Halloween Countdown: "Manos" The Hands of Fate

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(In anticipation of the coolest day of the year, this month-long series will offer one recommended horror flick a day up through Oct. 31.)

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"MANOS" THE HANDS OF FATE (1966). Forget quality flicks for a moment: It just wouldn’t be a proper Halloween without at least one horror turkey on the schedule. If you’re feeling up to it, then head straight to the bowels of bad cinema with this immortal effort. Yes, it's the one, the only, the must-be-seen-to-be-disbelieved "Manos" The Hands of Fate, that mega-abomination that's often cited as the worst movie ever made — a (dis)honor, incidentally, that used to pretty much belong to Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space. (Personally, I find "Manos" to be worse, if only because Plan 9 is a helluva lot more fun to watch.) The film, staggering in its ineptitude, finds a vacationing family (mom, dad, daughter, dog) getting lost and ending up at the home of the diabolical Master (Tom Neyman), his bevy of brides, and his extremely odd henchman Torgo (John Reynolds). I actually wouldn’t recommend watching this cold, so best to rent the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version and, uh, enjoy it in the company of Joel, Crow and Tom Servo. Ever the troupers, they face it with their usual aplomb, although Crow admittedly slips when he wails, "Joel, this is gonna turn into a snuff film!" So just how awful is this movie? So awful that even those evildoers Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank separately apologize to Joel for subjecting him to its petty tortures. Now that’s scary!


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