Manos: The Hands of Fate

October 16, 2016 at 11:51 pm (1 Head, Manos: The Hands of Fate) (, , )

Manos: The Hands of Fate – 1966 – United States

A family gets lost in the Texas desert. After a pointless ten minute driving scene, they reach a ranch. Michael, the man of the family, knocks on the door to ask for help. He meets the satyr-like Torgo who famously claims, “I take care of the house while the Master is away.” Michael insists that he and his family stay the night, even though every other character in the film is against it. Living in the house is a pagan cult. The Master and his many wives conduct rituals to Manos, the “god of primal darkness”. During the night, the family dog is killed by a bigger dog and Michael’s wife is sexually harassed by Torgo. Meanwhile, the Master abuses Torgo (because he grovels pathetically), and the Master’s wives have a big catfight. Eventually, Torgo is massaged (?) to death, Michael’s daughter and wife are married to the Master, and Michael is the Master’s brainwashed slave.

Manos: The Hands of Fate is an abominable pile of crap that developed a cult status after appearing on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 television show. Manos is an amateur effort written, produced, directed, and starring Harold P. Warren. Every aspect of the film is awkward and full of naive mistakes, but Manos is best known for its amusing dialogue, which was all recorded in post-production. The characters speak in a deadpan way and often repeat themselves. The results are quotable.

Torgo explains to Michael why he cannot leave the house: “There is no way out of here. It will be dark soon. There is no way out of here.”

The Master addresses his wives: “Arise my wives. Give ear to the words of Manos. Arise my wives and hear the will of Manos!”

One of the Master’s wives discusses killing Michael and his family: “The woman is all we want! The others must die! They all must die! We do not even want the woman!”

Manos’ absurd characters, dialogue, and situations never stop. However, its most silly (and often discussed) sequence involves an amorous young couple. Three times throughout the film, the couple is shown making out in a convertible until the cops harass them. These pointless scenes are entirely unrelated to the film’s plot. They highlight the anything goes approach of Manos’ creator Harold P. Warren.

Rating: 1/10 Shrunken Heads. The coolest part of Manos is the Master’s fabulous robe decorated with two giant handprints.

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