I know what the readers are thinking; Why the heck am I reviewing this old movie instead of anything recent such as 9 or Jennifer’s Body or any of the other movies out? Well, there’s an old saying, “One can only learn from others’ mistakes, not their successes.” Surprisingly, that’s mostly true. Let’s say a neophyte just learning the ropes was riding a bike and crashes. At that point the neophyte learns not to go too slowly or whatever contributed to the accident. If any of The Bay Eagle readers are aspiring movie directors, the best advice to give is to try not to model the film after other famous movies; one would not be able to create anything decent without ripping off a previous film and after all, movies are often great because they are fresh and unique (Terminator, E.T., and The Shining come to mind). Anyways, let’s look at one of the best examples of how NOT to make a movie and how to make a person tear their eyes out of their sockets with a bendy straw, Manos: The Hands of Fate.
Manos is more than horrible. It’s an abomination of mankind, the absolute pinnacle of horrendousness. I’d rather rip my toes off one by one while bayonetting the inside of my ears with a rusty axe. Well moving on, let’s watch this deterioration of sanity.
We start off in what must be the worst opening of all time. You know those drives in the middle of nowhere where nothing is happening, the background is boring, everything is quiet and you ran out of battery for your iPod/Phone? Well, that’s the opening. I swear, it’s just dead silence where NOTHING HAPPENS. No one is introduced, nothing is visually interesting, it’s literally the down right most obnoxious way to pad a movie. And I timed it; it’s nine minutes and thirty-eight seconds. Seriously, do you need nine minutes and thirty eight seconds to make the point that they are driving? WHY?!?!? Oh, and the characters are amiss. Some may say that the three characters have no personality. However, I have to be honest; they have excellent personalities. Micheal (The Dad) has the personality of sandpaper, Margaret (The Mom) has the personality of cardboard, and Debbie has the very circuitous and well developed personality of a stapler. Oh, and there’s a dog somewhere in there, but who cares.
Well then, four thousand eons later, the family finally reaches a small hotel where a strange man comes out and says, “I am Torgo. I take care of the place while the Master is away.” Torgo is a satyr-like person who acts as a housekeeper. He takes an hour to walk anywhere, talks like a Microsoft Sam if it was a real boy and is scared by children among other things. Ladies and Gentlemen, our threating henchmen. Just sends chills down your spine, doesn’t he? There is going to be mass hysteria after this film.
Next, we are informed that it’s getting dark, despite the fact that the sun is completely out and the family decides to stay at the hotel. Inside is all this weird hand related stuff. Items include a hand bookend, a hand staff, a hand rug, and…a hand toothbrush. Seriously, I don’t care what cult/fictional religion is, that’s just meh at the highest caliber. Among these things is a large painting (hey look, it’s the best actor in this crappy movie!) of the “Master,” who, despite scaring the crud out of the guests is hilarious. The Master looks like Freddie Mercury with this giant robe with hands on it while he’s striking a goofy snarl. Just give him a spooky green glow and he would be the quintessential Scooby Doo villain. Next to him is this dog that’s cropped out by bad camera editing and consequently looks like one of the ghosts from Pac-Man.
Then, a growl which sounds more like a T-Rex attack than an ordinary desert animal alarms the family, and since Margaret is a selfish coward, she sends Micheal who goes to his car with a flashlight and revolver to investigate the potential Jurassic Park ripoff. Unfortunately, we do not get to see Micheal get his upper torso ripped off since the dinosaur ran off. However, the dog gets killed, although it isn’t that much of a problem for the daughter since she happens to find another black dog with a leash in the middle of the desert. Gee, I wonder if this dog has anything to do with the painting of Freddie Mercury in the Hotel that the film took five minutes to address…
Meanwhile, we see Torgo try to make an advance on Margaret (trust me, it’s as stupid as it sounds) in order to have his own wife. The Master hypnotizes whatever women come to the hotel and force them to become his wife so he can sacrifice them to the mysterious god known as Unexplained Plot Hole. However, Torgo wants his own wife as payment for his services. Blah, Blah, on to the “story” if you can call it that.
Eventually, Michael and Margaret are walking around in the desert for no reason whatsoever when they stumble upon a strange ritual-like scene. We see the master lying on a stone tablet surrounded by a bunch of women (his wives) tied to poles. However, before they have the chance to run away, Torgo ties Micheal to a pole for no reason whatsoever. Eventually, the wives wake up and do nothing but argue about what to do with the girl for seven minutes. Eventually, it evolves into a fight, which would be funny, except that it lasts nine more minutes. Wow, Harold P. Warren must love everything in excess which is ironic because it has no story, no logic, and most importantly, no interesting scenes.
Unfortunately, this is where the movie gets the dumbest. Torgo gets captured by the killer wives, tied to a stone bench, and (get ready) massages him to death. Wow. Torgo is acting like he’s having Instantaneous Epilepsy while the girls act like they’re dog paddling in midair and during all of this, the Master has this goofy grin which is not at the slightest unnerving. Oh god, please don’t loosen my arm muscles! Do what you like, just please don’t stretch my calf muscles! Seriously, this scene speaks for itself; it’s something that has to be seen to be believed. However, Freddie Mercury realizes that this is an absolutely stupid scene and rips off Torgo’s hand while it burns into a smoldering crisp. Freddie Mercury then sets his sights on the family.
So, how does the family escape the wrath of Freddie Mercury? What happened to Torgo? Wait a minute…why would anyone want to find out? I’d rather rip out my jaw with a table leg and cover the wound with acid! I’d rather have all my joints bend the opposite way while getting jabbed with broken glass! It’s more interesting to watch grass grow! It’s more frightening watching markers dry! I hate this movie! What were they thinking? Usually, B-Movies end up being so bad they somehow spring back up to the top and become rather funny. But Manos, on the other hand, is the bottom of the barrel. No, not even the bottom of the barrel, it’s so sinister that it doesn’t deserve to be in the same sentence as “barrel.” Well, that’s all I can take, I just hope that my actions made me a martyr so that none of you will ever have the displeasure of seeing this…this……so called “movie”…