Horror On The Lens: Manos: The Hands of Fate (dir by Harold P. Warren)


I, Zombie, yesterday’s film, was pretty dark.  So, for today, let’s lighten things up with a horror film from 1966 that some people consider to be one of the worst films ever made.

I am, of course, talking about Manos: The Hands of Fate.

Manos deals with an angry middle-aged man named Michael (played by the film’s director-writer-producer, Harold P. Warren) who, after driving for an eternity through west Texas, ends up stopping off at a motel.  At the motel, he meets an odd fellow named Torgo (John Reynolds, who sadly committed suicide immediately after filming Manos).  Torgo works for a mysterious figure that he calls “The Master” and it quickly becomes obvious that the Master wants to add Michael’s wife and daughter to his harem.  Most people would probably react to all of this by just getting in their car and driving somewhere else.  However, Michael is kind of stubbon and stupid…

As I mentioned at the start of this review, Manos has a reputation for being one of the worst films ever made.  This may be true but it’s also compulsively watchable.  This is one of those films that is so extremely (and, often times, unintentionally) strange that you simply cannot look away.

One final word in defense of Manos.  Manos was written, directed, and produced by a fertilizer salesman from my great home state of Texas.  The cast was made up of community theater veterans.  Next to nobody involved with Manos ever made another film.  And yet, Manos will be remembered long after you’ve forgotten the title of the last film made by Michael Bay.  You can keep your boring, well-made films because there will always be a place in my heart for Manos: The Hands of Fate.

(Add to that, the film’s title translates to Hands: The Hands of Fate and who can’t appreciate that?)

4 responses to “Horror On The Lens: Manos: The Hands of Fate (dir by Harold P. Warren)

  1. LOL. Good ol’ unflappable Dad. “Everything’s gonna be okay.”

    Love how those two cops keep talking themselves out of bothering to investigate (but they’re on the making-out couple like white on rice).

    Too many other funny things to cite. But it was a surprisingly dark movie, too, in its own wonderfully bad way.

    A cautionary tale about what can happen when a man refuses to ask for directions. I wonder if there are any other horror films illustrating the consequences of stereotypical male behavior…perhaps one telling the ghastly fate of a careless man who leaves the toilet seat up…


    • Well, yesterday’s film did involve a pretty bad consequence of a frequent male activity (and no, the zombie didn’t go blind..)


      • That was good. But that’s not stereotypical behavior (though it IS frequent). That’s life-sustaining, right behind nutrition, hydration, and respiration. (You’re the doctor – you know that.) And thankfully, I doubt that particular consequence thereof is documented very often in JAMA (but again, I’m no doctor – you tell me). Personally, I’d rather go blind.


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