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692241 Posts in 52189 Topics by 7377 Members
Latest Member: novartiinsurancebrokers Forum  |  Information Exchange  |  Reader Comments  |  Manos, the Hands of Fate « previous next »
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Author Topic: Manos, the Hands of Fate  (Read 232284 times)
Sora the B-Movie Alchemist
« Reply #60 on: November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM »

I was unfortunate enough to see the non-MST3K version. I was about to commit seppuku with my Kingdom Hearts disc for boredom.

Sora the B-Movie Alchemist's Ratings
This goes off the charts
« Reply #61 on: November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM »

    Walt, I'm putting $55 in an envelope and sending it to you right now.  The $5 is for a pitcher of beer.  The $50 is for a hooker. (Two if you're a careful shopper)  You sir, need to get out more
« Reply #62 on: November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM »

I remember catching the second half of this one night (sans Joel and the Bots) at 3 in the morning on some cable station that had reached the bottom of the barrel. I had been flipping around one last time before I went to bed - but this was like a train wreck - I couldn't take my eyes off it. I remember thinking, as slip wearing women wrestled in the sand and some weird guy with big knees talked funny and Frank Zappa showed off his new coat -  that this is the worst thing I have ever seen. Ever. It was like watching someones bad acid trip. I was haunted. My mind whimpered and howled and scratched at the back of skull in a vain attempt to escape. I couldn't stop watching until the end.
The only thing I didn't catch was the movies name. I supose that was my brain trying to protect itself. So imagine my horror/delight when I buy the MS3K tape of Manos and discover - I'd seen this film before.
Walt Freeman
« Reply #63 on: November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM »

Manos:  The Hands of Fate

From the opening shot of the horror film Manos:  Hands of Fate one thing is perfectly clear:  the audience is grippingly propelled through a taut, well-crafted tale of terror that is easily the most influential film ever made.  It is safe to say that every modern classic made after 1966 has worked hard to mimic the technical and artistic proficiencies of this film which, in its own right, is a tribute to every great work of art ever written or filmed prior to 1966 back through William Shakespeare and beyond.  There is not time nor space to trace the elements of the cultural landscape that inspired the film, nor explore fully the depth and breadth of its influence, but…what the hey…let’s give it a shot.  

The plot of the film is 68 minutes of pure joy for any devoted fan of tautly crafted horror.  The film is 68 minutes long but seems to take place over 8 minutes of actual time, a trick enhanced by altering the reality of the audience’s perception of time.  For example, the opening driving sequence appears to be a landscape travelogue of the entire distance between Mexico and Canada, but in reality is only a few miles.  Anyway, in the film a loving and devoted nuclear family (mother, husband, child and poodle) arrive at a lodge and never leave.  In the middle, they lose and find their child and we see a group of women slap each other for 45 minutes.  Oh, and they slap a man into a coma, but he recovers.  For trivia fans of horror and education, here is what can be learned from the plot of Manos:  Hands of Fate:
•   Satan keeps his dog on a leash.
•   Apparently you can’t slap a satyr to death.
•   Don’t maintain a stable of undead wives if they won’t listen to you when you repeatedly tell them to shut up.
•   If you don’t kill your defiant minion immediately, you will have to burn his hand off later.
•   Men can be rendered unconscious by tapping them lightly on the back with a large wooden staff.
•   If your child disappears into the desert at night, do a thorough search of a ten foot radius then give up.  She will eventually wander back with Satan’s Doberman.
•   Firing bullets directly into the face of Satan will not kill him.
•   Police search and rescue techniques consist of shining a red plastic covered flashlight into the desert for 4 seconds before they abandon the search.
•   A make-out session is always enhanced by a gallon of whiskey.  Men take note;  women be warned.
•   Satyr’s have flammable hands.
•   Miss Manners says:  “It’s not polite to point;  it is even less polite to point with the flaming severed hand of your minion.”

That being said, the origins of Manos:  hands of Fate can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome.  The ancient Greeks and Romans often wrote of mystical beasts that lived among men, both jealous and contemptuous of humanity.  This is clearly seen in the intense longing of the satyr, Torgo, and his passionate attempts to possess the hair of a woman.  His spastic attempts to stroke the pre-Jennifer Aniston hairflip of the lead actress painfully exudes the clumsy frustration of all who desire that which is within their reach but beyond their grasp.  His sorely misshapen knees and goat-like satyr-ness are directly influenced by Caliban from Shakespeare’s classic play The Tempest.  And who cannot help but be terrified, as mortals are, when Gods walk among us?  A theme explored as far back as Aeschylus and as recent as Elektra and that credit card commercial with all the superheroes in it, including Underdog.

Technically speaking, Manos:  Hands of Fate is clearly influenced by Orson Welles’ great film classic Citizen Kane and links the unique camera angles of that film landmark to such modern wonders as The Blair Witch Project and Fox network’s 24.  For example, who needs to see actors framed directly in shots when our imaginations of what they might be saying or doing is likely far greater than what they are actually saying or doing?  Doesn’t the real time driving sequence through almost 40 miles of non-descript landscape prepare us for the slow, inexorable crawl towards death that is our lives?  Doesn’t the woman’s randomly appearing and disappearing scarf suggest the fleeting and impermanent joys of rampant consumerism?  Finally, the random glimpse of the film’s cameraman in the mirror suggests, with a winking nod toward surrealism, that the fine line between art and life is little more than a half-step to the right.  

As for the acting…I pause, lest I swoon.  Who dares question the implied menace of the robe-guy’s glower?  The implied frustration of the hero’s inaction, through his obvious training in status and conflict, in which he subtly, yet effectively transmits an aura of the impotence of modern man as he struggles against forces beyond his control or understanding.  I’d like to see Brad Pitt or even Dustin Hoffman, supposedly this generation’s best actor, remain minimalistically stoic while being simultaneously frenched and slapped while tied unconscious to a pole.  Who else could so effectively portray the domination and neutering of the alpha-male in today’s feminine-sensitive post age of Chivalry?  But the icing on the Manos:  Hands of Fate cake, the good kind with the huge sugary flowers, is John Reynold’s bold, brilliant, bestial portrayal of Torgo the Satyr.  In Reynold’s deft hands, he is a man fighting to control his animal instincts and remain human while struggling against the pull of lust.  Overcome with knees the size of  swollen hams, he is all but consumed with desire when faced with the innocent submissive allure of a woman too weak to run ten feet, yet all too powerful in her ability to depend entirely on every male around her to tell her where to go and what to do.  What man can resist that temptation?  I’ll tell you.  A man of Torgo’s stature and species can.  Reynold’s all but allows his tics and twitches to tell the tale of the inner demons that seek to control him.  In the end, when his hand ignites and separates from his body, he runs off into the desert night, finally a free man free of his hands.  Of fate?  Yes.  His hands of fate, man.  Oh, yes.  His hands of fate.  What kind of man?  I’ll tell you.  A goat-man.  

Costume-wise, never has clothing so defined characters since Superman felt the need to wear a huge S on his chest.  It stood for Superman.  This was so as not to confuse him with the other people in Metropolis who flew or stopped bullets with their chests.  In Manos:  Hands of Fate the servant has two hands on his robe.  Two hands, because in the title there are two hands.  The word Manos, which is Spanish for Hands and the word Hands, which roughly translates to Manos in Spanish.  So there are two hands on the man’s robe and two hands in the title.  One fate for each of the characters in the film and one fate in the title.  But there are many “the’s” in the film’s dialogue, but only one “The” in the title, which goes to show you that we have more articles in English grammar than we do fates in our lives.  Finally, there is an “OF” in the title and that is a preposition.  When you think about it, it’s really very deep.

Lastly, the theme of Manos:  Hands of Fate is multi-layered and timeless.  When the hero is suddenly Torgo in the end, but not a goat, we see the old ways replaced with the new and it is clearly an economic statement about job security and modern manservants replacing ancient mythical goat creatures.  The female fighting scene clearly speaks to the objectifying of women as non-sex objects by having them wear unattractive clothing and fight in the sand.  Clearly, this is a pre-70’s attempt to reconcile the post-70’s manly feminine ideal with the current woman as powerslut image popular among teens today.  Lastly, the scene in which the small girl wanders off in plain view of her parents, prompting a frantic room search before giving up is a statement on the inability of modern parents to control the obvious and simple behavior of their children.  Oh, and when the chick makes out with the guy while he is unconscious and tied to a pole, then she slaps him, well…that’s just good clean fun.  It’s so wrong…yet somehow so very very right.

In conclusion, could Manos:  Hands of Fate be made into a film today?  The answer is no.  The cookie-cutter product machines that serve as directors today lack the auteur visionary brilliance of Harold (Manos:  Hands of Fate) Warren.  In simple math, it goes like this:  if $16,000 can produce Manos:  Hands of Fate and 250 million dollars can produce films like Star Wars:  Revenge of the Sith  then aren’t we getting more film for more money?  Can we afford not to not spend more money so we can get films for less?  Think about it.  Star Wars had over twice the budget of Manos, but aside from a few lightsaber battles and a couple of Wookies, can we afford to sacrifice the human element of films?  I think not.  When considering these artistic dilemmas, ask yourself, “What would Torgo do?”  If your answer is, “Run screaming into the desert night while a madman points at people with the flaming stump of your hand,” then clearly you arrived at the same answer as me.  

Sir Phobos: Knight of Mars
« Reply #64 on: November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM »

The only saving grace for this "movie" would have to be the commentary from Joel and the bots.  Never have I seen a film with so [perhaps too] much driving, butt ugly scenery, looong moments when none of the actors say/do anything, etc.  Hell, at time lip movements were not in tendem with the badly dubbed voices.  

This film makes watching "Alone in the Dark" seem like a good idea.  Dear God, what am I saying!!!???
« Reply #65 on: November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM »

I caught the MST3K "Manos" (always include the quotes when referring to "Manos") about a week ago after my friends warned me HEAVILY away from it, and goddamn if it wasn't one of the worst bad movies ever... and that's exactly what I love about it. Then I found a streaming version of the unedited (well, mostly unedited) version on-line at
I watched it six times over two days... and I like it more each time I see it.
It fires badness on every cylinder, to the epitome of awful, making it utterly fascinating to watch (yes dry and clean, no booze or weed).  The more you watch it the more fun it gets.  Torgo is my hero, Margaret is foxy, the Master's mumu kicks ass, and that unintelligable kid (Debbie) cracks me up every time.
I've captured a ton of stills from this film and the surprising thing is how nicely composed *some* (a very select few) of the shots are.

Hail "Manos"
The Seventh Son
« Reply #66 on: November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM »

Wow, I just picked this up for 8 bucks at an cult film shop downtown yesterday.  I was ripped off of a joint and luckily the high lasted for the whole length of the movie. I actually replayed the 2 seconds where a whole chunk of scenery was taken out while this weird cabaret lady was singing...ok pot moments aside...
The film was stupid to the point of me realizing that well Plan 9 had a "plot". These aliens in silver pajamas wanted to take over the Earth and resurrect the dead. And guess what? It actually WORKED! In this film, Dweezil's dad made menacing comments, repeated the same menacing comments 20-30 more times, but never achieved anything.
« Reply #67 on: November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM »

I threw up a little in my mouth while watching this film. It's okay though, I just swallowed it.
Joey Crouch
« Reply #68 on: November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM »

This movie isn't good for every Manos, Womanos, or Childos in the Humanos race.
« Reply #69 on: March 26, 2006, 01:06:55 PM »

In certain lights at certain angles, Torgo is kinda cute. He looks a bit like a deranged George Cloony.
« Reply #70 on: November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM »

I am usually able to find some sort of silver lining in most movies, but even I'm having a difficult time trying to find something good about "Manos".
« Reply #71 on: September 10, 2006, 04:32:56 PM »

Before Hitler shaved his mustache to resemble a paintbrush and slicked his hair with greasy gel, he spoke English and was...THE MASTER!
Total Nut
« Reply #72 on: November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM »

It was hard enough for me to watch the MST3K version. I remember even Joel and the 'bots found it especially bad. I did love the "break" portion, though, where Joel was wearing a mock "Manos" cape that had red FEET instead of hands! THAT was funny.
« Reply #73 on: November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM »

Bad acting, horrible dialogue, some lines don't make any sense, what kind of movies is this?
Steve Condrey
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« Reply #74 on: August 27, 2007, 12:44:11 AM »

 Cheers  You managed to sit through this piece of excrement without the aid of Joel and the Bots.  Andrew, you've confirmed for me that Marines really are the toughest people on Earth!!!!
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