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November 23, 2011 10:36 PM   Subscribe

Just in time for Turkey Day.
Recently something unique came into my possession: the original 16mm work-print of Manos: The Hands of Fate. (made famous by these guys).
posted by KevinSkomsvold (34 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Jettison me into space, please!

Which reminds me, it's the 20th anniversary of the first Turkey Day! Or it will be on the 28th, but whatever.

Happy (US-ian) Thanksgiving Everybody!
posted by ob1quixote at 11:08 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh. Right... work print. Technically factual, but not exactly accurate, in the same way Hall Warren was the director, but didn't really direct.

Some of the actual crew tell their story in Hotel Torgo, a 2004 doc, that looks like it was recorded off of cable TV - grainy, TV promo ads randomly showing up; actually, it feels right to see it this way.
posted by chambers at 11:35 PM on November 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hal Warren, I mean. There are places out there where you can get the isolated musical soundtrack... but the Master wouldn't approve.

Besides. It'll be dark soon...
posted by chambers at 11:40 PM on November 23, 2011


I used to hope that we were going to visit family out of town for Thanksgiving and if we did I would buy several VHS tapers and set the three VCR's we had to record as much of the MST3K Turkey Day Marathon as I could. Thank freaking God for the Super Long Play setting. If we didn't go out of town, I could only set two of the VCR's to record. I still have all those tapes to this very day.
posted by GavinR at 11:41 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


!!!
posted by JHarris at 11:56 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is gonna turn into a snuff film, isn't it?
posted by Rangeboy at 12:01 AM on November 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


SLP, my good friend until the DAP came along.

After all the terrible, bizarre, and downright painful movies I have seen over the years, there are far worse films than Manos, but it will always have a special place for having the right combination of bad and inept elements, while still having the marks that the creator was so earnest, so oblivious to its shortcomings right until the premiere, that its somehow it comes off as a more honest film. It's a miracle that the only thing that went right during all the scenes in front of the lens was that somehow, this was successfully captured on film.
posted by chambers at 12:03 AM on November 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Manos is a better movie than Transformers 2.
posted by JHarris at 12:05 AM on November 24, 2011 [12 favorites]


Of all the movie props in the world I would want to have, the painting of the Master and his Dog (Painted by the Master himself, Tom Neyman) is at the top of the list, just barely beating out the number two prop on my list, the Glaive from Krull (last seen at auction for $8-12,000, IIRC).

I've searched for years, but it seems no one has made a quality reproduction. I considered commissioning someone to do it on Etsy, or sending a photo of it to those companies in China that will do oil paintings for cheap, but I never thought I could afford the risk of putting up a lot of money, and then finding out what I get would be close, but not exactly right.
posted by chambers at 12:25 AM on November 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


JHarris: "Manos is a better movie than Transformers 2."

Don't damn it with faint praise.
posted by brundlefly at 1:22 AM on November 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just read that there is suppose to be a sequel. No lie. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the updates link is dead and all we have is this flash splash page.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:31 AM on November 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


God, Manos was so bad even the MST3K treatment couldn't make for a pleasurable experience. I watched it once so that I can say that I did.

In other MST3K news, RiffTrax just came out with a Video-on-Demand of Buffalo Rider, aka The Life and Legend of Buffalo Jones, aka "Guy on a Buffalo" as seen here on the Blue. A little dark, but funny as all get-out.

Finally, it looks like the other MST3K spin-off is awakening from a long slumber.
posted by dhens at 2:03 AM on November 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, Manos.

It's so bad there were times I wondered whether or not the people involved in shooting and editing it had, in fact, ever seen an actual film.
posted by flippant at 2:40 AM on November 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


The master would not approve.

Hal Warren was a fertilizer salesman prior to directing Manos. I think the problem may have been that there was too much spillover from his previous career.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:18 AM on November 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Manos is a better movie than Transformers 2.

The oil spout is evil.
posted by atrazine at 4:34 AM on November 24, 2011


The discoverer announced the project in the Something Awful forums (link will eventually expire unless you pay for archive access). It's a little odd, really; it's like the guy had no idea just how excited the Internet would get over this. He seems to have thought it would just be a little pet project.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:05 AM on November 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


there are far worse films than Manos

Part of the deliciously horrible reputation depends on the ludicrous name-- at least in my household; we always laugh at the very title: Hands! The Hands of Fate!!!!

Occasionally we make up sequels:

Nostrils. The Nostrils of Satan!
Elbows. The Elbows of Evil!
Buttocks. The Buttocks of Insanity!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:57 AM on November 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Even in the original 16mm work print, every frame of that film looks like someone's last known photo.

Buttocks. The Buttocks of Insanity!

I'm pretty sure that's the title of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" in Japan.
posted by PlusDistance at 7:06 AM on November 24, 2011 [12 favorites]


The thing about Manos it that it comes off as so very creepy and sinister, like crow says " is this a snuff film?! Is it?!"
posted by The Whelk at 7:13 AM on November 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


The thing about Manos it that it comes off as so very creepy and sinister, like crow says " is this a snuff film?! Is it?!"

Agreed -- to me, Manos is a canonical piece of outsider art, sort of the filmic equivalent of The Shaggs. Manos is hilarious and awful and clearly made by people that had absolutely no idea what they were doing, but it's also compulsively watchable and, if you allow yourself to suspend some disbelief, creepy as well. As a piece of highly enjoyable outsider art, it really deserves more recognition; and I would absolutely buy this on Blu-Ray if/when it happens. (On the Something Awful forums they mention pitching it to Criterion, which actually seems like a not-so-bad idea. I would pay serious $$$ to have this in my collection.)
posted by Frobenius Twist at 7:34 AM on November 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


As I recall, Manos was the only film Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank ever apologized for showing to Joel and the bots. When The Mads express sympathy, you know it's gawdawfull.
posted by happyroach at 8:17 AM on November 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Monster a go-go Joel.
posted by vrakatar at 8:37 AM on November 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


chambers, thanks for linking to "Hotel Torgo"! It makes perfect brunchtime viewing for our second annual Pajama Thanksgiving, where we stay in our PJs all day long, eat a lavish meal, play board games, and watch an MST3K marathon.

We gaaaaaather toooogether to watch cheesy movies...
posted by Elsa at 9:13 AM on November 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


In honor of this, I'm going to go out this weekend and pick up Shirley Bassey, hitchhiking.
posted by gimonca at 10:07 AM on November 24, 2011


Just in time for Turkey Day.

Stuffing vs. Potatoes
posted by eddydamascene at 10:56 AM on November 24, 2011


Frobenius Twist: As I think more about Manos, I'm coming to agree with you. It's bad yes, but you have to kind of feel for Harold Warren. Often the line between a horrible bad movie and one that's merely quirkly is merely whether you're sympathetic with the people who made it, and Warren at least tried something most of us never will.

Monster-a-Go-Go, however, was callously made as a throwaway movie to round out double-features. It doesn't make sense because it's little more than random scenes from a couple of unfinished movies slapped together with a narration over it. That's probably why it has that infamous "there was no monster" ending, I suspect they didn't have any footage suitable.
posted by JHarris at 11:15 AM on November 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Secret Life of Gravy, I love the host segment in the MST episode where they come up with their own deformities along the lines of Torgo, he of the giant knees. (He's actually supposed to be a satyr, but you can't tell that underneath his brown cordoroys -- and just the idea of a monster wearing cordoroy is rather funny.)

I'd have a giant thumb, and I'd carry it like a juggling pin! (eww!)
I'd have a giant ear, and it'd cover me like a shroud! (ewww!)
I'd have an extra pinky -- but not on my hand! (eeeww!)
I'd have a big flared nostril -- and inside would be lots of red matted hair! (EEeww!)
I would have -- a dewlap! (EEEWWW!)
posted by JHarris at 11:21 AM on November 24, 2011


Holy expletive. Words fail me. Save this work, forever.
posted by Xoebe at 12:06 PM on November 24, 2011


Nipples! Big ones, small ones, some on my back!
posted by The Whelk at 12:14 PM on November 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just watched the MST3K version, for a good old-fashioned Turkey Day.
posted by mike3k at 6:29 PM on November 24, 2011


I just want to say how more drab Thanksgiving has become since they stopped showing Turkey Day marathons of Mystery Science Theater. It makes me want to start up a epic playlist of archived episodes, start it up on the computer, and just leave it running in the background the whole day long.
posted by JHarris at 7:34 PM on November 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hal Warren was a fertilizer salesman prior to directing Manos.

That would make it a fertilizer bomb.
posted by longsleeves at 9:20 PM on November 24, 2011


Update from Something Awful: Mike Nelson is pleased.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:05 PM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


How would Mike know about Manos? He's not even supposed to know about Jet Jaguar!

Mike commenting on a car grill in The Wild Wild World Of Batwoman:
Mike: Jet Jaguar!
Crow: Hey, you're right... how would you know?!

(yeah, yeah, he played Torgo in the host segments and the Manipulator Arm was nicknamed "Manos" in The Movie)
posted by ShutterBun at 10:53 PM on December 2, 2011


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