Oh yeah, we are starting this right.
Where does one even begin with Manos...The Hands Of Fate? It's bad. But it's that special kind of bad that must be truly seen to be believed. It is so hard to talk about, just to describe the movie beyond basic plot is an exercise in both futility and madness. A family wanders the countryside and stumbles upon some devil worshipping cult and try to escape. Now based on that summary, this could be an okay movie, like if you got a decent cast and crew Manos could be easily remade and be way more effective. I mean I guess I can't be too rough on the movie (sort of), it started as a bet between a location scout and a literal Texas manure salesman who said he could make a horror movie for $19,000 alone, no professional help or anything, just him and whoever he could hire for cast and crew without going over budget. And the production barriers did not stop there, so the film already had a budget so low that it makes Halloween look like Transformers, but then you add the facts that the camera was a handheld super 8 camera that could shoot about 30 seconds of film at a time, had no sound so everyone had to be dubbed and boy did that work well, no lighting beyond probably a lamp that could illuminate the hood of your car, and no real sets, so the movie was already kind of a doomed project from square one. The actors solidify this fact. I mean God, I know they are amateur actors and never done a bit of acting ever but lord is it not good. Best actor hands down is Tom Neyman who plays The Master and he wins by default just by trying! The husband is hilarious, constantly brushing off every concern his wife has. The wife is the most whiny, complaining, worthless without a man character I have ever seen probably in my life. She gets old fast. The daughter is.....ah. She's just sort of there. And there is this weird, I guess you could call it a subplot if you got a lobotomy and claimed lobsters were your guardians, of this couple that sits in a car on the side of a road and just suck face. I am dead sucking ferious. It cuts from the main story to these two people that have absolutely nothing to contribute to the plot just getting to second, third base, I don't know maybe the outfield and that's it. Manos! The Hands Of Fate! And of course we have Torgo. Dear sweet Torgo. What can you say about him? Beyond the fact that the actor was utterly tripping balls on acid the whole shoot and very sadly died before the movie even premiered. Now I must give credit, I do not think I could recite any dialogue if I was on acid, I would probably be raving about bats and huge manta rays coming down on the car, so dedication to your work like that at least gets you brownie points. And I even have a bit of respect for the director, he freely admitted this was a terrible movie to the point where at the premiere in El Paso, yes Manos was filmed in my home state and I will never go to El Paso again, the cast and director bailed. They got out of there so they would not have to face the crowd at the end of the movie. Wow. Even Tommy Wiseau and Ed Wood stuck around till the end. But you know what, I actually read up on a bit of trivia that made me respect the movie just a smidge. The premiere of the movie had portions of the ticket sales go to a cerebral palsy fund, what little profit the film made went to a good cause to help people with a debilitating condition. Shit I wish all bad movies did things like that, yeah you payed to see Twilight but hey a quarter of the profits go to cancer research, that's not a bad thing in my eyes at all! And I'm going to be honest, watching Manos actually made my day. I had a terrible day but you know, I got out of work, grabbed some food, and watched the Mystery Science Theater episode with Manos. That is not a bad way to end the day. Like if you have a bad day turn that on, it really does make your day worthwhile! So yeah, it's a bad movie but it can't be outright despised. You can have fun with this movie. Which is less than I can say for the movies yet to come this month. Tune in next time for Ed Wood's grand opus.