The Manitou

Synopsis: Karen Tandy enters a San Franisco hospital suffering from a tumor growing in her neck. Her surprised doctors think it's a living creature, a fetus being born inside the tumor. Fortune-teller Harry Erskine dismisses it -- until one of his customers begins speaking in tongues and fatally throws herself down a flight of stairs, and Karen's surgeon attempts to cut off his own hand rather than excise her tumor. Erskine finally seeks help from another fortune teller, Amelia Crusoe, and her husband, to try to learn the cause of these supernatural events. When Karen's tumor gets larger, Dr. Snow speculates that within her tumor lives vengeful 400-year-old Indian spirit. Erskine travels to South Dakota to enlist the aid of Indian medicine man John Singing Rock to force the evil spirit out of Karen and back where it came. The Indian spirit is driven from Karen's tumor, but will it take over others before Singing Rock can send him back?
Genre: Horror
Director(s): William Girdler
Production: AVCO Embassy Pictures
  2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
104 min

[man] Patient is a female Caucasian,

28 years of age,

no previous record of tumorous growth,

either benign or malignant.

[man #2] Rate of maturation?

[man #1] 7.3 millimeters per hour.

[man #2] Per hour?

[man #1] Mm-hmm.

Calcinous growth, ligamental development,

tissue genesis, seminal palpation.

What's your diagnosis?

I can give you 3 dozen reasons why

it's impossible, why it can't happen.

I'm supposed to be the expert,

and I can do better than that.

Where's your patient?

Karen, this is Dr. Hughes.

I've asked him to help us.

It's nice to meet you.

Would you lean forward a bit, please?

Let me take a look at that.

- Yeah.

How long have you had this?

About, uh... 3 days.

You sure?

- Mm-hmm.

Uh, today is Friday, isn't it?

And I first felt it when I woke

up on Tuesday morning.

Any pain?

- No, no pain, but...

No, no pain.

What were you going to say?

Well, it... it...

kind of moves sometimes.

It... It almost shifts,

as if, uh...

Well, it's as if someone were trying to

turn over and get comfortable in bed.

How often does that happen?

- Maybe 4 or 5 times a day.

Is it something important?

I don't think it's anything serious,

Miss Tandy,

but we want to be sure, of course, you understand.

Dr. McEvoy, could I see you for a minute, please?

- Sure.

Karen, you're gonna have to

excuse his abruptness...

Now, he's a specialist.

I'll be right back.

Carol, would you see how soon

Dr. Snaith could have space

available for surgery?

Yes, tumor. Malignant.

No, that's it. Thank you.

"Malignant"? How do you know?

I don't, but until I do...

I wish I knew what the hell

we were dealing with here.

You know, I've been through

every tumor book I can find...

Bob, I wrote the books, and I

don't know what the hell it is.

Well, until we do, I'd just assume

this thing stayed with us, Jack.


- "Why"?

You remember old Doc Michaels?

You remember the rule he laid

down to us when we were interning?

"Be a thief, be a lawyer,

"even if you must, be a doctor,

but whatever you do,

[together] don't be an administrator."

Right, well, I worried if this

thing gets out before we can

explain it, the press and the

television people...

It's really crazy.

[exhales] Yeah, it's crazy.

But you've got to admit it looks a

hell of a lot like what's in those X-rays.

It just isn't possible.

That's right.

It isn't possible.

[man] The cards, my dear,

are harbingers of the future.

They can tell you what you want to know

the good and the bad.

Monday, I see an accident.

Nothing serious. Just an accident.

Some heavy object will probably

fall upon your foot.




- [woman] That's my bridge day.

[man] someone will cheat you.

[woman] No!

- mmm

[man] Wednesday

seems rather intriguing.

I, uh... I see or hear... a...

rather peculiar phone call,

probably obscene.

[woman] Oh, heavens.

- mmm

That's rather interesting.

Thursday, gas, indigestion.

Probably something that you're going to eat.

- Oh, no!

Well, all in all, not a good week,

but you must remember, Mrs. Winconis,

that in trial, there is patience;

in tears, resolution;

in heartache, wisdom;

and in joy...


Oh, yeah


- Mr. Erskine, I want you to know

you're worth every penny.

Oh, you're too kind, too kind.

Mrs. Winconis...

Ah... shall we take a moment?


When you're good to the spirits, you know,

the spirits are always good to you.

There! Reality.

Your coat, my dear.

- oh!

There you are.

Thank you, Mr. Erskine. - My pleasure.

I just don't know how to tell you

how much I appreciate you.

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William Girdler

William Girdler (October 22, 1947 – January 21, 1978) was an American filmmaker. In a span of six years, from 1972 to 1978, he directed nine feature films in such genres as horror and action. Girdler also wrote and produced three of his features, Abby, Sheba, Baby and The Manitou. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Manitou" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 24 Sep. 2021. <>.

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