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Manos, the Hands of Fate
Manos the Hands of Fate
Actors: Bettie Burns, George Cavender, Pat Coburn, Jay Hall, Lelanie Hansard
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
NR     2003     1hr 14min

No Description Available No Track Information Available Media Type: DVD Artist: NEYMAN,TOM Title: MANOS HANDS OF FATE Street Release Date: 10/07/2003


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Movie Details

Actors: Bettie Burns, George Cavender, Pat Coburn, Jay Hall, Lelanie Hansard
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Alpha Video
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color
DVD Release Date: 10/07/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1966
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1966
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 14min
Screens: Black and White,Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The horror...the horror!
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 04/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of the worst days of my life was the day I stepped in a steaming pile of "Manos, the Hands of Fate." I thought I knew what I was getting myself into when I bought the original, non MST3K version of the film on DVD, thought I could withstand the gutter level production values, the corpse-like acting from a cast of unknowns, the peppy Muzak soundtrack, the continuity errors, the molasses pacing, the cut and paste editing job, and dialogue that has an affect on the brain not unlike novocaine. I have seen some bad cinema in my short time on planet earth, but "Manos," a film directed, written, and starred in by a fertilizer salesman from El Paso, Texas, easily sails past such memorable dreck as "Warriors of the Lost World," "Feardotcom," and "Jack Frost." The film was so bad that the cast and crew snuck out of the theater during its premier, probably because they feared the audience would lynch them for unleashing this atrocity on humanity. According to a website dedicated to all things cinema, three of the actors in this film committed suicide within a year of the movie's release. While I hope the poor quality of the picture had nothing to do with these suicides, you will seriously wonder if it did after watching this car wreck. Considering how this movie consistently fails in nearly every aspect, one important element not lacking is a plot. A family, consisting of mother, father, daughter, and poodle, heads out across the blasted wastelands of Texas on a fun filled trip. The excursion consists of a shifting series of seemingly endless shots of the barren landscape, punctuated occasionally by staccato bursts of nonsensical dialogue. Moreover, the first strains of elevator music play over the proceedings. You will learn to loathe this music, but at first it's sort of funny to hear these types of tunes in a film. The family ends up arriving at a decrepit house populated by the film's strangest character (and that says a lot). This is Torgo; a bizarre looking dolt who whispers stuff about "Master," sways a lot, and shambles around while whimsical music plays. He also takes a hankering to the mom character, has kneecaps the size of tires, and acts as the procurer of hapless victims for this enigmatic "Master." By the time I reached this point in the feature, I began mentally willing time to move faster. I looked at my watch so many times I suffered compound whiplash. But the Muzak kept playin', Torgo kept shufflin', and the dialogue kept getting dumber, so I kept watchin'. What can I say? I'm an idiot that way.After the poodle and the daughter disappear, the parents become alarmed about Torgo's antics. Dad heads out into the dark desert to look for his kid and runs into a heap of trouble. It turns out "Master" and a number of his scantily clad wives are holding a secret ritual that requires the family to play a pivotal role. "Manos" shifts focus significantly here, as we see the inner workings of these odd characters. What do they do? Not much. Master wears a nifty cape with two large hands stitched on it (the best effect in the film, actually) while he rants and raves, and the women stand around gabbing or wrestling with each other. Torgo gets into so much trouble that Master decides to sacrifice him for his crimes in a spectacularly boring way. Why? Who knows? Who cares? If you're so involved in the film that you need answers to these questions, you have problems in need of serious resolution. The story fails in many ways but succeeds wildly in one important aspect-it ends."Manos, the Hands of Fate" reminded me of another film I watched recently, the incredibly awful "Invasion of the Blood Farmers." Both movies looked terrible but had a weird appeal, much like a car accident on the highway. You know you shouldn't look at human misery and suffering, but you simply cannot help doing so. One reason you look at such a horrific tragedy is for life affirming reasons; you're so thankful that isn't you and yours stretched out on the road. The same principle applies here. I'm so glad I had nothing to do with the production of "Manos, the Hands of Fate" that watching the whole thing provides a certain measure of detached relief. This principle is completely theoretical, of course, but it does justify why I let the DVD run all the way to the end. For some reason, claiming to love bad cinema for the sake of its badness just doesn't seem enough with movies like "Manos" and "Invasion of the Blood Farmers." In fact, promoting this picture as "so bad its good" in certain circles would probably get you taken out behind the woodshed. Watch "Manos, the Hands of Fate" as a metaphysical exercise and you'll probably emerge unscathed. Maybe. O.K., probably not, but I'm just trying to make the experience easier for you.If you really must view this abomination, at least you won't pay a heavy monetary price to do so. Forget about any extras on the DVD-there aren't any, and that's how it should be for such a wretched piece of refuse. And really, why would you want a widescreen, crystal clear picture transfer, trailers, interviews, behind the scenes footage, commentaries, film history, and stills when a film like this one goes above and beyond the call of duty? "Manos, the Hands of Fate" is one of the seven wonders of the cinematic world. Enjoy, if you dare!"
"MANOS"... The Hands of Fate? Yes, Exactly.
Robert I. Hedges | 02/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Here it is: the original uncut edition of "MANOS" The Hands of Fate. Manos is the ultimate Mystery Science Theater experiment, and I love the MST treatment, but sometimes you just need to see a film unaltered to truly appreciate it's wretchedness. This is one of those times. This is the original film as envisioned by genius director/writer/actor Harold P. Warren. Really the only difference between this and the MST version is approximately one minute of extraneous filler that the good folks at Best Brains removed to get it to fit into the two hour time slot with the host segments of Joel and the Bots. I won't bother to review the plot much here as anyone who would be looking this up almost assuredly knows the plot already. In case you don't here is the much abbreviated version: a family gets terrorized by lunatic devil worshippers, one of whom, Torgo, has really big knees. There. That's it. The beauty of seeing this version is in noticing the small things and subtle nuances that aren't obvious from the MST version, most notably clearer dialogue. I would bet that some of little Debbie's lines was dubbed by adults trying to sound like a four year old, for instance. The dialogue is still wretched, of course, but you can hear it better now. You also get the added minute of footage, and a whole new appreciation of how much suffering the people at Best Brains went through watching this repeatedly while writing the MST script."Manos" is definitely worth five stars: it truly is one of the most ineptly made films in history. It was the brainchild of Harold Warren, who spent his own money on it, and it brought him ridicule from legions of movie watchers since it was made in 1966. If you are interested in trivia, in addition to Warren's financing, Tom Neyman ('The Master') designed the sets. Neither ever worked in the movies ever again. On a genuinely sad note, the scathing criticism of this film is reportedly one of the things that drove John Reynolds ('Torgo') to suicide within a year after the films release. It is amazing to think that this movie would have rested in obscurity, never again seeing the light of day if it hadn't been for the MST folks who brought it back into general circulation by mocking its very existence. Go watch the original. It's cheap and it only takes 69 minutes of your time."
20 fun facts about Manos: The Hands Of Fate
Robert I. Hedges | 04/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"You are reading about a film called Manos: The Hands Of Fate, which means you know by now what it's about, and maybe even a few fun facts. I would like to present a few more you might not have heard.1. The film's title translates to Hands: The Hands Of Fate
2. It was filmed entirely with a handheld camera that could only record thirty seconds of film at a time.
3. The film was shot without sound; all the lines were later dubbed by only three people - two men and one woman.
4. The real reason John Reynolds (Torgo) appears to have big knees and walks funny is because his character is supposed to be a satyr. Reynolds designed his own prosthetics to make himself look like he had goat's feet. (Note how the wife gasps when she first looks down his feet, which the viewer does not get to see.)
5. Torgo was originally named Igor.
6. Harold P. Warren (writer/director/producer) is a fertilizer salesman from El Paso. He made a bet with a visiting location scout Stirling Silliphant that he could make a popular horror film on an extremely minimal budget.
7. Three stars of the film committed suicide shortly after shooting was completed: John Reynolds (Torgo), Joyce Molleur (teenager in car), and Diane Mahree (Margaret).
8. The film was shot in two and a half months with a budget of about $19,000.
9. The movie was given a gala premiere in El Paso upon its release, and many of the local dignitaries were on hand. Part way into the film, many people in the audience began to heckle the movie. Many of the film's stars and crewmembers snuck out before the end out of embarrassment.
10. The endless driving sequences at the beginning were supposed to have the opening credits over them, but were inexplicably left out.
11. In lieu of a salary, Hal Warren sold shares to the cast and crew for their hard work and long hours.
12. The Master's "Lodge Of Sins" was actually the ranch of then El Paso County Judge, Colbert Coldwell.
13. The city of El Paso was so involved that Hal Warren sent free tickets for the premiere to the press, all the aldermen and the Mayor of El Paso.
14. People attending the premiere at The Capri Theater in El Paso paid $0.35 (Children) $1.25/$1.00 (Adults/with a discount card).
15. Hal Warren later approached cinematographer, 'Robert Guidry' , with another script, this one called "Wild Desert Bikers". Guidry declined.
16. If the day or scenes or performances went poorly, director Hal Warren would reassure the novice cast that any errors would be fixed post-production by the magic of Hollywood.
17. The scenes featuring two teenagers who are hassled by the cops while kissing in their car were added because actress Joyce Molleur broke her leg during filming, and was unable to perform her original role.
18. Joyce was originally cast as one of the master's brides.
19. The master's brides were played by a group of models for Mannequin Manor.
20. The majority of the cast and crew never appeared or worked on another movie after this.Be sure and watch this film at some point. It is the worst movie of all time and that alone assures it's legendary status."
'Manos' The Hands of... hrm. Can't say that on Amazon.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 05/27/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"'Manos' The Hands of Fate (Hal Warren, 1966)

Manos is widely considered to be the worst movie of all time. (Check IMDB. I don't believe any other film has actually inhabited the bottom slot since rankings were first implemented.) In one of my less lucid late-night wanderings around the internet-- I'm sure liberal amounts of bourbon were involved-- I decided, as I sometimes do with books/movies/etc. Most people think are insanely awful, "this can't be as bad as everyone makes it out to be," and put it on hold at the library. Yes, my library has a copy of Manos (and yet, they don't have a copy of Cannibal Holocaust. What is this world coming to?).

Well, folks, I have now seen 'Manos' The Hands of Fate (no, the grammar in the title is not a typo), and I can truly attest that while there are movies I would put below it in a ranking of the all-time worst movies-- in fact, it wouldn't even make my bottom 10-- Manos is, truly, just about as bad as everyone says it is.

That Manos is simply cheesy-bad is not enough, though it is certainly that. The story concerns a family who are on their way to a lodge out in the country. They get there and meet the caretaker, Torgo, who's a very weird sort of person, and immediately figure something is very wrong. It is (and it has nothing to do with the script, the camera work, or the acting, although all of those are also very wrong)...

What is truly depressing about Manos is that it's obvious Hal Warren (who also plays the male lead) was obviously onto something very, very good. As a horror film, Manos tries to rely purely on atmosphere. This can be done exceptionally well in movies (Gaslight is a fine example, as is Session 9), but it is very, very hard to pull off. Manos is an attempt that tried, failed miserably, and then seems to take a side trek into the girl-gang movie (presumably, because Warren knew how badly it was failing and decided to try and spice it up with some catfights). If it hadn't been so ambitious, Manos might have been a simple cheesy gem, the kind of movie that you can't help but watch because it's so thoroughly awful (Shriek of the Mutilated, for example). But it's both cheesy and depressing, and that makes it just plain bad, on the same level as such utter abominations of filmmaking as The Day After Tomorrow. Come to think of it, Manos doesn't even have the in-your-face offensive immorality of The Day After Tomorrow.

Maybe it really is one of the ten worst films ever made. (zero)"