Top Ten Facts About "Der Schuh Des Manitu"

“Der Schuh des Manitu” (“The shoe of Manitu”) is a 2001 German comedy movie / parody that has a massive cult following in German language territories and became one of the most classic movies of the 21st century. But most importantly, it’s a hilarious gag parade.

The story involves around the blood brothers Abahachi (a Native American, portrayed by Michael Bully Herbig) and Ranger (a white man, portrayed by Christian Tramitz), who owe money to the Shoshones, and are on top accused of having killed the chief’s son, while it was in fact real estate agent / bandit Santa Maria (Sky du Mont) who shot him and stole the money from the two. While still trying to prove their innocence, Abahachi remembers that he is in possession of a treasure map leading to a precious jewel with whom they want to pay back their debt. The problem is: he only has one quarter of the map as he divided it between his close friends. The other three pieces are in possession of Abahachi’s gay twin brother Winnetouch (also Michael Bully Herbig), Greek restaurant owner Dimitri (Rick Kavanian) and saloon singer Uschi (Maroon Bäumer). Of course, Santa Maria and his bandits also found out about the treasure and now chase our team of heroes.
The Top Ten
1 "Der Schuh des Manitu" is a 2001 German comedy movie directed and written by and starring comedian Michael Bully Herbig.

On the picture:
Michael Bully Herbig in 2016.

Let's start with the obvious.
He co-wrote it together with co-actor Rick Kavanian and screenwriters Alfons Biedermann and Murmel Clausen.

2 The movie is a western parody that takes aim at the movie adaptations of Karl May novels.

Karl May is one of the most popular writers of German fiction, and used synonymously with westerns and adventure literature. His 19th century novels centering around the Native American Winnetou and his white blood brother Old Shatterhand have a huge, massive cult following and their many 1960s movie adaptations (which were European co-productions) are common knowledge to every German and still get aired very frequently. They are responsible for the very positive image Germans have of Native Americans, seeing them as heroic, brave and loyal ("Indianer" is not a negative term as "Red Indian" is in English, it's simply the German word, and not usually used in a discriminating context). While American westerns had them as antagonists, they are the heroes in Germany.

3 The movie had a budget of 4 and a half million euros, and had a gross of 65 million euros.

That's a gross of 70 million US Dollars compared to a 5.4 million dollar budget.

That's... quite a bit more.

On the picture:

Abahachi, stepping on a mouse trap.

4 As of 2017, it is the commercially most successful German movie in Germany.

It blew everything away in 2001 and has since been aired on T.V. countless times.

In the list of movies with the highest grossing films in Germany, it currently ranks at number 9, sandwiched between "The Lion King" and "Avatar".

5 Michael Bully Herbig plays a dual role: the protagonist Abahachi and his gay twin brother Winnetouch.

In the Extra Large version, he also has a third role as their grandfather Grauer Star (a parody of Elvis Presley), but he only appears briefly and is only mentioned for much of the movie.

Often, the two characters appear on the same screen.
It's easy to spot the difference though: the one in a pink Apache custome who talks lile a sissy and walks like Paris Hilton is Winnetouch. But you might have guessed.

By the way, the humor is not mean spirited in any way, the characters may all be kind of stereotypical, but they are likable.

6 Michael Bully Herbig, Christian Tramitz, Rick Kavanian, Sky du Mont, Siegfried Terpoorten and Robinson Reichel all starred again in 2004, in "(T)Raumschiff Surprise - Periode 1", also written and directed by Herbig.

"(T)Raumschiff Surprise" is a 2004 parody of science fiction franchises such as "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" with numerous other little hommages to genre flicks. It is just as funny as "Der Schuh des Manitu", and had twice the budget to recreate Hollywood visual effects.
The story evolves around three members of the crew of the spaceship "Surprise" that need to travel back in time to prevent an intergalactic war. Just that the three guys are... well, have you seen "La Cage aux Folles" (The Birdcage)? That times three and incompetent on top. Again, all are likable characters and the parodies are light hearted and fun.
The movie is currently the second most successful German movie in Germany, after "Der Schuh des Manitu".

Herbig plays Mr. Spuck (a parody of Mr. Spock), Tramitz plays Captain Kork (a parody of Captain Kirk) and Kavanian has a triple role as Schrotti (a parody of Scotty), the antagonist Jens Maul (a silly mix of Darth Vader and Darth Maul) and minor character Pulle (the doctor). Sky du Mont reprises his role of Santa Maria in "Der Schuh des Manitu" when the time machine accidentally sends them back to the Wild West, and so do Terpoorten and Reichel as his henchmen. Du Mont furthermore plays Count William the Last as the group gets sent back to the Middle Ages.

7 The movie stars Michael Bully Herbig, Christian Tramitz, Marie Bäumer, Sky du Mont, Rick Kavanian and Hilmi Sözer in leading roles.

Hilmi Sölzer plays one of Santa Maria's henchmen, Hombre, and is actually more of a side character at first but he gets important towards the end, as (SPOILER) he becomes Winnetouch's boyfriend when taking him for hostage and turns against Santa Maria, stopping him in the end and convincing the Shoshones of Abahachi's and Ranger's innocence.

On the picture:

Clockwise: Sky du Mont (as Santa Maria), Christian Tramitz (as Ranger), Marie Bäumer (as Uschi), Michael Bully Herbig (as Abahachi), Tim Wilde (as John), Robinson Reichel (as Jim) and Hilmi Sözer (as Hombre).
Rick Kavanian as Dimitri is missing on the picture.

8 Since its release, the movie has gained a big cult following in Germany, and is one of the most famous movies of the 21st century.

"Ich bin mit der Gesamtsituation unzufrieden" ("I am dissatisfied with this entire situation") and "Schau, schau, Schoschonen" ("well well, Shoshones") are quoted in everyday life, and despite being a parody itself, many scenes of the movie have been referenced and spoofed in other works. Many Germans know it by heart. It still gets aired frequently on T.V.. Simply put: it's a true classic comedy. Already, not even 20 years later. Heck, it's been a classic even when I first saw it 10 years ago.

9 Despite it having since become a modern day classic, the initial critical reception was mixed.

Critics highly praised the movie's set design, costumes, and how they managed to recreate the atmosphere of the Karl May movies so precisely. It was felt that the movie was made by someone who loves the source material. However, the humor was not universally loved. It was felt that such a gag parade works on T.V., but not in a full length movie, and that the jokes were mostly flat. They were proven wrong by its ever growing popularity.

10 Prior to the movie, Michael Bully Herbig parodied the Karl May movie adaptations in his sketch comedy show "Bullyparade", also co-starring Christian Tramitz and Rick Kavanian.

In 2017, the sketch comedy was adapted into an antology film. One of the segments is a sequel to "Der Schuh des Manitu", featuring the same characters.
But I haven't seen this movie. Herbig's movies "Der Schuh des Manitu", "(T)Raumschiff Surprise - Periode 1" and the animated "Lissi und der wilde Kaiser" are insanely funny, but afterwards he just kind of lost his talent for outstanding comedy. Since all three of the movies have a segment in the "Bullyparade" movie, I may still give it a try one day.

On the picture:

The logo of "Bullyparade", and its cast (Michael Bully Herbig, Diana Herold, Rick Kavanian and Christian Tramitz).

The Contenders
11 The movie is rated suitable for viewers 6 and up in Germany

I think in the US it might would be rated PG-13. There is a lot of sexual innuendo throughout the movie which is mostly verbal (such as puns), or sight gags where a situation appears more intimate than it actually is. The only thing that might push it is a scene towards the end during a minecart ride where Winnetouch loses his pants due to the airstream (we see his "thing" flogging around fast for a second or so). The movie has no overly violent content other than shootings.

On the picture:

The FSK 6 logo as can be found on modern DVDs (before 2009, it was a short text in a yellow box on the back of the cover, now it is this logo on the front cover).

12 There exists an "Extra Large" version with a prologue which was shot for television airings.

It contains 7 minutes of additional footage which was shot solely for T.V. airings. It shows the early lives of Abahachi and Winnetouch.

On the picture:

Part of the promotional poster for the Extra Large version.

13 Most of the Native Americans are actually Spanish, the chief is played by an Indian and Abahahachi/Winnetouch are played by Bavarian Michael Bully Herbig.

There are something around zero Native Americans in Germany, they had to hire who resembled them closest. Redface is not seen as insensitive in Germany, probably because of the positive image Native Americans do have, and when Germans dress up as them, it's like Americans who dress up as cowboys. Redface can be found on carnival festivals or on children's costumes.

On the picture:
Chief Listiger Lurch and some of the Shoshones.

14 With 12.2 million viewers, the broadcasting premier became the highest program the channel Pro7 ever had.

Pro7 has the exclusive rights to broadcast the movie, something that usually isn't the norm (often you get the same movies on a few channels within short time).

15 In one scene, a barman calls Ranger the "man with the Southern slang". In fact, Christian Tramitz is Bavarian and speaks in a slight Bavarian dialect.
16 When asked for his dying wish by Santa Maria, Winnetouch requests the theme song from the fictitious "Superperforator" commercial. The song that follows is sung to the tune of the real "Mr. Clean" commercial theme ("Meister Proper" in Germany).

The original theme of the commercial is however not used anymore, at least over here. In fact, now the parody is much more famous than the commercial it spoofs, as the movie is still popular over here, while many young viewers don't know what it's making fun of. The joke still works simply for how stupid of a dying wish that is

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