Trivia / "Manos" The Hands of Fate

Listed Trivia:

  • Actor-Inspired Element: Tom Neyman was going through a phase of hand motifs in his art, so when he did the set design he incorporated some of the sculpted hands he'd been working on, which led to the hand fixation of The Master and his cult.
  • Colbert Bump: One of the great examples. It was completely forgotten until Mystery Science Theater 3000.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: A film review from shortly after the premiere lists Torgo as the film's "hero", though granted he's the closest thing to one. Curiously, the reviewer also focuses in on Torgo's "beautiful set of teeth" as his most prominent feature.
  • Fan Nickname: The film was often referred to as Mangos: The Cans of Fruit by the more frustrated cast members.
  • Incestuous Casting: Tom Neyman (The Master) and Jackie Neyman (Debbie) are father and daughter. Debbie ends up becoming one of the Master's wives.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: According to Jackey Neyman, her father Tom (who played the Master) is a great guy in Real Life. Other reports have him functioning as the Team Dad on the set in contrast to Hal Warren's bumbling. Likewise, the Neyman family dog, Shanka, played the hellhound, yet was the friendliest dog in the world according to Jackey.
  • No Budget:
    • The film had no editing. At all. Instead, the film was edited in-camera. One shot shows Hal saying "Cut!", and then realized he didn't need to because there was no way to stop the camera. The actress playing the girl making out with her boyfriend twice looked at the camera as if wondering when the shot would end. It also explains all of the endless shots of the car parking, and the reason why the film ran for several seconds before the Master's dog barked.
    • John Reynolds even had to make the leg braces he wears in the film himself. The only actors who were compensated were Jackey Neyman (who received a bicycle) and the dog playing the hellhound (50 pounds of food).
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • The actors who play the Master and Debbie are father and daughter.
    • The Master's evil dog was their dog, which is why (despite the dubbed-in barking) it's very friendly.
    • Peppi the poodle was the Warren family's dog.
  • Talking to Himself: Everyone is dubbed by five actors, including Warren himself. When the sheriff points out Mike's burned-out taillight, it becomes an odd Dada experiment in alternate reality.
  • Troubled Production: Ay, yi, yi. Working on what couldn't even be called shoestring budget, a prima donna director and dance instructor, tempers flaring because of how wild the film was going, it's a miracle things got to the point where it was released!
  • Vindicated by Cable - This film was virtually unknown to the public at large until appearing on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Now, it stands as a "classic" alongside Plan 9 from Outer Space, Robot Monster , and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
  • What Could Have Been: Harold Warren apparently talked a well-known Hollywood actressnote into flying to El Paso to play Margaret, but after realizing what an amateurish production it was (and that Warren wouldn't pay any money up front), she immediately quit.
  • Working Title: Lodge of Sins, then Fingers of Fate.

Other Trivia:

  • The pillars where the Master and his wives sleep is a real location.
  • The Master's "Lodge Of Sins" was actually the ranch of then El Paso County Judge, Colbert Coldwell. Sadly, the house where Manos was filmed burnt down. Hotel Torgo filmed the then abandoned house before it burnt down.
  • The scene at the beginning where the family pulls into a scenic overlook and talks about putting the top down was filmed on Scenic Drive in El Paso. It looks the same to this day. The city in the background that Joel calls "Beautiful Ground Zero" is Ciudad Juarez.note 
  • According to the daughter of Hal P. Warren, his Halloween tradition was putting on the Master robe when he gave candy out. After her father died, her brother continued the tradition.
  • John Reynolds, who played Torgo, was usually high while filming, according to Jackey Neyman. He committed suicide about a month before the film was supposed to premiere.
  • Jackey Neyman said in an interview that she had spent some time as a teenager and young adult looking for a copy of Manos in libraries and such, but never could find a copy.note  Then, one weekend in 1993, she received a call from her father. Apparently, he had settled in to snooze in front of the TV with Comedy Central on, and heard some familiar music during a certain episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Elated, Jackey called Comedy Central in New York, told them that she'd been in this movie that they'd shown, and requested that she get a copy. The person on the other end was absolutely floored when Jackey identified what movie.