Experienced the last twenty-three days of the '80s. Saw John Carpenter's The Thing at an impressionable age. That's about it.
The Manitou is a monolithically ridiculous proto-body horror, replete with some noble but utterly bizarre ruminations on white guilt. However, its steadfast determination to deliver a cavalcade of sheer, cerebrum-obliterating lunacy - particularly in its final stretch - make it impossible to ever dismiss. I mean, the final showdown sees Tony Curtis and his witch doctor companion (Michael Ansara) battle an ancient Native American demon for the soul of Susan Strasberg, who floats topless on a hospital bed between them…
There's nothing super-special about this late-to-the-party cash-in of urban body snatcher fare like The Hidden and The Borrower; the alien may be pyrokinetic this time, but the plot is essentially identical. Monolith, however, simply gets by purely on charm alone - namely that specific early-1990s straight-to-video kind of charm and the fact that it stars a majestically mulleted Bill Paxton.
Don't get me wrong, there is fucking tonnes that is awful about this thing: in the pantheon of buddy cop…
Still one of the most utterly indefinable, compellingly frustrating and infinitely intriguing films I've ever seen. And even as someone who is completely detached from religion, I find that The Ninth Configuration has much more to say about theological grappling than all 161 minutes of Scorsese's Silence.
Plus it includes a character who is adapting Shakespeare plays for dogs ("It's a labour of love, but damn it, someone has to do it!").
R.I.P. William Peter Blatty.