Manhattan Baby (1982) Blue Underground Blu-ray Review



Plenty of gore and Fulci fans will enjoy it; the Blu-ray has some good special features too.

Plot: An archaeologist opens an Egyptian tomb and accidentally releases an evil spirit. His young daughter becomes possessed by the freed entity, and upon arrival back in New York, the gory murders begin.

Review: On a trip to Egypt, a family takes a detour to the pyramids to allow the patriarch (an archeologist) George (Christopher Connelly) an opportunity to do what he does best: open up tombs and explore. Somehow, he unleashes an evil spirit, but at the same time his young daughter Susie (Brigitta Boccoli) receives an amulet from a creepy old blind gypsy in the marketplace, which is connected to the evil spirit. Cut to when the family is back home in Manhattan, and strange things start happening to the family. Poisonous snakes show up in the living room, as well as a deadly scorpion (thanks, dad, for bringing that sucker home from Egypt!) and killer birds with razor sharp talons. Add to the fact that George has been blinded since opening up that cursed tomb, and you’ve got a horrible combination of bad things that can and will happen to this family that has been marked to usher in an age of chaos and evil upon the world.

From gore maestro Lucio Fulci (Zombie, The House by the Cemetery), Manhattan Baby is one of his incidental works, but it still gleams like a bloody sword blade and has his signature ultra gory scenes, including a memorable death by bird talons showstopper, and other moments where eyes are gouged out or blinded. It’s not as memorable as some of Fulci’s masterpieces, but it’s certainly in line with Italy’s heyday of bizarre horror films, and fans of Fulci will find plenty here to enjoy. It co-stars that angelic kid from The House by the Cemetery Giovanni Frezza as the little’s girl’s brother, and the score by Fabio Frizzi is solid.

Blue Underground is about to release a three-disc Blu-ray / DVD combo set of Manhattan Baby, which also includes the 34-minute soundtrack CD of the film. The new HD (restored in 2K) transfer is sharp and filmic, a much improved transfer from the previous DVD release, and the special features are plentiful. The features include “Fulci & I,” a new interview with Fabio Frizzi, and “25 Years with Fulci,” which is a segment of interviews with cast and crew members who’ve worked with Fulci throughout the years. There are tons of other special features included in this excellent collection. It might be more than anyone could ask for when it comes to this film, but that’s what makes purchasing and adding to your film collection is all about, right?