Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Movie Review: MST3K: Manos: the Hands of Fate

Manos: the Hands of Fate is generally considered to be one of the worst movies ever made. It came about as a bet between Route 66 screenwriter Stirling Silliphant and Hal Warren. Hal Warren asserted that making a film was easy, and he would make one just to prove it.[1] The awful result was Manos: The Hands of Fate. It is about a family that gets lost on a road trip and ends up trapped on a remote ranch run by a satyr [2] who is subservient to a supernatural (and polygamous) being called 'The Master'. With a plot like that, it's only natural that the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 guys got their hands on it.[3]

My verdict: Even with the riffs, this movie was really terrible. I mean, really terrible. On a happier note, I've arranged my favorite riffs according to where they appeared:
  • Metashow: Ziggy had Garfield neutered (two of the least-funny comics); exaggerated body parts (this one was slightly crude).
  • Preshow: Dad puts a cloth on his head.
  • Show: That's the slowest car chase I've ever seen; Valley Loogie; that's not how you wear your Depends, Torgo; finally, I can get rid of that […] dog; his name is Mephisto, can we keep him; Torgo, don't burn any bridges just yet, buddy; oh, my hernia; oh, I get it; hey, this movie just lapped itself; oh, no, it's starting over; as well as most of the 'riffs' during the scenes involving the Master's several wives.
  • DVD Extras: Poopie Reel (i.e. Blooper Reel).


[1] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manos: The Hands of Fate.

[2] The actor that played the satyr, John Reynolds, was required to wear special rigging that made his legs look like those of a goat. Only Reynolds wore them backwards, which made it very painful and awkward-looking to walk—and no one corrected him. Wearing the rigging backwards eventually destroyed his kneecaps and he began taking painkillers. Just before the film premiered in El Paso, Texas, Reynolds shot himself in the head. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manos: The Hands of Fate#Production. It is claimed that his suicide had nothing to do with Manos: The Hands of Fate. But I have trouble believing that the constant pain caused by wearing the satyr rigging backwards had nothing to do with it.

[3] Read some of my other MST3K reviews here and here.

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