MANHATTAN BABY – Movie Review

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MANHATTAN BABY

  • RELEASE DATE: Now Available on Blu-ray/DVD/CD (Click Here to Purchase a Copy)
  • WRITTEN BY: Elisa Briganti, Dardano Sacchetti
  • DIRECTED BY: Lucio Fulci
  • STARRING: Christopher Connelly, Laura Lenzi, Brigitta Boccoli

-Reviewed by Daniel XIII

When  MANHATTAN BABY came a wingin’ across my doorstep; I was happier than Dicky put out to stud because this was a freaky Fulci flick I’d never laid my eerie eyeballs upon. Let’s see if this one stands head and shoulders with lascivious Lucio’s other ghoulish masterpieces like THE BEYOND or HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY!

In ol’ Egypt land, archeologist George Hacker explores an ancient tomb and releases an evil spirit (during which the Prof. is blasted right in the putrid peepers by some baby blue pew pew lazers). Flash forward to The Big Apple where George’s daughter Susie is starting to have strange premonitions; not to mention the ability to travel through mysterious portals that appear in the family’s swanky Manhattan digs. Before long Susie’s little brother Tommy (played by Giovanni mother fuckin’ Bob Frezza) gets in on the act and everything is fun and games…but before you can say “Captain Howdy”, young Susie is possessed by that angry Egyptian spirit and an expert has to be called in to deal with the situation. Before all is said and done a few more lazers fly around, Polaroids are taken, snakes slither around (a real pain in the asp for our heroes!), and a quirky jack-ass that thinks he’s funny finds himself stranded in the desert sands where he immediately dies of starvation or exposure…or…or something.

Loaded with evil curses, cool set-pieces, and that indescribable appeal that a ton of Italian horror from the early 80’s displayed (no matter how gory and outlandish things become); MANHATTAN BABY is a real winner of a fright flick. While it definitely lacks a lot of the hard core gore of most of Fulci’s horror biz (minus a stand out scene where stuffed birds go shithouse on a poor soul); it does contain many of his trademarks such as dreamy, hazy photography, copious ocular close-ups, and a great sense of impending doom.

In the negative column is only one thing; what appears to be actual on-screen animal death. There’s a scene where a snake buys the farm courtesy of a gunshot and it looked for the entire world to not be simulated. I truly hate that aspect of Italian cinema.

Now as stellar as I found MANHATTAN BABY (minus that damn snake); the extras those fine fiends at Blue Underground have included on this release are nothin’ to sneeze at either! Kicking things off is the transfer utilized on this Blu-ray; which has been newly transferred and fully restored in 2K from the original camera negative and looks absolutely gorgeous. Included along with the Blu are a DVD version of the release, and a separate CD containing the film’s soundtrack. Beyond all that goodness ya also get: interviews with composer Fabio Frizzi (nearly an hour long!), actor Cosimo Cinieri, make-up effects artist Maurizio Trani, co-writer Dardano Sacchetti, and Fulci expert/ author Stephen Thrower. Rounding out the package are a live performance of Manhattan Baby Suite by Frizzi, the film’s theatrical trailer, a poster and still gallery, and a collectible booklet. At the rate their going I half expected someone from Blue Underground to show up at my tomb and pour me a cold one and give me a foot massage as the film played!

Filled with a surreal horror comic vibe by way of THE EXORCIST; MANHATTAN BABY is a must have for lovers of spaghetti splatter and off-kilter cinema…and this is certainly the edition to possess (ha ha; get it? I’m awesome)!

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