The Manitou (1977)

USA, Canada,
35mm film, “filmed in Panavision” (anamorphic), colour, 2.35:1
“recorded in Dolby system”, English

An American/Canadian horror film directed by William Girdler.

Plot Summary

Karen Tandy finds a strange tumour growing on her back which turns out to be the foetus of an ancient Indian spirit, The Manitou. A witch doctor is brought in to help and has to face the Manitou when it finally bursts from the tumour and enters the real world.


Directed by: William Girdler
© MCMLXXVII [1977] by Manitou Productions Ltd
An Avco Embassy film. Herman Weist and Melvin Simon present a film by William Girdler
Executive Producers: Melvin G. Gordy, Melvin Simon *, Herman Weist *
Produced by: William Girdler
Associate Producers: Gilles A. De Turenne, Jon Cedar
Screenplay by: William Girdler and Jon Cedar & Thomas Pope
Based on the novel The Manitou by Graham Masterton, a Pinnacle book
Director of Photography: Michel Hugo
Supervising Editor: Gene Ruggiero
Edited by: Bub Asman
Music by: Lalo Schifrin
Sound Mixer: Glenn Anderson
Costumers: Michael Freth, Agnes Lyon
Make-up Supervision: Joe McKinney
Make-up Artists: Graham Meech-Burkestone, Tom Burman, Tom Hoerber, Joe McKinney
Hair Stylist: Donna Turner
Special Effects Make-up Created by: Tom Burman
Mechanical Special Effects Design and Execution: Gene Grigg, Tim Smythe
Photographic Optical Effects Supervision: Dale Tate, Frank Van der Veer
Front-Screen Design and Supervision: William Hansard
Optical Effects Executed by: CFI Optical Department, Van Der Veer Photo Effects
Production Designers: Walter Scott Herndon

Tony 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)
Burgess Meredith (Dr Snow)
Paul Mantee (Dr McEvoy)
Jeanette Nolan (Mrs Winconis)
Lurene Tuttle (Mrs Herz)
Hugh Corcoran (MacArthur)
Ann Newman-Mantee (10th floor nurse)
Beverly Kushida (16th floor nurse)
Joe Gieb (Misquamacus)
Jan Heininger (Wolf)
Felix Silla (Misquamacus)
Michael Laren (Michael)
Charles Kissinger (anesthesiologist)
Cindy Stanford (neighbor)
Loren Elaine (operating room nurse)

Alternative Titles

Le faiseur d'épouvantes – France
Geburt des Dämon – Germany
Indianernas djävulsrit – Sweden
Der Manitou – Germany
Manitù, lo spirito del male – Italy
Paholaisloitsu Manitou – Finland
Retorno desde la quinta dimensión – Spain
Super Zombie: Die Geburt des Grauens – Germany

Extracts included in
Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-rama Show Southern Style Vol.2 (1995)



  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.323
  • Film Review 1979-80 by F. Maurice Speed p.150
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis pp.246-247
  • Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir pp.564-868 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The World of Fantasy Films by Richard Myers p.33