Bad Movie Logo
"A website to the detriment of good film"

Custom Search
HOMEB-MOVIE REVIEWSREADER REVIEWSFORUMINTERVIEWSUPDATESABOUT


MANOS, THE HANDS OF FATE - Skull
Not Rated
Copyright 1966 Norm-Iris Productions
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 30 March 2003

The Characters:  

  • Mike - As fathers and husbands go, he is a pretty poor example.
  • Margaret - The expendable mother and wife.
  • Debbie - She is the product of two useless people, so that makes her something of a pariah.
  • The Smoochers - With all that booze, you would think that they might be a little farther along.
  • The Police - They spend their days (and nights) keeping track of the smoochers.
  • Torgo - The weird and uncoordinated caretaker of the Master's house. Clawed to death by sexually frustrated women.
  • The Master - He looks like the stereotypical UPS man, but is the leader of a cult dedicated to Manos.
  • The Master's Many Wives - I think that he is an old school Mormon.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Thanks to the efforts of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew, lots of people are familiar with this movie. I have received numerous requests over the years to review it. It is a classic MST3K episode, but can you comprehend the horror of watching the movie alone and unedited? After only thirty minutes, I could actually feel the blood slowing down as it moved through my brain.

The memory is not getting any better, so let us begin.

The happy little family unit of Mike, Margaret, and Debbie are on a road trip when their luck takes a turn for the worse. No, not a family of mutant cannibals, but lots of driving does bring them to the front door of a forsaken lodge. Torgo lingers in the doorway, acting like a mentally challenged freak. Tired after a long day on the road, dad says, "Gee, this place looks like a good place to spend the night." He instructs the creepy caretaker to carry the family's bags inside.

Meanwhile, the two smoochers are discovered by the roaming policemen and told to move along. This turns into a running gag, with the amorous pair kissing, drinking, and eventually leaving when the officers find the latest roadside love nest. Have you ever kissed someone with several hours of cheap whiskey on their breath? Not the best way to get in the mood.

Inside the lodge is a depiction of the Master and his faithful Doberman. Mike and Margaret spend what seems like (and nearly is) ten minutes obsessing about the painting. They are frightened by the aura of menace that surrounds the canvas. These two should try looking through a book of Giger's artwork (which, by the way, makes a great baby shower present).

That night, Mike investigates chilling howls near the house and an unseen creature kills the family poodle. Then the luckless father discovers the Master's desert shrine. The priest lies upon a stone altar, while his women decorate nearby pillars. All of this is too much for Mike; he runs back to the lodge with every intention of leaving.

Torgo has been using the idle time to chat up Mrs. Useless. He obsesses about the Master and his wives, angry that the polygamous pontiff wants the newest female arrival for his own. The Master wakes after these revelations, so perhaps the servant is telepathically bonded. You know what? I do not care. I want this movie to be over.

The Master rouses all of his wives at the same time, which only proves to me that he is some sort of freaking idiot. The women immediately start arguing and, eventually, fighting over the fate of their guests; the disposition of Debbie seems to be a major point. One wife refuses to harm the child in any way. The debate spirals into chaos as slaps and sharp fingernails start flying. The fight lasts for about twenty minutes.

Elsewhere, the Master has a stare-off with Torgo. The idiot (that would be Torgo) loses and is consigned to death. The priest has to stop his consorts' battle royal en progress (thank goodness), but soon the dissenting wife and Torgo are tied up and ready for slaughter.

Speaking of staring, if I was a goldfish and could not blink, this movie would be the death of me.

Failing to start the car, Mike is forced to drag his wife and child into the desert. They get absolutely nowhere. Clear night, not too bad terrain, and the bozo cannot lead them to safety. Look for a glow on the horizon or find Polaris and get your bearings, you worthless sack of flesh! I refuse to believe that we are the same species. Mein Gott! Mr. Useless eventually gives up and settles on the bright idea of hiding at the Master's house. Soon the cleric of Manos has them in his power, despite Mike's revolver (useless, just like its owner).

The title alone should warn people away. "Manos" is Spanish for "hands" and that is about as clever as the film ever gets. Listening to the Master crowing about his deity's power or staring at ten minutes of women arguing is nothing to be proud of.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Hell is filled with bad lounge singers.
  • Hooch, not Big Red, is the best way to hold a kiss for hours.
  • Poodles make for poor guard dogs.
  • Moths are attracted to light sources. (The filmmakers did not seem to learn this lesson.)
  • Trying to beat someone's brains out against soft, sandy ground, is futile.
  • Women are impatient when they are horny.
  • I need to get out more.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 2 mins - Punch buggy blue!
  • 12 mins - Goat man walking.
  • 21 mins - You know, if I were Margaret, I would be worried that "The Master" was a euphemism.
  • 42 mins - A little something for the guys... ...what am I saying? This is idiocy!
  • 50 mins - Stared at my toes for five minutes. That was pretty cool.
  • 61 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A RATTLESNAKE!
  • 63 mins - What is it with poor jump edits and the police?
  • 68 mins - This movie cost me $20. For $8 I could have purchased a can of paint and watched it dry for sixty-eight minutes.

Quotes: 

  • Torgo: "But master, you have six wives. Why can't I have one for myself?"
    The Master: "You are not one of us. Therefore you cannot have one of them!"

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note manos1.wav Mike: "Where did this place come from? It wasn't here a few minutes ago."
Margaret: "I don't care; let's see if we can get some directions."
Green Music Note manos2.wav Torgo: "I am Torgo. I take care of the place while the Master is away."
Green Music Note manos3.wav Torgo: "There is nothing to fear madam. The Master likes you. Nothing will happen to you. He likes you."
Margaret: "Likes me? I thought you said he was dead."
Green Music Note manos4.wav The Master: "Arise, my wives, give ear to the words of Manos. Arise, my wives, and hear the will of Manos!"
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

ImageImageImage
ImageImageImage
Image


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipmanos1.mpg - 3.0m
The Master dominates Torgo and then preaches to the screen. Half the movie is like this.

I take that back, this is one of the good parts.

 Leave a commentEXTRASBuy the movie 

Share It!Buy the movieIMDB Logo
Stumble This ReviewStumble This Review
Digg This ReviewDigg This Review
Buy it from Amazon.com (United States)

Buy it from Movies Unlimited (United States)

Internet Movie Database


Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 15
Manos, the Hands of Fate
Reply #9. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Prof. Dr. Bergman
Yes it's Manos.  I know of the horrors of this film (and I mean the film itself.)  I actually showed this film to a good friend of mine who asked me to "do my worst."  Needless to say, he wanted to pummel me to death shortly afterwards.  This is definately in my most despised films.  Atleast "Orgy of the Dead" had nudity, this stinkberger just plain sucked.  Kudos for having the courage to watch this waste of celluliod.
Manos, the Hands of Fate
Reply #10. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Karin
The scariest thing about "Manos, The Hands of Fate", is that after seeing it a few times (yes, the MST3K version), I realized that I KNEW someone in the movie!!!!  I have been on stage (community theatre, that is) with one of the policemen!!!!  Yeah, that's a scare fest all its own!!!!!
Manos, the Hands of Fate
Reply #11. Posted on March 29, 2003, 06:18:54 PM by Steve B
We all know now how Frank Zappa came to be...he was The Master!!!
Manos, the Hands of Fate
Reply #12. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Dr. Maniac
    The guy who wrote, directed and starred in this movie actually had a day job.  He was a fertiliser salesman.  You heard me!  That alone should be warning enough but if you absolutely MUST see a contender for the worst film ever, here it is.  They must have though a hunchbacked servant was too cliche so they gave Torgo a speech impediment and knees the size of footballs, you could escape from this guy if you were on cruthces and yet NO ONE seems to be able to escape from the ramshackle-cabin-of-Doom.
   Yes, I have this one on video.  Whenever I have a party and it is 3 in the morning and the guests are all drunk and I want them to go home I put it on.  It clears the house in a matter of minutes!  Hasn't failed yet!
Manos, the Hands of Fate
Reply #13. Posted on April 05, 2003, 01:02:22 PM by Tygge Whitlin
This is proof that Ed Wood was not the worst director ever.
Manos, the Hands of Fate
Reply #14. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by LauraMT
"HANDS, the HANDS OF FATE" (MST version) is a favorite in my twisted household.  Where can I buy the soundtrack -- with the squabbling wives' music and the "haunting Torgo theme"?
Manos, the Hands of Fate
Reply #15. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Hero
I've only seen the MSTied version, but I knew a couple of guys at my old Rocky Horror theatre who were obsessed with this satanic turd and got a copy from Sinister Cinema. Lucky them. Did I mention one of these yahoos looked EXACTLY like Dr. Erhardt? <shudder>
Manos, the Hands of Fate
Reply #16. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Ryan
Movie...too...painful. I don't know how you survived this one without the MST3K commentary.
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 15
 Share on Facebook
RSS Feed Subscribe Subscribe by RSS
Email Subscribe Subscribe by Email


Recommended Articles
How To Find A Bad Movie

The Champions of Justice

Plan 9 from Outer Space

Manos, The Hands of Fate

Podcast: Todd the Convenience Store Clerk

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

The Human Tornado

Maniac

The Educational Archives: Driver's Ed

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

Do you have a zombie plan?

FROM THE BADMOVIES.ORG ARCHIVES
ImageThe Giant Claw - Slime drop

Earth is visited by a GIANT ANTIMATTER SPACE BUZZARD! Gawk at the amazingly bad bird puppet, or chuckle over the silly dialog. This is one of the greatest b-movies ever made.

Lesson Learned:
  • Osmosis: os·mo·sis (oz-mo'sis, os-) n., 1. When a bird eats something.

Subscribe to Badmovies.org and get updates by email:

HOME B-Movie Reviews Reader Reviews Forum Interviews TV Shows Advertising Information Sideshows Links Contact
Badmovies.org is owned and operated by Andrew Borntreger. All original content is © 1998 - 2014 by its respective author(s). Image, video, and audio files are used in accordance with Fair Use, and are property of the film copyright holders. You may freely link to any page (.html or .php) on this website, but reproduction in any other form must be authorized by the copyright holder.