It’s
the holidays and we’re feeling it even here in the Sewer. This year
we’re taking stock of the many gifts we’ve gotten from the movies over
the years and celebrating them in the form of a Christmas carol. In our
own special way.

While
the traditional 12 Days of Christmas counts up from one, we think it’s
more fun to count down between now and the big day (and yeah, we built
in some slack for ourselves). So sit back and get ready for some great
moments from some great CHUD favorites, and some possible holiday gift
ideas while we’re at it.

On the first day til Christmas my true CHUD sent to me…

One virgin neckbirth

It feels like the kind of film you watch when you have the flu. It’s a bit of a fever dream. It’s about an Indian who grows out of a woman’s neck.

- Edgar Wright

He’s talking about the landmark 1978 film The Manitou, one of the strangest movies ever made. And the final entry on our 12 Days of CHUDmas list.

Susan Strasberg is a woman with a lump on her neck and, as sometimes happens, discovers that it contains the evil fetus of a reborn Indian medicine man. Tony Curtis is a phony psychic who gets involved, and Syrian Michael Ansara plays the good guy medicine man who helps fight the beast. As if the set up wasn’t weird enough – it includes Curtis in a wizard’s robe and fake mustache:



and an old women possessed by an evil spirit:



who not only falls down a flight of stair to her death but falls THROUGH the railing on her way down:



the movie only gets stranger once the titular Manitou is born. The lump has moved down Strasberg’s back, and he begins popping out of it:







until he is finally free!




And it turns out that The Manitou (who is named Misquimakis) is actually a tinier, wetter Danzig:




I won’t spoil the rest of the movie’s hallucinogenic strangeness, but check out these two caps of what comes next:





It’s amazing.

The Manitou is available from Anchor Bay in a decidedly low key release. Nick Nunziata should have been called in to record a commentary track, at the very least. But even without any bells and whistles, you can own Tony Curtis’ second best performance after Spartacus by ordering it here.

There can be no greater Christmas gift.