manosWith the delight that many consider to be Halloween, I’ve decided to use today’s post to share with you one of the most frightening movies I’ve ever seen. There are so many things that cause this film to be the horror that it is. It’s not a slasher film, a gore fest, or a thriller, nor is it a zombie film, alien picture, fightmare, musical, or any film starring Mike Myers. This I am referring to is none other than… Manos, Hands of Fate.

Manos: The Hands of Fate is a… I think it was supposed to be a horror film. It was filmed in 1966, and was written, directed, and produced by one Harold P. Warren. The film would have fallen into obscurity… well into unwatched obscurity that is until Mystery Science Theater 3000 got their hands on it. Then it moved into the realm of viewed obscurity. Nothing moves a film out of normal obscurity and into cult status obscurity quite like MST.

The plot of the film consists of a vacationing family who get lost while driving and end up in a desert. The family finds a house in the desert, which turns out to be the home of a polygamous pagan cult, as if there is any other kind.

manos_paintingTorgoIt’s a little confusing trying to figure out who the main character is. For the first 20 minutes of the film I’d have to say that the main character was the scenery. There is a family that the story seems to center around, but there is also Torgo, the assistance of the Master (aka Manos). Who has just as much screen time as, if not more, the family. There is also a picture of the Master, who gets plenty of screen time as well.

I was actually talking about this very film a few weeks ago with a friend of mine. We were discussing what exactly makes this one of the most horrific films ever made. We came to the conclusion that what makes this an ultimate horror film is:

  1. Negative Watchability: The personal uneasiness that comes from watching the film. It’s really difficult to get through the film in one sitting because it is so frighteningly bad.
  2. Poor Direction. The director had so many options to make a choice in how the film was to go, about what needed to happen next, and he did absolutely nothing.
  3. Profane Angst. At the end of the film, if you make it that far, you will shutter, and probably use a verbal exclamation equivalent of wtf.
  4. manoshandsLongevity. The film will stay with you forever. It’s probably been around 15 years now since I first saw Manos, which means that it’s been around 15 years that I been telling people Manos: Hands of Fate, any time people ask me what the one of the worst/most horrific films I have ever seen was.

If you think you have the constitution and determination to make it though the film, feel free to check it out:

If the video does not work for you click here to watch the film.

Let me know what you think of Manos: The Hands of Fate.