Manhattan Baby – Italy, 1982 – reviews

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‘A soul engulfed by evil!’

Manhattan Baby is a 1982 Italian supernatural horror feature film directed by Lucio Fulci from a screenplay by Elisa Briganti and Dardano Sacchetti. The film’s original Italian title is L’occhio del male [“The Evil Eye”]It was retitled Possessed in the UK and Eye of the Evil Dead in the USA. The soundtrack score was provided by composer Fabio Frizzi.

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On October 25, 2016 the film is being reissued by Blue Underground on a 2K Blu-ray disc mastered from the original negative, with a DVD version and CD soundtrack. Special features include:

  • Fulci & I – Career-spanning interview with composer Fabio Frizzi
  • For the Birds – Interview with star Cosimo Cinieri
  • 25 Years with Fulci – Interview with make-up effects artist Maurizio Trani
  • Beyond the Living Dead – Interview with co-writer Dardano Sacchetti
  • Stephen Thrower on Manhattan Baby – Interview with the author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci
  • “Manhattan Baby Suite” – Live studio performance by Fabio Frizzi
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Poster & still gallery
  • Collectable booklet featuring new writing by author Troy Howarth

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On holiday in Egypt with George and Emily Hacker (Christopher Connelly and Martha Taylor), her archaeologist father and journalist mother, ten year-old Susie Hacker (Brigitta Boccoli) is approached by a mysterious blind woman who gives her an amulet. Soon after, George is struck blind when he enters a previously unexplored tomb.

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Upon their return in New York, George is informed that the loss of his eyesight will only be temporary. Susie begins to act strangely, and her younger brother Tommy (Giovanni Frezza), who stayed behind in New York with the family’s au pair Jamie Lee (Cinzia de Ponti), is also affected by the mysterious amulet. Both Susie and Tommy have gained supernatural access to dimensional doorways…

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Reviews:

” … 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 the supernatural is also irrational.” Kim Newman, Monthly Film Bulletin

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“Fulci is hampered here with a rotten screenplay which cribs interesting elements from other films but fails to resolve them.” Variety

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“There is an exceptional amount of camera shots centered on the eyes; sometimes starting zoomed in on them, sometimes, for dramatic effect, starting backed away and then zoomed in. The latter if these two is always accompanied with the same synthesizer effect. There are some fantastic 80s gore shots that really make the film worth watching, my favorite being the one I mentioned above with the vultures eating Fulci’s face.” Bruce Kooken, HorrorNews.net

 

“There is only one major gore sequence in Manhattan Baby, and it doesn’t come until the climax. And even that sequence (wherein a main character is attacked by re-animated stuffed birds) pales in comparison to the carnage in the director’s early work. Making matters even worse is the fact that you can see the strings on the birds in many of the shots.” Mike Bracken, IGN

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“… Manhattan Baby survives as film that Fulci fans may find themselves revisiting long after their taste for gore has been sated.” Stephen Thrower, Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci

Buy Beyond TerrorAmazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca

Review of the Blu-ray:

“Blue Underground present all-new David Gregory-produced extras (including an almost 60-minute documentary on Frizzi) with minimal features ported over from the previous DVD release and a new booklet penned by author Troy Howarth. Best of all, they have included a CD of all the key cues and themes from the film … The 1080p digital transfer looks great, with colors that pop, but there’s some blobs and shadows in the peripherals of the frame from time to time. Still, none of this detracts from the lovely widescreen imagery and general somber mood.” Chris Alexander, ComingSoon.net

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Cast and characters:

  • Christopher Connelly … Professor George Hacker
  • Laura Lenzi … Emily Hacker (credited as Martha Taylor)
  • Giovanni Frezza … Tommy Hacker
  • Brigitta Boccoli … Susie Hacker
  • Cinzia De Ponti … Jamie Lee
  • Cosimo Cinieri … Adrian Mercato (credited as Laurence Welles)
  • Andrea Bosic … Optician
  • Carlo De Mejo … Luke

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2 Comments on “Manhattan Baby – Italy, 1982 – reviews”

  1. Fulci, like Argento, are masters if their art…..The Art of Fear!👹👹👹👹👹😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

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