Manos: The Hands of Fate is easily the worst movie ever made. This is quite an achievment, as it beats "Disaster Movie", "Plan 9 from Outer Space", and even "Gay N***ers from Outer Space" (actual movie, as much as we wish it was not.)
The film that we shall not name was produced by the late Harold P. Warren. This was the only movie he ever produced, making it his only claim to fame. His story is actually quite sad, considering he was a complete failure in show business. We can relate, seeing how our home-made porno also failed horribly.
You might spot the problem.
the film that we will not, aw fuck it Manos on a bet that he could produce a successful horror film on a very limited budget. It is believed that he lost more on the movie than on the bet, but just barely. Warren soon started raising funds for what is the officially the worst charity ever.
Even worse than this.
Warren somehow managed to raise about $19,000, presumably on other stupid bets that nobody expected or wanted him to actually follow through on. However, this was apparently not enough money to buy a camera that can actually film for more than thirty seconds at a time. He then managed to recruit his buddies to work as the cast and crew by (we think) switching his crap script with Julius Caeser until they signed the contract, laughing manically when they realized they literally did not sign up for this shit. Admittedly, this is a good trap. At some point in the production, even the cast and crew started to hate it. This could be for several reasons, the most obvious one was that they were working on an extremely crappy movie. However, most sources cite that Warren thought that being a director gave him the liberty to be a complete douche.
This idea is formerly known as the "Uwe Boll Theory" named after the man who made great bounds in the field of doucheology
Finally, after two months of incubation, the Hell-spawn was ready to burst from the vagina that was Warren's mind and soak the poor, unsuspecting town of El Paso, Texas in its afterbirth. Warren understandably made a big deal out of opening night, even renting a limo (which, in El Paso, we assume means a stretch tractor.) He rolled out the red carpet, walked in like the goddamn director he is...and was laughed out of the theater by the audience. Hell, we actually have to give the guy some sympathy, as this had to be one of the worst moments of his life. Then again, this is Manos we're talking about, so, on second thought, we're taking our sympathy back.
Warren's life went downhill from here. He attempted to make a sequel but was shot down harder than Nazi bombers over England, for close to the same reason (to stop the spread of crappy movies. Have you seen the movies from that era?) He then tried to turn the movie into a book, called Satan Rides a Bike. Fortunately for those of us who like to read, it was rejected by the publishers.
If only I had a car!
Now, you have heard us bag on this movie for a little while now, and we are sure you are asking yourself, "What does this douchebag have against this Warren guy? Surely, the movie cannot be half as bad as he says it is!" Well, we assure you, it is not half as bad, it is twice that half, so not quite as bad (wait...two halves make...fuck it, we didn't care in sixth grade, and we sure as hell don't care now.)
Anyway, let's start at the beginning. The movie starts off strong, if your definition of strong is filming traffic for about fifteen minutes, throwing the title in there somewhere (as seen on the top of the page) and calling it a fucking day, but not before showing a random couple make out and get busted by the police for some unknown reason. This is all accompanied to the stockiest of the stock music, which makes it sound like you are at some grocery store for composers of elevator music. Bad elevator music. Seriously, you can skip the first ten to fifteen minutes of the movie. While you're at it, go ahead and skip the rest of the movie too. You'll thank me later. At some point, the family at the beginning that said nothing at all of any interest suddenly become the main characters, as they get lost and pull over at a very suspicious looking inn. This is where we first meet the cinematic icon that is: Torgo.
Just the person you would rent a room from. Why doesn't Hotwire have him as their mascot?
Seriously, Warren misses the point of the creepy motel entirely. The motel needs to at least look half-decent at first, like in Psycho. Nobody would rent a room from someone who walks and talks like he has drank a little too much after celebrating his last successful string of murders. Anyway, the family decides to be dumber than horror movie teenagers and take the room. Inside the room, they see a disturbing painting of "the Master" to whom Torgo previously referred. The wife, Margaret, makes a comment that she thought he was supposed to be dead. Torgo replies, "Not dead in the way you know it. He is with us always." Okay, how stupid are these people? The only possible good expanation for that statement is that he's dead, but Torgo isn't ready to let go yet. Most of the other explanations are something along the lines that Torgo tries to pretend like the master is alive, or that he stuffed the body right UNDER YOUR BED, INTENDING TO DO THE SAME TO YOU WHEN YOU FALL ASLEEP. Still, the family goes on, blissfully unaware of their immenent doom or their current stupidity.
The first victim of their stupidity is their poor dog, who chases after something but dies for no reason. Michael, the husband finds the body and demands to leave, which is something they should have done the first time they saw Torgo's shining face. However, the car will not start, meaning that instead of trying to fix it, or walking, Michael grabs a revolver and hopes that Torgo doesn't eat them (all though he seems to have an attraction for Margaret's hair.)
Debbie, the daughter, searches for her lost dog, instead finding a huge dog that probably wants to eat her even more than Torgo does. The parents follow her to where she found the dog, and find several women lying around the tomb. Instead of appropriately getting the hell out of there, they decide to go back to the house, to ask Torgo about this. This is about as smart as going back to Camp Crystal Lake alone to confront Jason about all those people he killed. Or going to check on the children after you realize that the call is coming from inside the house. Or renting a room from Norman Bates after you find the skeleton of his mother. Or deciding that the appropriate way to celebrate escaping Freddy Kreuger is to take a nap. Or taking a dinner invitation from Leatherface and his cheery family. Or trying to save your buddy from zombies after he has already been devoured. Or going to a Cracked office party. The list goes on.
Anyway, the Dumbshits (the only logical last name for the family) head back to the house, and we are treated to the scariest scene in the movie: Torgo peeping (or making out with the window, we can't tell) upon an undressing Magaret Dumbshit. Since we have never been in a situation where we believe that the motel we are staying at is planning to murder us, we can only assume that undressing is the natural reaction to discovering said information. Shortly afterwards, Michael is ambushed by Torgo, who clubs him into unconciousness. Anyone who can actually get snuck up on by that guy deserves to get tied up to a pole for no apparent reason. Torgo is probably the worst candidate for Ninja Master ever.
Somehow, he's even worse than this guy.
The women and the Master arise from the tomb, which somehow actually makes the movie less scary, as the idea of Torgo just being stupid/crazy/crazy stupid was scarier than what we all knew was going to happen. The scene cuts to the couple who was making out in the beginning who are continuing their antics of making out (despite it being the dead of night), again stopped by the police, who must be either the getting-to-first-base cops, or secretly trying to film a really lame porno.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to bring you in on the charge of getting some.
The police learn from the couple that the Dumbshits went further down the road even though, wait for it, the officers say there is nothing down that road! (the script probably called for a" DUN DUN DUNNN" but the production values didn't allow for it.) The cops send them away again, even though the guy is obviously drunk (not a joke. He seriously was hitting the whiskey bottle pretty hard. Like, the bottle was on the car floor. I think that this would be a greater offense than kissing a girl in public, but then again, this is El Paso.)
The scene cuts back to the Master, wearing a robe with red hands in the fabric. Here, we learn that the Master wants to sacrifice the Dumbshits to his god, Manos, whose hands are of fate, or something like that. The wives fight each other over who gets the settlment money from suing Warren's sorry ass for making them be in such a piss-poor movie. Or it might have had something to do with the sacrificing thing. Doesn't really matter in the end, since this breaks down into the most stereotypical catfight ever, something that the unkeen observer would call "playing in the sand." It goes on long enough to the point where we actually became bored with watching women wrestle each other in the sand, and this is even with the fact that we can more or less see through the robes (they're wearing something underneath, but at this point we could care less.) We have to admit, we didn't believe that it could happen, so congratulations Manos! To quote MST3K "I'm guessing that this is the reason this whole movie was made. Right here."
We cut to a scene of the Master waking Torgo up. (If you are noticing that our writing seems to be a little scattered, good. Because this is exactly the feeling you will have when watching this film. We're guessing the whole "shitty camera that can't film for more than thirty seconds at a time" thing really came back to bite them in the ass.) The Master states that he wants Torgo dead, which is the kind of thing you don't tell someone right to their face. We have to admire Torgo for this. If our boss told us that he was going to go ahead and kill us, we would start on our letters of resignation. Torgo really sticks with it.
The face of a model employee.
However, the Master does decide to take a safety precaution and knocks Torgo out. How he does this is not specifically known, but we can assume that it is with the power of his mustache.
Yes...look into my 'stache. Let it consume you.
Anyway, the Master breaks up the catfight after about half-hour, with the women sustaining abosolutely no damage. He proceeds with the execution of Torgo, by ordering the women to kill him. Unfortunately, if the catfight was any indication, the women do not know how to properly execute anyone, not even someone who should be dead in the first place, as Torgo should. They attempt to tickle Torgo to death, a method that generally doesn't even kill small, red, furry monsters, let alone monsters like Torgo.
HAHAHAHA! You cannot kill me! I AM A GOD!
The Master soon gets fed up with this game of Tickle Me Torgo, and orders the women to back off. He leads Torgo over to the fire, and with his touch of Manos magic, gets Torgo's hand to burst into flame. Torgo runs off, surprisingly quiet for someone who just got his hand Manos-ed off.
The movie cuts back to the Dumbshits, with the father untying himself and rejoining the family. They finally decide to leave, after Margaret saw the Master gazing through her window. However, Margaret gets lazy and they decide in a stroke of brilliance, "FUCK IT. LET'S GO BACK TO THE HOUSE. THEY WON'T LOOK FOR US THERE!" And then, when no one saw it coming, the Master looks in his own house and finds the family. Michael shoots two bullets, which apparently have no effect on the Master. He subjects the family to his mustache power, and the scene fades to black.
The film subjects us to another three minutes of two women driving with a camera in the back of the car, intent on filming the rearview mirror. The film cuts again to the couple that are still fucking kissing even though its been at least ten hours. The women pull into the house, and it is shown that Michael has taken Torgo's position, with Margaret and Debbie becoming the Master's wives. Debbie, may we remind you, is about six years old. The credits finally roll, over smooth jazz and clips of the movie. The movie ends with the classic ending: "The End?" It's over. It's finally over. Yes, Hal Warren, it is indeed the end. You don't need to ask questions.
Now, this movie was easily the worst movie ever made. It is mocked to no end. Harold Warren will always be famous for his greatest failure. But guess what? He's famous. He did something that just about all of you (myself included) will never do. He made a fucking movie. He did what most people thought couldn't be done. He went from fertilizer salesman to movie director. We have to respect him for that. Besides, even if it was completely unintentional (or rather, because it was unintentional), this is among the funniest movies of all time. Or at least the Mystery Science Theater version is.
Joel Robinson and his brave robot crew, making crappy movies hilarious.
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