: Telecolor Spa – Rome
Photo Lab: Antonio Benetti
Music Composed and Directed by: Fabio Frizzi
Music Copyright: DEAF Edizioni musicali srl – Rome
Sound Recordist: Eros Giustini
Boom Operator: Guglielmo Smeraldi
Sound Studios: N.C. – Rome
Mixage [sic]: Bruno Moreal
Costumes: Massimo Lentini
Wardrobe: Maria Spigarelli
Costumes: GP11
Make-up: Maurizio Trani
Assistant Make-up: Antonio Maltempo
Hairstylist: Luciano Vito
Wigs: Rocchetti/Carboni
Special Optical Effects: Studio 4
Production Design: Massimo Lentini
Assistant Designer: Mariangela Capuano
Property Master: Rodolfo Ruzza
Set Construction: Fabio Traversari, Roberto Pace
Set Furnishings: GRP-L'immaginoteca-E. Rancati
Set Dressings: D'Angelo
Production Secretary: Luca Santolini
Administration: Otello Tomassini
Locations: Cairo, Egypt *; Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA *
Interiors Filmed at: De Paolis Studios – Rome
Unit Manager: Paolo Gargano

Cast
Christopher Connelly [Professor George Hacker]
Martha Taylor [Emily Hacker]
Brigitta Boccoli [Susie Hacker]
Giovanni Frezza [Tommy Hacker]
Cinzia de Ponti [Jamie Lee]
Laurence Welles [real name: Cosimo Cinieri]
Andrea Bosic [optician]
Carlo De Mejo [Luke]
Enzo Marino Bellanich|Vincenzo Bellanich [Wiler]
Mario Moretti [Tennant]
Lucio Fulci [Dr Forrester]
Antonio Pulci [real name: Tonino Pulci] [orderly]

Alternative Titles

Amulett des Bösen – West Germany
Evil Eye
Eye of the Evil Dead
La Malédiction du pharaon – France (video)
Il malocchio
Paha silmä – Finland
The Possessed

Extracts included in
Beyond the Living Dead (2001)

Press

1985
City Limits no.187 (3 May 1985) p.23
The plot is nebulous at best, but the enterprise has a sort of hypnotic fascination that arises from its immense facial close-ups, and insistence on the overpowering weirdness of the irrational world that occasionally impinges on reality. There is a touch of Ray Bradbury in Fulci's treatment of the children who understand magic better than their parents, and, if the film as a whole isn't up to the giants of the genre, it at least proves that there is more to Fulci than gouged eyeballs and gobbled entrails. – from a review by Kim Newman

1986
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.53 no.626 (March 1986) p.92-93
The Possessed has the distinction of being Fulci's smallest, most personal genre film. […] It is […] woodenly scripted, stiffly acted, funereally paced, and impossible to follow on any narrative level (Fulci has a brief cameo as a doctor who sums up the story by muttering, “It's incomprehensible”). Under its various titles (it is called Eye of the Evil Dead in America), it is, however, consistently fascinating. […] By witholding [sic] the violence until the face-shredding finale in which Adrian Marcato (remember the Antichrist in Rosemary's Baby?) is killed by his stuffed birds, Fulci manages to sustain the tone of leisurely mystification. The Possessed absolves itself from having to make sense: the rough circularity of the story, the insistence on mosaic images rather than smooth plotting, and the impossibility of attributing noble or heroic motives to the character of Marcato, finally serve to remind us that is also the irrational. – from a review by Kim Newman

Variety 2 July 1986 p.14
Manhattan Baby is an incoherent Italian horror film, shot on N.Y. and Egyptian locations (with studio work back in Rome) in 1982. Fulci is hampered here with a rotten screenplay which cribs interesting elements from other films but fails to resolve them. An early in-joke has Suzy's younger brother asking her if Egyptian mummies are as scary as zombies, referring to Fulci's earlier zombie epics. Except for the butcher-shop makup [sic] effects climax, Baby is free of the director's usual . – from a review by Lor

References

Periodicals

  • City Limits no.187 (3 May 1985) p.23 – review (by Kim Newman)
  • Fangoria no.204 (July 2001) p.60 – DVD review (DVD Dungeon by Michael Gingold)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.53 no.626 (March 1986) p.92-93 – video review (by Kim Newman)
  • Spaghetti Cinema no.13 (June 1986) p.19-20 – review (Video Visions 4 by Craig Ledbetter)
  • Variety 2 July 1986 p.14 – credits, review (by Lor)

Books

  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.400, 401
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.310
  • Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1980-1989 by Roberto Curti pp.101-105
  • Italian Horror 1979-1994 by Jim Harper pp.136-138 – illustrated credits, review