Manos: The Hands of Fate-What is that Black S**t Under Your Fingernails…?
…Oh dear Lord…
For nearly two years I have touted Troll 2 as the worst movie of all time, and believe me that movie earned it. Before Troll 2, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie carried the moniker like a flag at the Special Olympics.
But everyone seems to forget this little gem like that awkward moment when you’re at the Clinique counter(waiting on my battered half in my case) during a crowded day at Belk you realize that you trusted the wrong fart a little too much.
Really, that’s the best description I can give Manos: The Hands of Fate: It is a shart in the pants of the industry. I dare say that this movie is(dun-dun-dun)…
THE WORST MOVIE I HAVE EVER SEEN.
Michael, Margaret, their 6-year-old daughter Debbie, and their dog Peppy are all piled in the car near El Paso, Texas looking for a place called the “Valley Lodge.” The first thing you’ll notice is that it seems as if the actors performed the movie, then went back in later and did voice-overs.
They pass a convertible with a young couple making out furiously(for no apparent reason or significance to the plot whatsoever), and soon have a run-in with the police because Michael is speeding.
Yes, this really is the plot so far.
After skipping a great deal of asinine nonsense written by an insurance salesman(I’ll explain in the verdict) we find the family at the doorstep of a mysterious lodge and a gimpy-looking dude in a hat standing at the door.
“My name is Torgo. I watch the place while the Master is away!”
Against Torgo and Margaret’s wishes Michael insists that they stay the night since it is getting dark and they are hopelessly lost. Torgo explains(over and over again) that the Master will not approve of the dog or the child.
While Margaret and Michael gaze at a creepy-looking portrait of the Master and his dog Torgo goes out back and we get to meet the Master and his wives. They are all asleep, though the women are asleep under the Master’s spell.
Torgo claims that one of the women is evil, and that the Master has enough wives and that Margaret belongs to him(he also cops himself a feel. Silly Torgo.)
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Peppy gets loose and disappears into the night. Michael chases him, but Peppy is suddenly killed by something strange in the dark. The Master awakens, and Torgo knocks Michael out and drags him off into the night while Margaret and Debbie sleep.
The women bicker about whether or not to kill Debbie, but all agree that Michael has to die. The Master laughs maniacally(over and over again) and tells them all to be silent, accusing the head wife of being a traitor since she wants Debbie to live.
The Police show up and stop the couple from making out. Again.
No, let’s take a damn moment here people. This is the third time they’ve stopped these two horn-birds from playing tongue sabers, and for what? NOTHING. These characters literally have NOTHING to do with the plot. At all. Period. Do not look for symbolism or anything deep because all you will find is a big ol’ bag of pointless wrapped up in a bucket of stupid.
The Master punishes Torgo for his actions while they were asleep, making him lay down on the altar while the women gather around. The Master orders them to kill Torgo, and they furiously slap at him and yank at his clothing(because, you know that s**t’s lethal and stuff. Yeah.).
Michael wakes up and realizes that Margaret and Debbie have been nabbed by the Master, who is laughing insanely(with the EXACT same laugh over and over again like a f**king broken record). He runs to the back area where they are tied up and frees them after knocking Torgo out.
The family runs to the house but are cornered by the Master, who opens his cape and comes at them menacingly like a creeper at candy store. Cut to black, and open on Thelma and Louise on a road trip when they happen by the lodge. Michael is standing at the door like a gimp.
“My name is Michael. I watch the place while the master is away!”
Yeah, shocker. I know.
Cut to the back of the place where the Master and his wives are sleeping. We see that Margaret has now joined the wives. Another camera shot shows that…okay, ew. Debbie is now also one of the wives. So not only is the Master a horrible actor with a tarantula growing on his upper lip, he is also a pervert.
Ew, dude. Just ew.
VERDICT: JUST F**KING SHOOT ME.
I was left without words when this movie ended, not about the ending(that was just f**king disgusting, man), but because the acting, the camera work, hell, the EVERYTHING about this movie was just bad.
Okay, the Insurance crack. Harold P. Warren, the writer/director/star(Michael) of the movie was an insurance salesman. The outline for the script was penned on a napkin in a coffee shop, and he raised $19,000(equivalent to $136,703 in 2014 dollars) to fund this embarrassment.
He rented the camera, but had a tight deadline to return it. Therefore, to make the deadline, he shot all night shots in since everyone worked during the day. Also, the camera only shot 32 seconds at a time, so the scenes are choppy(and that’s being nice) and cut in really bad places.
The experience was hell on everyone involved. John Reynolds(Torgo) ate a shotgun shell a month before the movie premiered, and everyone involved pretty much walked away from Warren after filming was complete.
The acting is atrociously bad, the script being voice-work since there apparently was no way to record sound at all on the set. Jackie Neyman(Debbie) was brought to tears at the premier when she saw her mouth moving on screen and another woman’s(yes, not little girl. Woman) voice instead of her own.
Since this sinker dropped there have been a few nods to it’s horrible quality, and even an 8-bit mobile game was released as well as an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 where the robots sat mostly in silence because they had nothing to say.
It’s not that it was the 60’s and resources for quality film makers was limited, it’s that this movie would’ve been a mutated dingle berry hanging off of Hollywood’s a**hair even if Warren had spent more than $19k on the project. The story, the script, everything was just lousy.
I would rather eat an entire 5lb bag of the Haribo Sugar-Free Gummy Bears while a band of unreasonably enraged circus midgets made me drink coffee made with a fat dude’s armpit sweat and filtered through the crotch of his whitey tighties than watch this movie again.