I enjoy watching bad movies because there is something deeply wrong with me, but there are other reasons as well. As many people are aware, I am a very big fan of Elvira, the well-named Mistress Of The Dark, and I happened to attend a Comic-Con where I was able to sit in on a discussion panel for Cassandra Peterson (that’s Elvira’s real name, posers and hosers). She told me personally (as I stood in a huge crowd of drooling nerds and ugly goth chicks) that I should watch Manos: Hands Of Fate, and goddamnit, if Elvira wants me to review it, I have no choice but to obey (frankly, the idea of obeying Elvira gives me a halfy).
After about 5 seconds, you can understand why and how this movie was so promptly put forward by that buxom beauty of the b-movie world. A boring opening sequence of a couple driving down a long desert road leads in to the cliché scene of a couple getting lost because the man refuses to ask for directions. Classic. You’ll immediately notice that the dubbing is less than par, and that all of the voices sound eerily familiar (I’ll tell you why later). The couple, lost and helpless, are unable to find the way back down the one road they were on when they reached a dead-end, so they stop at a foreboding house to see if they can get (men close your eyes here) directions.
This is where the strangeness and true brilliance of this movie begins. They meet Torgo, a weird little man with a strange set of legs and a literally sheepish way of talking. He tells them that the master does not allow children in to the house, but the master is currently away. Frightened, the wife begs her husband to leave, but the foolish man decides to stick it out for the night. Really, what’s the worst that can happen? *Warning: My famous “ask a rhetorical question that reveals the plot” device is coming up* It’s not like “the master” is a nocturnal worshipper of the god Manos (which literally translates to “hand”), whose power he uses to enslave women to become part of his immortal coven of wives, is it? It totally is.
The wives, held in some sort of suspended animation during the day, come to life at night and debate whether or not it is ethical to take the couple’s 6 year-old daughter in to their magical marriage. As you can imagine, the wives begin an all-out brawl with each other to decide the winner, and that goes on for probably twenty minutes. It seems the Master has trouble controlling his women (for someone with so many hands around, you’d think he could keep his pimp-hand strong), and soon he decides to just let them be and go for the wife and kid himself. Torgo loses his hands (I’m pretty sure he was a half-goat, but they never reveal it), the daughter gets integrated in to the happy family (creepy), a dog dies (really sad), and soon another couple is on their way to the mysterious house. I think the parents die. If it feels like I rushed the ending there, that’s because it all mashed together for me and I really have no idea what happened.
This is one for the record books, and I cannot recommend this movie to anyone who is not a die-hard b-movie fan. If you are, you’ll understand why what you are watching is incredible, and if not, you won’t last five minutes. The dubbing, as I touched on earlier, is done by about only 2 people, and the editing is what you would expect from a child learning the wonders of tape and markers. The greatest part is the portrayal of the Master, and how many hands he has displayed throughout his dilapidated shack of a house (and on his hilarious robe thing). There is also a pretty great painting that is honestly one of the scariest things I have ever seen, so the movie isn’t a total wash in terms of losing some sleep. Anyway, if you have the bad movie balls to survive this one, then you will earn my respect. Otherwise, get back to the kiddie pool and enjoy some crappy Twilight movie.
Thank you very much to Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark, for getting on me (I wish) about this movie. I feel great joy that I can essentially hump the leg of her career and put up this crappy little review. Until next time, boys and girls, keep watching those bad movies, or you’ll feel my hands of fate around your scrawny little necks.
P.S. Unpleasant Dreams