Mystery Science Theater 3000: "MANOS" THE HANDS OF FATE
April 6, 2016 8:14 PM - Season 4, Episode 24 - Subscribe

"IT'S SHOCKING! It's Beyond Your Imagination!" "A cult of weird, horrible people who gather beautiful women only to deface them with a burning hand!" A family of three on vacation in the desert stumble upon a lodge run by the misshapen Torgo. Oh, what improbable secrets does the place hold? With short Hired!, part 2: The second half of the Chevrolet training short shown last week. ☠☠☠! Oh god! It's here! If it's not the worst movie they ever showed (a matter of some debate) it's a strong contender. It is not recommended that you make this your first episode of MST3K, or it may well be your last. The first eight minutes of this movie are just driving. The movie pushes Joel and company to the brink. The mad scientists apologize for the movie. Twice. YouTube (1h32m) - and here's the whole thing annotated, from the official MST3K YouTube channel! - And for sadists... ☠☠☠ UNRIFFED ☠☠☠ (1h9m)

This is the last episode of Season 4, 78/197.

Satellite News - Annotated MST3K (text) - Mighty Jack's MST3K Episode Review - War of the Colossal Fan Site - TV Tropes - Gravity Falls: The Hand Witch

There's more than the usual handful of links this time....
Carefully Restoring the Opposite of a Masterpiece (NPR)
"The Worst Movie Ever Made" (Entertainment Weekly)
Jackey Neyman Jones, who played daughter Debbie, remembers the production (Cracked)
An article about (if you can believe it) the rights battle over the movie (Playboy)
More from the AV Club
The official website of the restoration project
A review of the Blu-Ray release (Trailers From Hell)
The Goon Who Saved Manos, from the guy behind the restoration (Something Awful)
Report from the premiere of the screen restoration (Satellite News)
More from The Mary Sue
And from Spiked
Twitter feed for the project to make a sequel, with some of the old cast
Manos: The iOS game (Apple App Store) - Android - PC, on Steam
An interview with the developer of the computer game (Satellite News)
Apparently, there is a Kindle novelization (Amazon)

Is Manos the worst movie ever made? Setting aside other horrible movies MST would cover, both earlier (Robot Monster, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Monster A-Go-Go, Bride of the Monster) and later (Coleman Francis stuff, The Creeping Terror, Hobgoblins, TISCWSLABMUZ, Blood Waters of Dr. Z, and others I'm sure), show staff have noted one particular movie in interviews, a so-called "educational" film called Child Bride (Wikipedia). After screening it Kevin Murphy said he needed "a good cry and a shower," and Frank Conniff has stated it's the worst movie he personally screened for the show. They consider it too unwatchable for the show (yes, that was a criteria), as well as too disgusting. It just goes to show: there is always a worse movie, out there, somewhere.

Movie "Manos": The Hands of Fate
Daddy-O's Drive-In Dirt - Wikipedia - TV Tropes
IMDB (1966, 1.9 stars)
Writer: Harold P. Warren (screenplay)
"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."
Directed, written and starring Harold P. Warren. Also starring Tom Neyman, Diane Adelson and John Reynolds (R.I.P.) as Torgo.

RiffTrax has also done this movie. Not once but twice, the second time before a live audience.
posted by JHarris (16 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
The show is Thursday night, 9 PM Eastern Time, at: Here is the (somewhat outdated) Club FAQ.

This is one of the most infamous episodes of MST3K there's ever been. If you've been waiting for this one to see what all the fuss is about, well, I'm not going to try to dissuade you any more than I have. The riffing is great, but the movie is hardcore. Good luck!
posted by JHarris at 8:25 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by incomple at 8:34 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

LittleKnownAssumedlyTrueFact: His friends call him "Manny".
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:00 PM on April 6, 2016

Any minute now.....Manos...the uh...hands of fate...
posted by miss-lapin at 11:09 PM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

Ah, I think I did my math wrong. I think this is actually the 74th episode, after doing my sums again.

Another thing about this episode....

I think of this as being the last episode of the "classic" period of MST3K. The episodes up to and including this have a feel to them that's subtly different from those after. The episode after Manos is 501 WARRIOR OF THE LOST WORLD, which definitely feels like middle-period MST to me, even though Joel doesn't leave the show for 11 more episodes at that point.

Oh, I forgot to mention.... as of this moment, we only have 13 more Joel episodes to go. Enjoy them while they last. Slowly but surely we are progressing through the show's run. The midway point comes towards the end of Season 5.
posted by JHarris at 1:33 AM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Rifftrax live DVD has about 20 minutes of behind the scenes footage, with Hal Warren "directing" the models on how to fight each other. It's on YouTube somewhere unriffed, I believe.
posted by wittgenstein at 2:34 AM on April 7, 2016

Usually when a person is forced to perform an unpleasant act the joke is "What, did you lose a bet?"

The fact that Manos was produced in order to win a bet between Warren and Stirling Silliphant fills me with an inexplicable feeling of glee.
posted by valkane at 5:00 AM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

>I think of this as being the last episode of the "classic" period of MST3K.

I admit I saw the title this week and thought to myself "Oh, Manos is about where I start to enjoy the show." So I'd agree with that assessment, even if it involves my using the words "Manos" and "enjoy" in the same sentence. *shudder*
posted by tchemgrrl at 5:13 AM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Every frame looks like someone's last known photo.
posted by hobgadling at 6:11 AM on April 7, 2016 [15 favorites]

The Rifftrax live DVD has about 20 minutes of behind the scenes footage, with Hal Warren "directing" the models on how to fight each other.

Gyah, now *I* need a good cry and a shower. There's a special feature I won't be seeking out.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:12 AM on April 7, 2016

CheesesofBrazil, to be fair, there are other outtakes as well, but watching the women "fight" in plain clothes stands out.
posted by wittgenstein at 6:43 AM on April 7, 2016

Manos outtakes (unriffed)
posted by wittgenstein at 8:58 AM on April 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

I saw this a few years back with, if I recall: In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale 2.

MST3K Manos was by far the best film I saw that day.
posted by Mezentian at 6:10 AM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Watched this earlier today, despite the warning not to make it one's first MST3K (technically I saw part of one from a previous FanFare post, which instructed me in some of the bookendery and disabused me of my imagined interpretation from common online referencing of the show).

Enjoyed it well enough, there were some great snappy comments in amongst the rest, but my phone finished charging an hour in so attention did wander. As to the film itself it seemed much more competent (read: dull) than its "worse than Plan 9" rep would suggest, which was a shame. I actually quite dug The Master's dodgy robe and JHE (Just Hitler Enough) look though.

I'm not a massive fan of the intermissions but def want to check out a few more of the better episodes of these at least. Cheers for posting the link(s) JHarris.
posted by comealongpole at 11:45 AM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Maybe join us next week? We'll be starting on Season 5 and the more accessible, manifestly ridiculous WARRIOR OF THE LOST WORLD.
posted by JHarris at 11:51 AM on April 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

"You know... there are certain flaws in this film."
posted by Chrysostom at 6:18 PM on April 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

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