Manos Returns is a 2018 sequel to the notorious low-budget horror movie Manos: The Hands of Fate, directed by Tonjia Atomic. It continues the story of the original movie over fifty years later, with Jackey Neyman Jones, Diane Adelson, and Tom Neyman reprising their roles as Debbie, Margaret, and The Master respectively.
Decades after the events of the first movie, four friends get lost driving in the woods and find themselves at the Valley Lodge. Soon they find themselves at the mercy of The Master and his harem cult. But things have changed at the lodge in the interim years, and the four friends encounter some familiar faces during their ordeal.
The film is the result of a Kickstarter campaign organized by Jackey Neyman Jones, owing to the original film's cult popularity. It sadly constitutes the final screen appearance of Tom Neyman, who passed away shortly after filming concluded.
Manos Returns contains Master-approved examples of the following tropes:
- Break the Cutie: Margaret has been driven insane by being held captive by the cult for over fifty years.
- Call-Back: Several.
- Margaret sings "Row Row Row Your Boat" to herself at one point, referencing the start of the original movie.
- Torgo repeats the line, "There is no way out of here" and touches Clara's hair, but the context for both of these scenes is much different.
- Character Development: The Master's wives are a lot more Ax-Crazy than they were in the original film, seeing the act of killing people to be only thing that keeps them entertained after spending lifetimes trapped in the Manos cult.
- Darker and Edgier: While the film still pokes fun at itself for following up on one of the worst movies ever made, some effort is still put into making it genuinely scarier than its predecessor, such as modifying the musical score, covering topics such as Domestic Abuse, and making Debbie a villain.
- Domestic Abuse: Clara has just gotten out of an abusive relationship at the start of the movie, and forms an emotional connection with Torgo after seeing how he's treated by the cult. It's what drives Torgo to eventually help her escape the lodge.
- Eldritch Location: It is established that the Valley Lodge is one such location, where time doesn't matter and getting yourself killed doesn't take.
- FaceHeel Turn: Debbie has risen to becoming the leader, or at least co-leader, of the Manos cult. She is one of the antagonists of the movie.
- HeelFace Turn: The original Manos portrayed Torgo has a creepy stalker type who was essentially The Starscream to The Master. Here, Torgo is depicted as a sympathetic victim of abuse by The Master, his wives, and Debbie.
- Hope Spot: Clara escapes the lodge and finds refuge with the local sheriff... only to realize that the sheriff and his wife belong to the Manos cult.