Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monster Crap Inductee: Manos: The Hands Of Fate (1966)

Monster Crap Inductee #7: Manos: The Hands of Fate
A Fertilizer Salesman Loses A Bet In A Major Way

Sometimes while doing these inductions, there comes across a movie so bad that it becomes legendary. This film is one of those movies. Last month, I inducted the first of three movies done by a director who became infamous after doing the three movies. This month, I induct a movie that is even more infamous. That movie is called Manos: The Hands of Fate. You know, I was told for several months by people who have sadly seen this movie that this induction is long overdue, but because I had never fully seen the movie, I didn’t realize how bad it was. After watching it, I have this to say. Screw Uwe Boll. This guy is the worst filmmaker I have ever seen.

I guess this calls for some back-story to this piece of crap. Manos: Hands of Fate was written by, directed by, produced by Hal Warren. Oh did I mention that he even starred in the movie? I’m sure many of you have not heard of Hal Warren and you really shouldn’t unless you know about this film and have done a lot of research. Before this movie, Hal Warren was an American Fertilizer salesman, who made a bet with an actual screenplay writer Stirling Silliphant that he could make a successful horror movie with a very small budget (it is reported that this movie cost $19,000 to make). I think we should have known by the job occupation of this moronic bet taker that this might be bad. Some of you may not know, but most of you know very well that a main ingredient to fertilizer is crap. So basically, this guy who sells crap is told to make a successful horror movie with a small budget. So since Hal Warren had only 19,000 dollars in which to use. He hired a bunch of small time actors from a local theater and modeling agency, promising a share of the film’s profits due to his lack of funds to pay actual wages. Now, I would have said “No Way Jose”, but these were aspiring actors and actresses and most of these people will do anything for fame.

Now, Hal Warren also hired a small crew to do this movie. But boy, when this man said he would make this movie very cheap, he really meant it. He made this movie, originally under the title The Lodge of Sins, with one measly old 16mm camera that you had to wound by hand and only filmed for 32 seconds. This camera was also so old that it was unable to record sound, and thus all of sound effects and dialogue were dubbed later in post-production, reportedly by only three or four people, including Hal Warren.

Now, I have watched this movie and I know that there doesn’t seem to be any monster in the movie so why would this be Monster Crap. However, the character of Torgo, was supposed to be a satyr (half man & half goat). And last I checked, a satyr is a mythological creature and in that case, we have your monster. Now, you are supposed to know Torgo has goat legs by the way he walks because due to a small budget, they really couldn’t show a good enough amount of the goat legs. Now, even most of the film crew knew this movie was going to be bad so much that behind Hal Warren’s back, they called this film, Mangos: The Cans of Fruit.

But let’s get to watching this piece of crap. Oh, I forgot to mention that I am not watching this movie alone. You see, thanks to and Mystery Science Theater 3000, I am watching this movie with the only two guys who I count on to know that even if this movie sucks, I can merely laugh at their comments and make my own. You guessed it, I have asked the Joel, Crow, Tom Servo, and Gypsy to watch the movie with me.

Unfortunately, Nobody Ever Returned My Phone Call

We begin this movie with no opening credits.
But They Were Nice Enough To Give Us A Title Screen

Instead, we see a vacationing couple named Michael (Hal Warren) and Margaret (Diane Mahree) who are also with their daughter Debbie (Jackey Neyman) and their poodle Pepe, looking for their hotel with no apparent effect on the plot

Oh We Haven't Gotten To The Bad Parts And I Already Want Bad Things To Happen To This Family.

Now, during several scenes, you will see a couple of kids making out in a car. You will see these two doing the same thing three more times, however almost each time, they get interrupted by the sheriff and the deputy who tell them to move along and take their love making somewhere else

The main characters continue looking for their hotel until they find a house which is run by the Mr. Goat Legs himself, Torgo (John Reynolds). The couple and the kid decide to spend the night with Torgo having a few objections before eventually allowing them to stay. Interesting note while listening to Torgo is that he sounds like someone who is hiding several drugs and is on them at this very moment. Oh, you will find irony in this later on.
No......Officer.....I Am.....Not.....Hiding.....Any Drugs

Anyway, a bunch of meaningless crap happens except for Pepe dying unknowingly and Torgo having a thing for Margaret. He also seems to be very nervous about “the master” and says that he has several wives and wants to make Margaret one of his new wives. Torgo wants Margaret as his own wife, even though she is already married. I guess polygamy is legal in this film. Torgo knocks out Michael and ties him up. Now, before I continue, I would like to add that the acting in this film makes these people look like the biggest morons on god’s green earth who can’t do a goddamn thing and always complain. Also, Torgo does knock out Michael with his stick, however if you look closely, he only taps him on the freakin head. I guess Michael doesn’t have a very soft noggin.

Anyways, we finally meet the master, who is none other than Queen’s lead singer, Freddie Mercury…..
Oh No, You Didn't Just Say I Was In This Movie

No….then it is Frank Zappa

I Was Never That High

Wait….it isn’t him either? Oh, now I know who it is. It’s……..Tom Neyman? Okay, I guess that works. An interesting note is that the evil dog that is with him is actually his dog. Another interesting, if you must know, he is in real life, the father to the actress who plays the little girl in this movie. I say this because later on, this filmmaking amateur decides to do a very sick thing between these two.
Anyways, The Master is pissed at Torgo for trying to hide the family and Margaret from him so he kills him. While he is going after Torgo, all of his wives are deciding to fight for no apparent reason other than jealousy. And if you are expecting a real fight, you will be severely disappointed. This fight is so fake that it even makes an actual wrestling match between Torrie Wilson and Candice Michelle, watchable. These wives also seem just as dumb as Maria.

The woman is all we want! The others must die! They ALL must die! We do not even want the woman!
- One Of The Master's Wives

Anyways, after a very slow and pathetic execution of Torgo and also his most recent wife, he decides to go after the helpless family.

He confronts them and is shot directly in the face. You see no blood or nothing and you will know why in a moment.
We see a duo of clueless bimbos going down the same road and find the very same house. However, there to great the two skanks is Michael, who is now the new housekeeper. We then go back to the place where all the wives and “the master” are at and we find that the master has added two new wives Margaret, the mother, and little Debbie, who again is played by his own freakin daughter. And that is how the story ends…..or does it, as the ending screen would like you to believe.

So not only does this filmmaker want us to accept that there might be a sequel. But he doesn’t seem to have a problem with polygamy, statutory rape, and incest.
What's Wrong With Incest???

Everything Vince, everything. No offense to Mr. Warren, but he might not want to quit his day job.
And it seems most of the audience agreed with me. At the premiere of this garbage, the cast and crew had to secretly exit the theater before the movie ended in embarrassment as the audience proceeded to laugh at this supposed “scary” movie. Most of the cast never worked on another film again, except one of the wives (Robin Red went on to work on several B movies). Even worse is that the actor who played Torgo, John Reynolds, committed suicide after the film. Now this has called several rumors about how the whole cast killed themselves after the movie. Those rumors are extremely false as only John Reynolds ended up doing the deed. And as many have said, it wasn’t even the movie that pushed him over the edge. Reynolds, it seems, had emotional issues concerning his parents and started to experiment with LSD. Jackie Neyman said that during the filming of this movie, he was usually quite stoned. Remember my comments about Torgo’s speech, there is your irony for you.

Now for those of you who thinks that this movie is a cult classic, and I know someone has mentioned that this movie was a cult classic, you seriously need to knock yourself over the head with a hammer. Office Space is a cult classic. Donnie Darko is a cult classic. Manos: Hands of Fate is a piece of crap.

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