Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Growing Up with Manos: The Hands of Fate: How I was the Child Star of the Worst Movie Ever Made and Lived to Tell the Story Paperback – March 25, 2016
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $1.99 (Save 80%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top Customer Reviews
I felt like I was right there with them as they broke out their sack lunches from the 1950s-era refrigerator and I could practically hear Hal Warren's voice as he barked orders like a General on a mission. I could feel Jackey's pain and the others' embarrassment during the ill-fated premiere. And I wanted to cry as her home life began falling apart. My heart sank when she discussed poor John Reynolds' tragic suicide. This book put me there in ways that very few books of this nature can. That is no small feat.
If you enjoy Manos or are simply morbidly curious about the nefarious motion picture, read this book. Manos has decreed it.
When I started reading the book and Ms. Jones' description of life in El Paso it definitely struck a chord with me. I have lived in El Paso at three points in my life (although well-after the days of Manos) and was familiar with much of the culture described by her in the book. I even recognized the movie as having been shot in El Paso when I saw it on MST3K... which I watched for the first time during my second assignment to Fort Bliss. Manos reinforced my belief that nothing good ever comes out of El Paso.
Jackey Jones, who played the little girl Debbie in the film, hits a lot of high points in her book: the story behind Torgo's knees, the origin of the Temple of Mild Foreboding (Temple of Doom was already taken), the near strike put on by the Wives and The Big Premier. The involvement of her and her family on the film (her father played the Master and her mother made some of the costumes) put her in a great position to provide her own reminisces of the movie as well as giving her the means to find many of the folks involved with the film. The book is well-written, although to be honest I expected a more tongue-in-cheek presentation but God knows, the truth is funny enough.
I'd love to be able to say "I knew about Manos before it was on Mystery Science Theater 3000," but I can't. What I CAN say is that I was fascinated with this film from the very first time I watched it. From the opening scene, in all of its grainy, dark glory, I can feel that I'm witnessing something the likes of which I've seen before. It has a surreal quality that I've often found myself at a loss to properly describe. The film is haunting, in its own peculiar way. I think that's why so many people like me have come to love it.
Being a bit obsessed with the film, over the years I came to know many of the stories behind its production: Hal Warren's desire to prove that anyone could make a movie; the disastrous premier in El Paso; the suicide of John Reynolds. This book gives readers the chance to see exactly what went into the film through the eyes of someone who was there- the woman who played the role of Debbie, the young daughter of the couple who found themselves on a doomed vacation and in the hands of a feverish cult leader.
This book is a gem. Anyone curious about the phenomenon that is Manos should read it.