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Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)

Not Rated  |   |  Horror  |  15 November 1966 (USA)
1.9
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A family gets lost on the road and stumbles upon a hidden, underground, devil-worshiping cult led by the fearsome Master and his servant Torgo.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Neyman ...
John Reynolds ...
Diane Adelson ...
Margaret (as Diane Mahree)
Harold P. Warren ...
Michael (as Hal Warren)
Stephanie Nielson ...
Sherry Proctor ...
Robin Redd ...
Jackey Neyman ...
Bernie Rosenblum ...
Joyce Molleur ...
William Bryan Jennings ...
Cop
Jay Hall ...
Bettie Burns ...
Lelanie Hansard ...
Pat Coburn ...
Edit

Storyline

A family driving through a small town gets lost and winds up at a backwoods shack managed by Torgo, who takes care of it while The Master is away. The Master worships Manos, an evil deity, and he also wears a neat cape. When Torgo lets the family stay, The Master awakens and does mean stuff like burning off Torgo's hand and sicking his dog on the family pet. Meanwhile, The Master's wives wrestle for his favor. Written by Jeremy Yuenger <yuenger@tony.bc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

master | torgo | lost | cult | night | See All (62) »

Taglines:

No one seated the last 10 minutes! We defy you to guess the ending... and ask you not to divulge it! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 November 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fingers of Fate  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$19,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One day, to mock Harold P. Warren's prima donna attitude to directing, Bernie Rosenblum impersonated Erich von Stroheim, wearing a safari suit and barking out orders. See more »

Goofs

When The Master is waving Torgo's stick at him, he waves it slowly side-to-side from Torgo's point of view. Seen from behind, he jerks it around quickly. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Margaret: We're almost there, honey. Just a little while longer and your vacation starts.
Debbie: I'm getting cold, mother, and hungry!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The End? See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A $300 refrigerator , and I am still waiting for the sequel
21 April 2005 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

Upon release, Manos: The Hands of Fate swept theaters throughout the world, causing mass hysteria, panic, and power outages as theater-owners tried to keep up withe the endless demands for more power to power more projectors and sound equipment. Concerns for the general health of the world's population kept it shelved for several years, but now, finally, the greatest film of all time has been unleashed upon the public. With a score by John Coltrane and Frank Zappa (who also appears as "The Master"), direction by Martin Coppolla (illegitimate son of Mr. Scorses and Francis Ford...), and a script written by Stephen King (at the age of 14), Manos is as legendary as it is brilliant.

Not.

There really is no sense in beating this poor film into the ground any more than it already has been. What I find sort of amusing is that after a third or fourth viewing (yes, I admit it, I'm a masochist), is that it's sort of grown on me a bit. Like a fungus!

Manos is about a small family of yankees who get lost in the southwestern US and end up in a place from which nobody can leave, in an Inn overseen by a twitching human-goat hybrid named Torgo (who steals the show) and owned by the enigmatic "Master" - a worshipper of Manos who collects wives through trapping them at his inn. I guess you can figure the rest of the film out pretty easily. This ends up being a horror film with virtually no horror, an action film with the most poorly shot action sequences I've ever seen, and an artsy jazz vehicle with such poor acoustic sound quality that it would have been much better with just the groovy soundtrack and no dialog.

The biggest problem with Manos is what we call "Production values". To cut to the chase, there are none.

There is too much wrong with this film to list it all out, so instead I will list what's right with it. The acting is not entirely awful - but the sound, editing, pacing and camera work are so bad that the actors all look totally ridiculous at all times. The script is not the worst I've seen, but it is lost in the jerks and irks of the pace (dramamine recommended), and finally, the plot is no worse than some of the recent Hollywood horror catastrophes I have seen, but it to is swept up in the maelstrom of maleficence emanating from the director's chair.

The result would make a great object example for a film production class in "what not to do". Most people will find this film tedious, idiotic, and unwatchable. The average person, I think will turn it off after the first 5 minutes of countryside pans during the opening driving scenes.

Some would argue that my rating of 2 is too high. I won't argue that point but I will explain that I reserve "1" for those truly aggravating films which do more harm then good, serve no purpose, and do nothing to expand the boundaries of contemporary film-makers' and cinema-goers imaginations. Most of these are commercial Hollywood romantic and sex comedies and horror films. Manos, at least, occupies an important place in film-making history, and should really be seen by would-be film-makers and participants. At least it didn't cost much to make, and at least it does no real long lasting harm. Can't say the same for, for example, "American Pie". For these reasons, I reserve the rating "1" for such truly harmful films. The distinction is best made through an analogy. If you buy a refrigerator for $3000, and it breaks down immediately upon the expiration of the warranty, that refrigerator has done you some harm. If you buy one for $300, and it does the same, you should count yourself lucky.


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