Saturday, January 7, 2017

Manhattan Baby

Director - Lucio Fulci (The Beyond, The Black Cat)
Starring - Christopher Connelly (Night of the Sharks, 1990: The Bronx Warriors), Laura Lenzi (The Adventures of Hercules II, A Year of School), and Brigitta Boccoli (Grand Hotel Chiambretti, Ole)
Release Date - 1982
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "It's looking at you...from hell!"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     Very few director's names resonate like Lucio Fulci.  His career is legendary.  Fulci is known as the pioneer, along with Dario Argento, of Italian horror in the late 70s that would run throughout the 80s.  His films are often trademarked by their score, close ups of the cast, and the gore.  The last of which earned him the nickname The Godfather of Gore.  I had seen several of Fulci's films over the years from Zombi, The Beyond, and City of the Living Dead to owning others that I have yet to watch including Conquest and New Barbarians.  Sometime ago Blue Underground announced that they would be releasing Manhattan Baby on blu.  This was one that I had yet to see so I reached out to them and they were kind enough to hook me up with a review copy.  Thanks guys.
     The film follows an archaeologist, his wife, and his daughter as they visit a dig site in Egypt. The archaeologist visits the tombs under the dig site while his wife does some sightseeing leaving the daughter unattended where she is approached by a stranger and given an amulet.  The archaeologist is then struck blind by an ancient symbol and the three are forced to go back to New York City to seek treatment.  They quickly discover that there was something evil in that tomb and it followed them to New York.  They must partner with an antiques dealer in order to rid the evil from their family before a catastrophe strikes the city.
     I have yet to see a Fulci film I didn't love.  Some are better than others but I have yet to come across one that I did not fall in love with.  Manhattan Baby is no exception.  The film has everything that I love about Fulci but does skip on the gore that I love so much.  The acting in this one is solid which is typical of a Fulci film.  The cast dedicates themselves to their roles and it shows in each and every scene.  The characters are generic but that is not the cast's fault.  The story for this one is different when compared to Italian horror films of the time.  Italian horror, at the time, was primarily giallo and zombie flicks so seeing an Egyptian curse Italian horror film is a breath of fresh air. I would take this kind of story over the Italian cannibal flicks any day which is going to give the trolls something to raise hell about. It was very different from what was being churned out at the time but it did lack some of the key components.  Finally, the film is not one of the bloodier Fulci films.  In fact, it is rather tame in comparison.  This was a huge let down.  When I think of Fulci I think about peeling eyes, gut munching, and gore.  Manhattan Baby was lacking.  Overall, Manhattan Baby is a solid flick from the Godfather of Gore but is definitely one of his weaker films.  The film has a great cast and an unconventional story but does lack the gore.  Check it out because it is well worth the watch. 

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