Manhattan Baby (1982)


When an archaeologist, Dr. George Hacker (Christopher Connelly) opens a tomb in Egypt, he unleashes an evil spirit which latches onto his young daughter. Upon the family’s arrival in New York, a series of grisly murders and strange occurrences begin to take place. 

An amulet which is give to the young girl may hold the secret to the identity of the spirit and how the family can free themselves from its clutches. This is certainly a strange movie, and it looks very dated. The effects are certainly ropey in places, which I believe was down to the production company not getting all of the budget they requested. 


Lucio Fulci had a good few movies out during the 80’s and a lot of them are cult classics like The Beyond, The New York Ripper and Zombie Flesh Eaters to name but a few. Sadly this is not up there with his greatest hits. That’s not to say it isn’t entertaining, because it is, but it’s just not as memorable. It’s nice to see Lucio Fulci use proper locations to tell the story, rather than wooden sets, and the cast give 100% in every scene.   

There is some decent gore on offer, one place where Fulci has always delivered in my humble opinion. I did notice that it stars that annoying blonde kid from Fulci’s other great horror ‘The House by the Cemetery’, and he has an encounter with some scorpions which was hilarious to watch. There is a lot to like about these Italian horrors though. I love the dodgy dubbing over each actors original voice, and the hammy acting on display always makes things fun to watch. The effects are fun too, like the dodgy stuffed birds dangling on wires. 


Manhattan Baby is certainly worth a watch for fans of Lucio Fulci’s work, but it’s sure to divide those that love his other movies. Manhattan Baby is available now on DVD from the fine folks over at Shameless Screen Entertainment:

http://www.shameless-films.com/shop/Manhattan-Baby.html

3/5

JM

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Formula for a Murder (1985)

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Joanna (Christina Nagy) is a wealthy philanthropist who was confined to a wheelchair after suffering an attack at the hands of a psychotic person dressed as a priest when she was a girl. She spends most of her time at her centre for paraplegics which she owns. She meets a handsome trainer at the centre called Craig (David Warbeck) and they enter into a whirlwind romance, where Craig proposes.

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Craig however has other plans, which is actually touched on very early on in the movie. His intention is to scare Joanna to death so that he can get his hand on her money, and he is prepared to gruesomely dispatch anyone that should get in his way. Though Craig’s motive is revealed quite early on, there is still plenty of suspense and some fantastically bloodthirsty deaths. For some strange reason David Warbeck’s voice has been dubbed over by some random American actor, which is sad as I really like David’s voice. However it does nothing to really dampen the film, which is right up there with some of the other well known giallo’s.

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The camera work is done really well, with some great POV shots. I love that it uses some of the music from The New York Ripper, and has usual giallo nods like the killer wearing black leather gloves. It’s also refreshing to see David Warbeck play the villain, and he does so with oozes of charisma. I must say Shameless Films have done a wonderful job in terms of restoration on what was long feared to be a lost movie.

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There supporting roles are filled quite admirably, but this film really belongs to David Warbeck and Christina Nagy, who really get into their roles and deliver some fantastic performances. This copy of Formula for a Murder was provided by the wonderfully generous folks over at http://www.shameless-films.com. The movie is now available to buy and you can do so directly from the Shameless Films website. Its’ well worth getting a copy which also comes with your very own yellow mac, should you decide to go on a murderous spree of your own….I jest of course.

4/5

JM

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