Manos, the Hands of Fate
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2012
Manos The Hands of Fate(1966) is considered one of the worst movies ever made. TV's Mystery Science Theater 3000 brought the film back into the mainstream. This dream like, atmospheric supernatural horror film was written and directed by Hal Warren and made on a budget of $19,000. The crew poked fun of Warren's ego problem and nicknamed the film "Mangos The Cans of Fruit".
The film was shot with a camera that could only shoot 30 seconds of footage at a time. Manos was filmed without sound and three or four people looped voices onto the film. The MST3K version deletes some scenes such as the Master slapping his first wife several times! The MST3K version preserves footage of Michael(Hal Warren) pulling his car off the road. Hal Warren filmed Manos at an inn owned by a judge in Texas.
There's three good jazz/R&B and rock songs on the soundtrack. It's a mystery who performed them. Manos' debut at the El Capri theater was a disaster. People in the audience poked fun of the movie. At the end of the film, people threw shoes at the screen! Manos is very boring and slowed paced at times. There's stock footage from a Disney film as Michael shoots a snake with a gun. The late John Reynolds gives a sincere performance as Torgo. There are rumors that he was using LSD on the set.
In Manos The Hands of Fate, a family on vacation gets stuck at an inn run by a satanic cult. "Manos" means "hands" in Spanish/Castellano. The Master has hands on his robe and Torgo has a hand on his stick. There's a scene where a boy and a girl are kissing in a car. One of the models/actresses broke her leg on the set. Warren shot her scenes in a car so she could still be in the movie. There's a good documentary called Hotel Torgo. The producers were able to find Manos actor Bernie Rosenblum and the judge who owned the inn. Manos is very flawed on an artistic and technical level. We can see moths and flies on the set. A movie slate is visible in one scene. I guess Warren tried to add sex appeal by putting the Master's wives in white bras and underwear, but it's not very erotic. Manos is almost as bad as Monster A Go Go(1965), a sci-fi film with no plot! Manos The Hands of Fate is bad movie classic.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2007
Plan Nine From Outer Space, move over! The worst movie EVER MADE (in this writer's opinion, anyway) is MANOS, THE HANDS OF FATE.

In this laughably bad film, an innocent family is captured by the wierd occult "high priest" Manos (Spanish for "Hands", get it?) and turned into his strange slaves for weird rituals that are so badly filmed they make no sense.

"Mystery Science Theatre 3000" did a great spoof of this film, but if you really want to torture yourself (or die laughing???) buy the original and be treated to cheap sets, poor cinematography, bad music, and even worse acting. And, oh, yes, Torgo. We can't forget Torgo the Handyman and his haunting "theme".

This movie is so bad that it is good!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
"Manos, the Hands of Fate" is current in the "top" spot on the International Movie Data Base's ranking of the Bottom 100 movies of all time. The last time I checked the list "From Justin to Kelly" held that position, but it has floated up (?) to the ninth position on the list. "Manos, the Hands of Fate" (you have to use the entitle title each time and not reduce it to just "Manos") has an average rating of 1.5 on a 10 point scale. The only other film that rounds out to a 1.5 is "Monster a-Go Go," which I have already seen and I can already saw that since I gave it a three-star rating it is not the second worst movie of all-time. However, there will be no such apologia for "Manos, the Hands of Fate." I was hoping that this was a gloriously bad movie, that could be added to my short list of movies so bad they are great, which at this point consists only of "Plan 9 From Outer Space" from Ed Wood and "The Brain That Wouldn't Die" (a.k.a. the Jan in the Pan movie). But, no, "Manos, the Hands of Fate" is so bad it is just plain bad.

Michael (director Hal Warren), his wife Margaret (Diane Mahree), daughter Debbie (Jackey Neyman), and Peppy the family dog are on their vacation driving around the great El Paso, Texas area looking for their motel. They end up at this farmhouse asking for directions from the creepy Torgo (John Reynolds), who insists they cannot get there from here, so the family spends the night. Torgo takes care of the place while the master is away, except then he says the master is dead, but that he says the master is not the dead the way most people would think. This cannot be good, especially since there is a painting of the master and some sort of hell-hound on the wall to creep everybody out. Meanwhile, Mike cannot get the car to start and Torgo is having no luck seducing (or at least pawing) Margaret. Then Debbie's dog gets killed but she discovers "a big place with a bunch of weird people" and that is how the family comes face to face with the master (Tom Neyman).

There are scenes with a couple of necking teenagers in a car (Bernie Rosenblum and Joyce Molleur) being hassled by a cop (William Bryan Jennings), but that does not matter because once the master wakes up he gets in touch with Manos (notice, that is the name of the God of Primal Darkness and not the name of the film), and then wakes up his wives (Stephanie Nielson, Sherry Proctor, Robin Reed, Jay Hall, Bettie Burns and a few more) to discuss what to do with the visitors. Heads must roll, and so do bodies as the wives, clad in flimsy white gowns, start wrestling on the floor as a way of arriving at consensus. Eventually we get to a shocking ending and the movie is over, although it ends with the same title card as the beginning of the film and for one horrifying moment you wonder if the DVD is looping back to the beginning as some sort of sick joke.

Okay, if that does not help you, here is how the newspaper advertisement for the gala world premier of this film described the film: "A cult of weird, horrible people who gather beautiful women only to deface them with a burning hand." Maybe now it makes more sense, but that is not necessarily a good thing. The problem with "Manos, the Hands of Fate" (working title: "The Lodge of Sins") is not just that it is a bad movie but that it is a boring movie where it sounds like the same voices are dubbing all of the characters. According to the IMDB, Reed was the only cast member to have an acting career in Hollywood, Torgo was supposed to be a satyr and the actor playing him committed suicide that same year. But I did not need that last bit of information to confirm that there is little pleasure to be gleaned from watching this really, really bad movie that ended all aspects of the cinematic career of writer-director-producer-actor Hal Warren (a fertiziler salesman in El Paso, he made the movie for $19,000 with a camera that could only shoot 30-seconds of film at a time as a bet with a location scout that Warren could make a popular horror film with a tiny budget).

Why is "Manos, the Hands of Fate" not rated 1 star? Because my position is that basically only a snuff film would be given 1 star and how many of those does Amazon really sell? If something gets 1 star the people who made the movie need to be hunted down and at least incarcerated without parole (assuming the death penalty is not a possibility). But for a 2 star movie you simply want to track down the director and slap them around until they come to their senses and admit they have a really, really bad movie. The fact that Warren quit while he is behind saves us the trip.

The good news is that there is a "Mystery Science Theater 3000" episode of Joel, Crow and Tom Servo watching "Manos, the Hands of Fate," and even though the boys are not close to being on their A-game (how could they with the actual film serving as inspiration) it is better than watching "Manos, the Hands of Fate" by itself without a buffer. The only other sensible thing to is getting the Something Weird DVD that offers "Monster a-Go Go" and "Psyched by the 4-D Witch" as a double feature to absolve yourself of having watched "Manos, the Hands of Fate." Then you can be amazed at the gulf between the two films that head, so to speak, the IMDB's Bottom 100 list.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2005
Chances are, if you are looking at this movie online, you already know the reputation it has. So I'm going to limit my review to talking about the quality of the Dvd version of the movie.

First off, the movie is missing part of the beginning. It abruptly starts with the first lines of dialogue. In the MST3k version you see a few seconds of opening before the dialogue(in fact, one of the guys comments on how slow the driving is saying"this is the slowest chase scene i've ever seen."). Its nothing important being cut out but its a shame you can't have the "whole" movie.

Also the transfer is terrible. Yes the movie had a lot of lighting issues, but this looks as if the telescene operator didn't know what he was doing. Compared to the MST3k version, its way too dark. It makes a bad film seem even worst. Its also quite grainy but I wasn't too surprised by that(I didn't expect a remastered version of the film although i would love to own one in the future). The poor trasfer of this film also lead my eye to pick up something else about this version of the film. On the bottom of the screen is a thin static line. Usually this type of line appears when watching a worn down VHS tape. So I'm guessing they Transfered this version to DVD not using a terrible work print but some VHS tape that was previously out. Which makes the fact that they have the photography way too dark even more lame because its actually very simple to transfer a VHS tape to DVD and maintain the original VHS quality.

All in all, The sound of the film was not bad at all(Well, it was bad to start with but the dvd makers are not at fault for any of that). It does have maybe a minute worth of footage not in the MST3K version, so thats a plus.

Its a cheap DVD to buy and you are getting your moneys worth. No effort at all went into making this a decent DVD of MAnos: HAnds of FAte.

Possibly in the future Tarantino's Rolling THunder production will remaster it and put out an excellent version for us to enjoy how truly bad this film was and not how someone else made a bad film even worst with their version of the DVD. (Tarantino owns a rare 35mm print of the film and I doubt rights would be that hard to obtain. Guess we'll have to wait and see.)

I give this a two because if you love bad movies(I do!) this is a must see film worthy of 5 stars in that mind set. However this dvd is simply an insult and not worth even its cheap price.

BEWARE
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on September 14, 2009
I know you've heard "Plan 9 From Outer Space" is THE worst movie of all time,but you haven't seen anything like this and believe me,you wouldn't want to watch it a second time.I'm talking about the movie by itself.The only way to watch this is the MST3K version and even then,it's not easy.The movie drags and that's just the opening credits.I'm pretty sure you know by now what this pile of **** is about.If not,here goes:A couple,their daughter and their dog get lost while on vacation and come across this cult,led by some Frank Zappa look-alike wearing a black robe with big red hands on it and his Doberman.He has some wives and his sidekick or lacky by the name of Torgo,who might be part goat.I won't tell you the ending,but you can probably see it a mile away..It looks like a home-made movie made by someone who needs to return the equipment back real quick..The dialogue is often repeated.Sometimes the "actors" look in the camera by mistake.If you choose to buy the movie itself,you have been warned.But,please,get the MST3K version instead,ok?? It IS worse than "Plan 9" and all of Coleman Francis movies put together.Trust me,it is THAT bad..
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2013
I've heard that this is supposed to be the worst horror film of all time by many people. I've never seen it till now. I've been curious to see just how bad this movie is. Well I found out it is as bad as they say. It makes Plan 9 from Outer Space look like Citizen Kane. Picture and sound is good on the DVD
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2014
I mean the whole point of this movie is that it sucks.
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