Monday, November 8, 2010

BAD MOVIE REVIEW: Manos: The Hands of Fate

Manos: The Hands of Fate is by far the absolute WORST movie I have ever had to endure. And I don't say endure lightly. This movie is only for the hardcorest of the people that love bad movies. If you need to prove to yourself that you have what it takes to love cinema for everything it is, or perhaps you just want to appreciate good movies a little more, then sit down to Manos: The Hands of Fate my friend, the ultimate test of endurance.

And I watched the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 version.

We sat down to watch Manos last weekend, knowing full well that we were in for a shitstorm. Not just any shitstorm but a colossal shitstorm. And we were very excited about it. You see, when I look at a movie and it has a ridiculous title like, Manos: The Hands of Fate (roughly translated "Hands: The Hands of Fate) and it was featured on Mystery Science Theatre 3000 then I just have to see it. And fate had it upon me to insert this movie into my life, purely by chance. I had won an internet contest for a 50 pack of movies and low and behold THIS was on it.

Life is awesome.

So a couple of us got together and watched it. We made it 10 minutes before our eyes began to bleed. It was just so, so terrifyingly horrible. There was just 10 minutes of people driving around. I'm serious, there's landscapes and other cars driving around and that's it. It isn't until 10 minutes later that we finally get to our destination.

This guy.

Not even shitting you. Their car breaks down and its up to that guy to take care of them. His name: Torgo. The single greatest bad movie character of all time. I know I say things like that a lot but that's only because I've never seen Manos before. Torgo is the alpha and the omega of shitty characters. You want to laugh at him but you just want to cry everytime he's on screen. Let me show you what I mean:

Holy Insanity. If only I had theme music everytime I tried to walk. That's pretty much the first thing we see after the intense 10 minutes of scenery. At first I was like, holy fucking shit, this is awesome. But then it draaaaaaags and repeats itself for the next hour or so. Eventually we do catch up to the master. And it was worth it to see this:

Oh god, my fucking skull is pulsating just WRITING this review. I'm positive that I'll kill some of you out there that try to read it. Please I'm begging you, DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE. Even the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 version apologized for it. They stopped right in the middle of the movie and laid out a lengthy and heartfelt apology to their fans for making this awful movie apart of their lives.

The story, or lack thereof, is basically this family is cruising the country side and they breakdown in front of Torgo. So he lets them stay the night and there is several awkward silences. Most notably this one:

And as the family is settling in for the night, their child wanders off so they spend the next half hour looking for her. And it's then that the master wakes up and is pissed. So he calls upon his god Manos and his 6 slave wives to wrestle each other. It sounds better than it is. if it matters. Then Torgo is killed, the child and wife become another of his wife slaves (perhaps the wife died, I don't remember because I was too busy clawing my eyes out with rusty forks), and the husband becomes the new Torgo. END. Thank god.

This movie is beyond any one person's perception of reality. It makes sense but it doesn't at the same time. You want to hold parties so you can burn copies of this but at the same time WATCH the movie at that party. You want to forget it but then you want to review it and enjoy clips of it on YouTube. It's just something so exponentially awful that it somehow is absolutely beautiful.

And I'll try to explain why.

The beauty of this movie comes not from the director, the producer, the actors, the sets, the locations, Torgo, the awkward silences, the story, the ending, the fact it was on MST3K, or anything else that is actually in the's ALL in how it was made.
  • This film was shot entirely on a camera that could ONLY record 32 seconds of film at a time. AND it didn't record sound. Which is the purpose for the shitty over dubbing you saw previously.
  • And that shitty overdubbing...was only done by 3 people. They didn't even bother to get the cast together to shoot their own voices, there was just a couple guys and a girl that did the whole damn thing.
  • There's random scenes with this couple making out. It happens 3 times and there's no reason for it. It's like that scene was Manos' backup plan for transitions. But the real reason for it was because the girl in those scenes broke her leg and was unable to play her original they made her make out frequently.
  • There was constant lighting issues. The most notable being any outdoor night scenes. It hilarious to watch them outside because the lights they used attracted moths and in damn near every scene outside you see moths flying around in frame. It's fucking hilarious.
  • And there was also a lighting issue with the policeman scene, which is why they walked to the front of their car to investigate some noise and then decided to turn back and drive away.
  • The guy that played Torgo wore prosthetics that made him walk weird. He was supposed to be a satyr of a goat or something. This actually caused permanent damage to his knees. And according to IMDb...he was on pain killers until he commited suicide. Wow...this movie really does kill people. Sorry Torgo, your legacy will live on, I promise!
  • The movie was planned out in its entirety on a bar napkin because the director made a bet with some guy that he could make a popular horror film on a minimal budget. He failed miserably. Until 40 years later...where it oddly enough is kind of successful.
  • As of is NUMBER TWO on IMDb's top 100 WORST MOVIES OF ALL TIME.
  • The director did TWO TAKES for each shot. No more, no less. I'm so glad he did.
  • And that ridiculously long driving scene at the beginning...was supposed to have the beginning credits scroll over them but somehow it never happened or they probably just forgot.
So THAT is Manos: That Hands of Fate. The worst movie I've ever seen. Had it not been 3 in the morning and I was out of my mind on energy drinks, I might have done terrible things to myself by the end of this movie. It was painful to watch. I try to find the good things in a movie...and the history of this flick was enough to keep me watching...but I'm warning you, this is a really bad fucking movie. If you gotta see it, I understand. I am with you. But please, please, be drunk when you're doing it. It's the only way to survive it. Because that's what this movie is, a test of manhood, the beginning to a new chapter in your life. When you finish it, reality will never be the same.


  1. Good stuff sir. Couldn't agree more. I do have to ask, have you seen Blood Freak? It is about a turkey monster that craves junkie blood. Not sure I would say its worse than Manos but it is right up there. If you have a chance make sure you watch it. It is a clasick.

  2. It's like some sort of "zen" wave swept over your, my and KATN's blogs today. Everything good and bad, ugly and beautiful, beginning and ending...

    My head's spinning.

  3. "Manos" is so odd. You're right about how it feels: I have fond memories of watching the MST3K version of it, but then when I pop it in the player to re-watch I'm all OH GOD NO KILL ME NOW MY EYES THE GOGGLES DO NOTHING etc. etc. Then I get sad because John Reynolds died. Then I get the urge to crochet a Manos purse. Then I pop "San Francisco International" into the player instead.

    And G&G, you had me at "turkey monster".

  4. G&G: I have never seen it but now that I know it exists...I'm all over it.

    Vincent: That's crazy. Maybe we're all gaining some strength back after the overblogging during October?

    Stacia: Simpsons Reference! HAHAHA

  5. Aren't you glad The Master, Maggie and Debbie are all coming back for a sequel? Manos: The Search for Valley Lodge

  6. Hell yeah! I think I blogged about it sometime. I'm pumped for that, next weeks live rifftrax of Manos in the theatre, AND I can't wait for that guy to finish Manos in HD. It's gonna be awesome.