“Manos” The Hands of Aftermath. Or something.

June 30, 2008 at 7:48 am (movies) (, , )

So we’ve gone through what happened in the making of “Manos” The Hands of Fate, but what happened after it was finished?


-The township of El Paso was quite proud to have had an entire movie made there by one of it’s residents. “Manos” premiered at the local movie theatre. Important people such as the mayor went to see it on it’s first showing.

-Warren wanted the thing to feel more like a big Hollywood movie premiere and thought having limos drop the cast off would do the trick. Problem was, he didn’t have the cash to rent more than one limo, so he had it drop off couple at a time and then drive to the next block to get the next couple hidden there. I’m sure it made it feel really authentic, though.

-The movie began. A lot of the people involved in the movie didn’t know that the credits had been left out and thus the movie opens with 5-10 minutes of driving and nothing else. They started to get worried.

-Some of them didn’t know about the dubbing either, and got more worried. The little girl who played Debbie burst into tears upon hearing her character’s new voice.

-Halfway through the movie, the audience was laughing and catcalling the movie. Most of the cast and crew snuck out, one by one, to avoid being recognized and credited for the piece of shit inside. Some went straight to a bar, wisely.

-After everyone’s reactions to the movie, Warren approached several people with the idea of redubbing it to turn it into a comedy. They all refused. Despite the fact that the MST3K episode has done exactly that and is one of their most popular ever, I think turning him down was a good idea. Generally, bad comedies aren’t even fun to mock, and with Warren writing the redub script we would have a new version of “Manos” that would be pure torture regardless of whether it was on MST3K or not.

-It did have a short run in a few cinemas, but was a total flop anyway.

-Which meant it wasn’t profitable and the cast and crew walked away empty handed. In any case, when they added up their promised cuts it turned out Warren had promised them 300% of the profits. I’m curious to know whether this was because of a mistake [he made this movie, I could believe he’s just that dumb] or done on purpose to entice them in and then scam them out of it.

-Sadly, about six months after the movie was made, John Reynolds [Torgo] committed suicide.

-Warren attempted a sequel. He had always had this notion, it’s why what happened to Torgo was so unclear. Warren planned to bring him back for a sequel should the movie be a raging success. It was the total opposite, but he tried anyway. But he couldn’t do it alone, and no one was interested.

-So with the sequel down the drain, one year after “Manos” The Hands of Fate,  Warren approached Robert Guidry the cinematographer with another script called Wild Desert Bikers. Says Robert’s wife, “It was about a Young School Teacher who is kidnapped by a Teenage Biker in her English Class and who is submitted to all sorts of vile behavior at the shack (on Judge Coldwell’s ranch) where the rest of the bikers hang out.”

Eeewww. This sounds even more misogynistic than “Manos”. Anyway, Guidry politely declined, and if he was smart changed his name, phone number and moved to another state. Warren contacted some other people with his script. No one was interested.

-He then tried to make it a book instead. No one was interested. You know, whatever else Warren was, he was very determined. His movie was a bomb and a laughing stock, but he still thought it wasn’t that hard to make films or apparently write novels.

-“Manos” became a faded obscurity for over 25 years. Then along came a show called Mystery Science Theatre 3000, where the characters would watch the worst movies the creators could find, and riff them. Somehow someone on the crew found “Manos” The Hands of Fate. “We started watching it, and had never seen anything like that,” says writer Mike Nelson. “We kept saying to ourselves, “There is no way we can do this movie, it is just too bizarre.” But we finally decided, “No, we must bring this to the world.””

-And so “Manos” The Hands of Fate was brought to the world by the team of MST3K in a unprecedented display of dedication to finding the worst shit possible and making it public. Well done, guys.

-It proceeded to become very popular among fans of the show. Unfortunetly, Harold P. Warren never got to find out that he had eventually won his bet – he died in 1985, before MST3K even existed.

-Some people thought “Hey, I wonder what it’s like without the MST3K gang,” tracked down an original copy, and watched it. Most of those people were scarred for life.

-However, Quentin Tarantino is not one of them. He has a copy, and it’s his favourite comedy. Good for him.

And that’s about it kids. If I find something else or realize I’ve forgotten something, I’ll edit it into the list, but until then, this is the unofficial list of all the laughter, tears and destruction that “Manos” The Hands of Fate wrought.


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