Back to Reviews

Reviews Comments: It's A Bad Movie from the 60s. What Else Is New? Manos The Hands Of Fate film/book review by Sizzly Bacon

I, like everyone else, discovered this movie through Mystery Science Theater 3000. It was one of the first episodes of that show I ever watched, and I became a fan instantly. I am embarrassed to say that I own a DVD copy of this movie. And have watched it. Twice.

Family goes on vacation. They go to a shady hotel. Man with a funny walk and a speech impediment reluctantly welcomes them in against his master's wishes. Master is a polygamist cult leader. Funny walk/weird speech man gets killed. Dad of the family becomes new caretaker. Mom and little girl becomes wives. There, I just saved you two long, boring, painful, corny hours. Oh, and there's a couple in a car that are always necking, but they serve no real purpose to the plot. That's about it.

This movie isn't even fun to make fun of anymore. It's just another bad movie that was forgotten by Father Time and resurrected by some nerds who riffed movies. While they made the film easier to watch, and they gave a good crack at it, this movie still is a chore. The Room is actually enjoyable, and with or without riffing, is a good drunken movie night choice. The only people who even care about Manos are people that don't have anything better to do than obsess over terrible movies that about ten people have seen.

So there, don't waste your time with this movie. Don't even waste your time trying to find fun in tearing apart this movie.


  • Wackd
  • 9th Aug 11
I agree, "Manos" isn't the classic everyone seems to think it is, but it's still a pretty solid episode and a fun watch. Yeah, it's not something I'd watch the real version of, but then that's the point of MST 3 K.

I couldn't sit through The Room at any point. Getting to the half-hour mark was a serious chore for me. (I did finally finish it, but just barely.) I guess it all comes down to taste.
  • gibberingtroper
  • 9th Aug 11
I still think its worth watching at least once with the MS T3k.

We have 32 second shots strung together without regard to pacing, no day for night when it was clearly the only way they could have made the night scenes work, horrible repetitive dialog, baffling direction, a vague goofy character who's vague goofiness doesn't really have a clearly established purpose (it seems like they were trying to make him creepy but he ends up unintentional comic relief.) The plot, such as it is, hinges on mother and father being idiots, the fanservice catfight fails to be fanservice or a fight thanks to bad costume decisions, the movie's opening sequence, sans opening credits, is a pointlessly long travel shot, and so on and so forth.

Movies like The Room have a narmy goofy charm to them. Movies like Manos are more about seeing just how many mistakes a creator can make in a single production. Its not just another bad sixties movies, its one of the worst.

The only one I've seen that beats out Manos for sheer ineptness is After Last Season. But based on your review of this movie, I'd really recommend you not sit through that one as it is worse.
  • iheartmountains
  • 21st Jun 14
I watched it last night and I mostly found it to be a sadistic endurance test with a few isolated chuckles here and there, although, honestly, if one were to remove the dialogue and replace the campy 60's soundtrack with some gothic ambience, one could easily trick arthouse hipsters into taking it for a piece of post-Blair Witch Project avant-garde a la Begotten. Oh, and in my opinion August Underground's Mordum is equally or more inept than this from a technical standpoint, yet that film is generally praised and its ineptitude passed off as intentional quirks, while this one is considered the worst of all time. Don't get me wrong, Manos is a terrible film; it just falls short of the endlessly fascinating camp glory of Ed Wood and Tommy Wiseau.
  • SpukiKitty
  • 9th Jul 15
The whole subplot with the smoochers was pointless. Frankly, if they really felt they needed that bit to give that actress something to do, they should've just rewritten the ending so the cult gets THEM while the family narrowly escapes.

Heck, someone watching this, who has absolutely NO knowledge of anything about this movie or it's making probably might have assumed that was going to happen, considering horror & cheesy exploitation movies tendency to punish teenage "smoochers" (and related activities).

I personally don't agree with the moralist B.S. of that trend least a small child doesn't end up the bride of some weirdo in a robe.

In order to post comments, you need to

Get Known