Sunday, January 23, 2011

Movie Appraisal: Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)

"There is no way out of here. It will be dark soon. There is no way out of here."

You said it, Torgo. I don't think I'll ever be able to get this film out of my head. It's like a disease that won't let up... It's like I've watched the movie in The Ring except it's not some creepy little fifty pound girl who's going to come out of my television and get me, it's a brain aneurysm caused by anger and confusion over this film and just how bad it was.

I watched this film not knowing what to expect. I knew it was bad... Hell, I knew it was REALLY BAD, but I thought that maybe somebody got it all wrong... maybe they didn't know what they were talking about and this is really and fantastic and underrated gem of a movie. No... no... It's not. Don't watch this film. Don't even think about watching it. It's not fun, not enjoyable... it's like getting repeatedly stabbed in the chest with all the pain that entails, without dying, and also being completely bored and wishing you could just end it all right there and then.

Am I even making sense anymore? Okay, this film, nowhere near as bad as the abomination that is Space Thunder Kids, but it's bad. The film is amateurish, and is shot like a really bad high school student film. The acting, although bad, is actually usually palatable when the main female lead isn't on screen. The main female lead, I believe her name is Margaret or Maggie... possibly both... I don't know or care and I'm not going to use my brain to think about it... well, she happens to be my least favorite character is any film I have ever seen. I wanted her to suffer in a way I've never wanted any character to suffer. Useless doesn't describe her... I want a word that is more intense to describe her... rocklike... a big sack of nothing... DAMMIT, WOMAN! Why couldn't she do anything? Why did she get tired constantly? Did she have brittle bone disease? Some kind of horrible disease that make her weaker than a newborn kitten that also happens to have no legs, and may in fact be pond scum. THAT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE!!! I hate that woman so much! She gives human beings a bad name. No, Maggie, when it seems like some creepy guy might try to take advantage of you, you do not just stand there staring at him awkwardly, not backing away or trying to get away at all... you don't do absolutely nothing... The only thing that saved you was that Torgo was a decent dude, who although a bit of a moron himself, was smarter than your stupid idiotic self. WHY THE HELL DID YOU KEEP CHANGING YOUR STUPID MIND ABOUT WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO DO!!?!? Why did you fall on the ground every five seconds? Were you that tired? How can any human be that tired and not be on a freaking respirator in some hospital somewhere looking for a lung transplant or dying of awful cancer or something. I'm not even saying this in jest. What the hell was that woman doing?

Moving on, I need to talk about some of the positives of this film to get the awful taste out of my mouth. I liked the music mostly, believe it or not. It was pretty decent and it set the mood pretty well. Torgo, the caretaker of... wherever they were... was pretty awesome. I would have watched a film of him just talking or doing stuff. Hell, a film of Torgo doing his taxes would have been more enjoyable than this. The Master's mustache was pretty awesome. I think that's it for positives.

Since most of this film is made out of negatives, it's really hard for me to precisely focus on what the worst things are, although I am damn well going to try.

The dubbing was awful. The cinematography (That is way too technical a word to call the crap that is this film.) is atrocious. I'm pretty certain every cut is awful... right before the editing cut the character might be running away and then it cuts and the character has stopped, turned around INSTANTANEOUSLY and looks very comfortable talking to another character.

I've never seen a movie make a cat fight (and by "cat fight" I mean women fighting each other for some reason only they seem to know) unappealing and frankly weird. It was awkward and uninteresting. I'm not the kind of dude who even cares about stuff like that because it's sexist or whatever... but I was bored to tears of the movie by this point, and I see that these chicks are going to start fighting and I start thinking, "Man, this might get at least a little fun to watch." No. It wasn't fun. It wasn't fun at all. It was like watching grass grow. Worse. It was worse than watching grass grow.

The movie was boring, made no sense, had little to no quality to it... had stupid women... stupid men... stupid everything... and I just... I want it to end! Stop playing those images in my head! Torgo, save me!

I can praise Torgo. He was really the sole saving grace of this film. (Okay, he didn't save it, but I enjoyed when the dude was on screen.) He really was the only decent thing to see here and I thought he was entertaining.

Okay, on to more negatives: "Well, sound does travel a long way at night." 




I don't think night has anything to do with the way sound travels, genius. I don't think darkness or light HAS ANYRHIGB TO DO WITHT HE WAY SOUND TRAVELS.  I know there are typos there in the previous sentence. I don't even care. I can't type without almost throwing my computer across the room I'm so angry at that STUPID line. So, that's the best I can do without breaking anything. I'm not ever reading that sentence again because I'll probably start spitting blood out of every orifice in my body hoping I can create a rage explosion rather than just plain flipping out and watching my brain rip itself out of my head and hunt down the actor who said that line, living or dead, and telling him about simple physics and sound waves... AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I'M GOING TO THROW MY TOASTER THROUGH DEATH ITSELF BECAUSE OF THIS MOVIE!!!

Okay... hey, Torgo... no, I'm fine. I'm fine. Thanks, buddy... No, I'm calm. Look, I'm very calm. Okay... yeah... Do I need to keep going, Torgo? Please, I want to stop. I don't want to remember anything else...

Okay... okay... you're right... I'm almost done. I'm almost done...

So, the noises in this "film" are atrocious. There's an EXPLOSION at the end that's supposed to be thunder and instead sounded like nuclear fusion. I seriously thought that the shack had been H-bombed out of existence... not even kidding. Oh, and earlier in the film some... uh... I'm going to say that they were supposed to be animal noises... were going on, and it sounded like a whole bunch of people were howling and vomiting off-screen. They must have been watching the finished version of this film because those were the exact EXACT sounds that I was making after I saw this film.

This movie is more of a comedy than... uh... whatever it was supposed to be. There were a few times I laughed, but I don't think I was supposed to laugh. I don't think I was meant to laugh. I don't think they wanted me to laugh... I don't want to laugh anymore... TORGO! TOrgo, I don't want to laugh anymore! Make them stop... I don't... no... no... The movie's not funny, Torgo... It's a bad film... full of bad people... bad everything... I want it all to stop. WHERE'S MY TOASTER!? I'M GOING TO TAKE YOU DOWN, MASTER!!!!

Give me a second.

Okay... okay... Torgo gave me a strange look and now I feel a little better. DO YOUR TAXES, TORGO! I'LL BE FINE HERE REVIEWING THIS MOVIE!!

So, a lot (and when I say "a lot" I simply mean, "more than there ever should have been") of the film has a couple making out in a car and drinking... at various different times... and the police come and tell them off... Why not, I guess? I guess it makes sense. (No, it doesn't. it has nothing to do with any of the main story of the film and is, in the end, completely useless and astoundingly stupid.)

Torgo, I think that's the end of my review. Are you proud of me for keeping my sanity?


  1. What. You clearly don't understand art.

  2. Uh... yeah... that's probably true...

    But this movie is art like a piece of crap is art... it may have had some once decent things in it, but in the end it becomes fecal matter... and nobody likes fecal matter except the very strange and very disgusting.

  3. I can only hope Joel and bots will save your movie-watching experience.