Il Malocchio / Evil Eye / Evil Eye of the Dead / The Possessed
Fabrizio de Angelis for Fulvia Film
directed by Lucio Fulci
starring Christopher Connelly, Martha Taylor, Brigitta Boccoli, Giovanni Frezza, Cinzia de Ponti, Cosimo Cinieri (as Laurence Welles), Andrea Bosic, Carlo De Mejo, Enzo Marino Bellanich, Mario Moretti, Lucio Fulci, Tonino Pulci, Martin Sorrentino, Laura Lenzi
written by Dardano Sacchetti, Elisa Briganti, music by Fabio Frizzi
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When in Egypt with her egyptologist dad George (Christopher Connelly)
and her reporter mum Emely (Marthy Taylor), an old woman hands 9 year-old
Suzy (Brigitta Boccoli) an amulet, which seems to contain something like
pure evil or stuff.
Back in Manhattan, the amulet soon starts zapping away people,
including Suzy's au pair (Cinzia de Ponti), and Suzy seems to start to use
astral projections to kill people who are after her secret, but eventually
she also grows incredibly weak and needs medical care - but the doctors
don't know what to make of it, especially when an x-ray shows a snake
inside her body. Good thing that George and Emily somehow get in touch
with an antiquedealer (Cosimo Cinieri) who's also a parapsychologist or
something, and who in the end absorbs the evil that possesses her into
himself. Then he is eaten up by the stuffed birds in his shop that
actually come to life. George though throws the evil amulet into the river
... but soon enough, back in Egypt, the amulet is handed to another 9
year-old girl ...
Compared to most other Lucio Fulci-films of its time, Manhattan Baby
boasts amazing production values: Extensive outside shooting was done in
both Egypt and Manhattan (and not just for location shots but with actors
and everything), all the sets look convincing and in fact quite polished,
the special effects are pretty good, and the camerawork glossy, to say the
least. Unfortunately this is where the good news ends, because the script
of Manhattan Baby, a clumsy Exorcist rip-off, is a total
desaster. As a whole the film just fails to make sense, and consequently
the suspense scenes uniformly fail to work. On top of that, the soundtrack
by Fabio Frizzi (maybe the worst soundtrack that ever graced a Lucio Fulci
film) destroys every attempt at creating a proper atmosphere and the film
by and large lacks shock and gore scenes one has come to expect from Lucio
Fulci in the early 1980's, and the film just doesn't seem to go anywhere
at all ... which is really a pity, because the film looks much
better than any other of Fulci's films.