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Mystery Science Theater 3000: Manos - Hands of Fate

4.5 out of 5 stars 207 customer reviews

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(Nov 20, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Arguably the worst movie that our lovable pals Joel, Crow, and Tom Servo have ever had the pain of watching, "Manos: Hands of Fate" is destined to be an "MST3K" classic for this very reason. Not only is there a sparse, illogical plot, but the cinematography is nonsensical (note Servo's point about the endless countryside ride in Texas). That said, "Manos" must be watched, and cringed at, and commented on by its viewers because of the director's amazingly awful vision of what a horror film should be. What plot there is involves a vacationing family being trapped in a remote ranch house in the desert that's "managed" by a greasy, what looks to be stoned, oversize bow-legged keeper named "Torgo." As the movie goes on, and one finds the "master" and his harem of semi-dead women clad in see-through white dresses, one wonders more and more what the hell this movie was supposed to be about. Even Dr. Forrester and Frank feel a little sorry for Joel and the boys' being forced to watch this one. Still, you'll find yourself spiraling into hysterics when the women get into a big catty brawl while Joel and the boys liken their antics to a Ladies Guild performing "A Midsummer Night's Dream" or female dirt-wrestling. An episode you'll love to suffer through. "--Karen Karleski"

Special Features

  • MST3K "Poopie" blooper reel (30 min.)
  • MST3K collectible postcard

Product Details

  • Actors: Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieu, Kevin Murphy, Jim Mallon
  • Directors: Joel Hodgson, Harold P. Warren
  • Writers: Joel Hodgson, Harold P. Warren
  • Producers: Harold P. Warren
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Rhino Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005S8L6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,546 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mystery Science Theater 3000: Manos - Hands of Fate" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Parker Benchley VINE VOICE on December 12, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The current wisdom among bad movie buffs is that Ed Wood's "Plan 9 From Outer Space" is the worst movie ever made. Believe me, it's not. And if you don't believe me, then just watch this one. Try it without the MST gang and see if you think "Plan 9" is worse.
"Manos," according to film critic Michael Weldon, was written, produced, directed by its 'star' Hal B. Warren, a fertilizer salesman from El Paso, Texas. The plot, as such, concerns Warren and his family, who become lost while on vacation. They stop at a strange house to ask directions and are met by the weird servant Torgo, who takes them prisoner and helps to make the next 90 minutes only seem like 8 hours.
Even the MST gang had trouble with this one, as most of the good lines and ripostes are in the first half. One can actually feel this movie sucking the life out of the crew. At the end even Dr. Forrester believes he may have went too far. But one redeeming thing came out of this -- the addition of Torgo the pizza delivery man (played by Mike Nelson) to the list of characters that inhabit Deep 13.
The only other caveat I can add is that this movie is for those seasoned MSTies only. If you are new to the MST experience, I would recommend "The Beginning of the End," or "I Accuse My Parents" to get you up to speed before tackling this one.
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Format: VHS Tape
"Cave Dwellers". "Wild Rebels". "Plan 9 from Outer Space". "Bride of the Monster". "Body Rock". "Howard the Duck". Any one of the "Gamera" series. People, as a guy who finds subtle humor and beauty in bad movies, I've seen the worst of them. . . .or so I thought. I must have been out of town that day, as during the "Joel years" I was a regular watcher, so that could be the only reason I missed "Manos: Hands of Fate" the first time out. I just got to say this: "Manos" makes the films listed above look like AFI 100 candidates. I mean . . My GOD, this movie is HORRID beyond horrid.
If you're looking for a description of how it takes cinema to a new abyssmal low . . . well, here goes: Imagine getting a continually out of focus Handy 8 camera from the 60's, get 6 of your best friends (make ABSOLUTE sure they can't act), go to a local bar and pick the first 6 women you see and dress them in K-mart nightgowns, go to a desolate beach with a cottage in Ohio somewhere with a script you've written in one hour (and no more) and start filming away. Believe me, you couldn't do any worse.
Every single solitary thing about this endurance test will make your brain start to atrophy. The commentary from Joel and the 'bots is top notch, but you know you have to feel sorry for the poor chaps when the SCIENTISTS apologize for "Manos". The opening edu-short "Hired" (light years better than "Manos", and that ain't saying much), put out by Chevrolet in the 50's, is hilarious as an added bonus. The "Manos" experience has to be seen to be believed. Buy this cobalt bomb of a movie, throw "Manos" parties and invite your enemies. You'll be glad you did.
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Format: VHS Tape
"MANOS: the hands of fate" was conceived by Harold Warren, a Texas fertilizer mogul, apparently after a long day of shoveling a big pile of...well, you know, FERTILIZER. "Manos" is probably the worst movie ever made which is good news for MST3K fans because it's also probably the best MST3K episode ever! "Manos" is the kind of movie that isn't released by Hollywood, it escapes! I won't bother trying explain the plot, because there is none. Just suffice to say that some stupid, inept people behave foolishly, repeat themselves alot, repeat themselves alot and end up at the hands of the wobbly 'Torgo' and his 'Master', basically victims of their own bottomless stupidity. All filmed in fabulous "HAZE-VISION". Stars nobody, look for producer Hal "Bag-of-Hammers" Warren as the clueless dad. There's also a short before the feature, "HIRED pt.2", the second half of a Chevrolet sales training film from the 50's. (Don't worry if you haven't seen part 1, the really important plot points are in part 2!) BUY IT! ENJOY! ACCEPT THE PAIN!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have my MST3K membership badge, and when the show was still on Comedy Central, I would often sleep in/watch MST3K on Saturday mornings. I had seen "Sidehackers", "Master Ninja"'s I and II, "Mitchell", and I had laughed. Yet, I had not seen "Manos: The Hands of Fate". I had heard the whispered legends, but I did not believe them. For I had seen "The Brain Wouldn't Die". Nothing could shake me. Then... Then... I saw it.

I warn you, gentle reader. This movie is for the strong of stomach. From Torgo who did not learn how to wear his Depends undergarments to the "Master" who could control the wheels of fate but chose the wrong artist for his self-portrait, I was transported into a world where pretentiousness meets imcompetence and all known rules of the universe slip into irrelevance.

I survived twenty-seven minutes and twenty seconds until I was forced to pause the movie for a full ten minutes to calm myself. The ecstasty of laughter had turned to pain, and "Manos: The Hands of Fate" clutched me more firmly than Torgo attempted to clutch the "protagonist"'s wife. Yet I carried on, but the ecstasy overcame my abillity to reason many more times to the point that two minutes of movie triggered ten minutes of hysteria at the point when the "Hands of Fate" wrung the life from poor Torgo. Afterwards, I was left numb, drunk. I could not move, and I found myself whispering: "The horror.".

So, I recommend this movie, but be warned, Manos is graduate-level MST3K. I advise those watching to prepare for what cannot be prepared for.
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