Manhattan Baby ★★★★

Not as favorably talked about as his previous run of classic intestine spewing goopy flesh chunked offerings, but don't get the wrong idea that this is some shithouse malaise offering from Fulci... it may not have the bark as something like The Beyond or City of the Living Dead but it it definitely has bite. It’s pretty bonkers with plenty of overflowing surreal Fulci shenanigans and (after numerous revisits) feels like his logical next step in bizarro spookhouse world... bringing it to the city!

Manhattan Baby starts in Fulci’s death trap Egypt where an archaeologist decides to defile a tomb with just his mere presence, getting struck with temporary blindness by crazy blue light beams while ‘you were warned not to enter!’ shit goes down: killer snakes flying out of the wall, deadly scorpions, plus someone falls into a pit and gets mangled by death spikes—that's before we even get to Manhattan! It’s a strong opening and once we get to the big city there’s even more great setpieces—transportation portals in an nyc apartment, snake POV murder cam, eye trauma (naturally), WORLD FAMOUS ‘BOB’ KID SAYS ‘PUNISH ME’ SEVERAL TIMES, demon jewelry, crazy blue beams, polaroids of death, more obsessive eye trauma, hoses up noses, and a total bonkers dingwhopper of a death by bird pecking scene!

There’s some wonky pacing at times and the narrative is a bit hazy, but the whole movie is hazy... that’s the nightmare logic point. I used to be a lot harsher on this but like a lot of Fulci films a rewatch usually proves to be the game changer for me. I went in pretending it was an unofficial sequel to the gates of hell trilogy and I ended up bumping it up a half star! MB even uses music from all films in the GOH trilogy, totally adding to that vibe. And if I’m being honest (stick with me here) I think the gates of hell trilogy was just bob’s (named tommy in this lol) nightmare and this movie is what happened after he woke up.

This won’t be for everyone, even if your a Fulci fan, hell even I was so so on this movie for a while, but there’s just something about that gates of Hell vibe that always kept me coming back... and in my eyes, it’s a total gem that gets better every time I watch it. The newer blue underground disc looks great as well, especially some wide shots in the intro and dope af camera work throughout. Might be my favorite haunted house fulci movie... but the entire world is the haunted house. Fulci Lives!

Ian West liked these reviews