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YMMV: "Manos" The Hands of Fate

The film

  • Author Existence Failure: The planned sequel has managed to get back almost all of the original cast, but the death of John Reynolds means that either Torgo will be left out or will have to be recast.
  • Awesome Music: "Forgetting You"
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The entire subplot of the couple who keep getting harassed by the cops as they make out, which never comes close to having a point. It was put in purely to appease the actress, who was going to play one of the Master's wives until she broke her leg.
  • Complete Monster: The Master is an undead occultist worshipping the evil god Manos who happily performs human sacrifices for his deity. He keeps a harem of wives which he disposes of as he sees fit, burning one alive after growing bored of her to appease Manos. When a small family is lured into his keep by his servant Torgo, he first kills the family dog. He tries to kill Torgo for touching his wives in their sleep, hacking off Torgo's hand in the process. He does this not because it disgusts him, but because he considers them his alone. Then he forces both Michael's wife Margaret and his little daughter Debbie to become his new brides. He finally turns Michael himself into another brainless servant like Torgo before him to lure in more victims.
  • Crazy Awesome: It's hard not to like Torgo.
  • Cult Classic
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: You know things are bad when the closest thing to a hero the movie has is a creep like Torgo.
  • Designated Hero: Mike, who makes the disabled man carry their luggage in by himself after forcing him to let them stay the night at his house, and then has the nerve to complain about the state of living. Later, he orders Torgo to put the luggage back in the car, "quickly" this time. There's also his stubborn indifference toward his wife's pleas to leave Hotel Manos, even after danger is made unarguably apparent.
    • Not to mention, it's his own stupid decisions that cause them to get get into the mess and his repeated bad decisions that led his wife and child to be captured and him to be brainwashed into being controlled by The Master.
  • Ear Worm: The only truly disturbing thing about this movie except maybe the ending is how thoroughly the haunting '"Torgo's Theme'" gets stuck in your head.
    • The ending theme "Forgetting You" (sung by the actress who played Margaret) is surprisingly catchy.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Torgo
  • Harsher in Hindsight: According to some sources, John Reynolds (Torgo) permanently damaged his legs with the satyr prosthetics, and became addicted to painkillers until his suicide.
    Joel: He went on to become Torgo at Disney World.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One reviewer suggests that the film be repackaged or dubbed into becoming a "foreign art film". Warren himself is said to have remarked that it would make a great comedy if dubbed.
    • That same El Paso Herald-Post review snarkily referred to Torgo being apparently "massaged to death". 27 years later MST3K used almost the exact same joke ("they're Rolfing him to death!").
    • Another memorable MST3K character was Dropo, aka "The Laziest Man on Mars".
    • A creepy cult leader and his multiple wives live on a remote West Texas compound...the Warren Jeffs saga had some interesting similarities to the movie.
  • I Liked It Better When It Sucked: How some fans feel about the restoration.
  • Memetic Mutation: evErYtHinG ToRgo saYS
  • Narm: Everything. As such, it works better as a comedy than a horror film; in fact, Quentin Tarantino has said that this is one of his favorite comedies of all time.
  • Nausea Fuel: Debbie shown as one of the Master's wives.
  • Padding: Plenty. The long driving shots of nothing, the camera lingering on plot points far too long (like the Valley Lodge sign). Then there's the repetitive arguments between the Master's wives. About 10 minutes of information are stretched into 70.
  • Snark Bait: Its popularity is a clear case of this. It usually ranks high among the worst movies featured on MST3K.
    • The Rifftrax remake of it was very highly anticipated; apparently, Manos was one of the most common requests for riffing.
  • Special Effect Failure: Torgo's knees, caused by the actor wearing the prosthetics backwards. He was nebulously intended to be a satyr.
  • Squick: Specificially pedophilia and Torgo's creepy attempts to hit on Margaret. And that couch in the Master's living room, which the restoration showed was actually quite filthy and stained.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Manos could have been really disturbing, if you look at the core plot or the idea behind them. You're lost in the desert, and the only person willing to take you and your family for the night is twitchy yet well-meaning, except when he randomly begs you to leave. It gets worse from there...
  • Unfortunate Implications: Debbie became one of The Master's wives?
    • Made undeniably squickier by the fact that Debbie is the Master's daughter in Real Life. Ick.
    • Even the idea that the Master is only keeping Debbie to be his bride when she eventually comes of age is only marginally less Squicky.
    • It's all but directly stated that Torgo has raped or molested the Master's wives while they were "asleep," and that they were AWARE of this the whole time. Yet many consider Torgo to be the hero.
  • Vindicated by Cable: According to the Trivia, Manos actress Jackey Neyman herself couldn't track down a copy of it anywhere before MST3K aired the famous episode in 1993. Is it fair to say that Mystery Science Theater 3000 is the only reason the film is known today? Yes, it certainly is.
  • What an Idiot: Yes Mike, it's a good idea for you and your family to stay with the creepy bearded guy in the creepy lodge in the middle of nowhere. That'll definitely work out for you.
  • The Woobie: Due to his speech problems, hobbling gait, and the way Michael and The Master treat him like crap, Torgo manages to fall into this.
    • The Master's Wives are halfway there, with the implication being they are held against their will as the Master's sex slaves and there are hints that Torgo molests them during their hibernations. However, they appear to be extremely jealous and petty of each other and the new guests. Not to mention, killing Mike was their idea, not the Master's.

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