Surviving “MANOS”

About 40 minutes into the film the novelty of the big screen projection and the sometimes hilarious comedic quips by the Rifftrax guys wore off.  My girlfriend started squirming and complained about a sore butt.  I developed a deep throbbing migraine smack in the center of my eyes.  I got heartburn and my legs felt cramped.  This was the infamous Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966) in all it’s 16mm glory, distorted to an inappropriate aspect ratio on to the screen of a modern film theater.   The place was packed —perhaps 60 to 70% full.  Some idiot brought a young child.  The youngster will be scarred for life.  Manos is not for the faint of heart.  This is one awful film and the big screen revealed to me several other flaws. The photographic compositions —especially framing of shots are horrid. People come and go and enter into blank spaces.  Torgo talks with a wide white space to his left. There’s nothing there. The scene cuts to a woman. She has a huge space to her right.  There’s insects everywhere.  Was this deliberate?  I think not.  Flood lights for night shooting brought in moths and other nocturnal insects.  At one point the Rifftrax guys commented “Look out it’s mothra!” The audience laughed.

At first I didn’t buy into the cult, but Manos just might be the worst film ever made.  It is a brutal fucking movie.  The single worst part of the film, to me, is the grating musical score and audio track.  It is the worst.  It creeps up my spine like the Tingler in a Vincent Price film.  About the only way this film could be improved would be to wipe the sound clean, re-dub the movie in the artificial language of Esperanto, and sub-title in English with entirely new dialogue.  Well, I had fun, but I think this was my swan song for Manos on the big screen.  Once a lifetime is enough.  Now I’m waiting for the HD restored Blu-ray version.  Whewhoo!

2 Responses to “Surviving “MANOS””

  1. Rich Chamberlain Says:

    I still say “The Incredible Petrified World” is the worst movie ever made simply from a standpoint of boredom. At least “Manos” offers you something, even if it is a migraine!

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