Oh my God, we made it! Or no wait, I made it! What did you do? Nothing, that’s what (that’s not fair, you did read it). But here we are, Bad Movie March is officially behind us (or it will be in a few hundred words or so). It was certainly an experience. Thirteen films, none of them legitimately “good,” but several of them genuinely enjoyable (although not in the ways they were intended to be). Movies like Plan 9 From Outer Space, The Room, Battlefield Earth, Gamer, and Troll 2 countered ineptitude with sheer enthusiasm, making for delightful movie-watching experiences (with the right mindset, that is).
Movies like Meet The Spartans, Jennifer’s Body, The Happening, and The Ugly Truth, on the other hand, paired gross incompetence with a misguided method of filmmaking making it impossible to even enjoy them ironically. Others like Twilight barely evoked a response due to a complete lack of energy on anybody’s part. And The Wicker Man possessed an energy unique unto itself, making for an experience that will never be replicated. But the prize for worst movie of Bad Movie March goes to Remember Me for having the audacity to go from agonizingly boring melodrama to a last act that is plain insulting and induced sheer rage. For being profoundly misguided on all points, Remember Me beats frontrunner Meet The Spartans due to the fact that money and effort were put into the filmmaking process, making it that much worse by comparison.
Today’s entry probably would have taken the cake had I not watched it through the filter of Joel, Tom Servo, and Crow (CROOOOW!). Manos: The Hands of Fate concerns a family getting lost on their way to a vacation home and stumbling across a house in the middle of the desert seemingly occupied by a deformed individual named Torgo (his deformity is a set of giant knees, apparently he was supposed to be a Satyr, which doesn’t come across at all). Torgo lets them stay the night even though he says his master won’t like that even though his master is dead (but not in the way we think of being dead).
Torgo’s master is an undead… thing, it’s not specified, who has a horde of similarly undead wives, and none of them are pleased that Torgo let a man in the house, so they decide to kill the man and the little girl, and then turn the mother into yet another undead wife. Some of the wives don’t want to kill the child, and after a lengthy wrestling match (“This is probably the only reason the movie got made” says Crow) they decide to leave the child alive, kill the father, and punish Torgo.
And that’s the whole movie, pretty much. If that seems simple, you’re right! There are several loooooong dry sequences that serve no purpose other than to pad the runtime. There are several instances where The Satellite of Love gang, given nothing to work with, can do nothing other than to repeatedly state the movie’s title (“Sooo… Manos.” “The Hands of Fate.”). Even the on-camera interstitials eschew the typical sketches and devolve into Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank apologizing for the extra crapitude of Manos.
There’s even one scene where two of the cast members stand around for way too long prompting Joel to seemingly lose control and shout, “Do something!” From what I can tell, it deserves it’s status as “The Worst Movie of All Time” and can’t in good faith recommend watching it without the MST3K treatment. There’s really not a whole lot else to say, the experience was hilarious, as most MST3K movies tend to be.
So seek it out, but make sure it’s not an unfiltered version. Quentin Tarantino claims to love Manos and has one of the few surviving 35mm prints of it, but Tarantino’s attitude towards film doesn’t often align with the general public’s (in his defense, he supposedly calls it one of his favorite comedies). I, for one, wouldn’t dare try to view it without Joel Hodgson and Co. helping me through it.
So there, that’s it, we did it! No more theme months for a while, it was fun, but it was challenging as well. I may give it another shot at some point in the future, Musical May might happen, or Action August (unlikely, since I’m reasonably well-versed in action films), Screwball September is a definite possibility, because I would love an excuse to devote myself to the extended work of Cary Grant. And depending on how masochistic I feel, I may give Bad Movie March 2: The Quickening a go next year. But we’ll see.
But that’s all for now. Thanks for reading. It was a pleasure to Move On Dot Org, piss on hospitality, and get torn apart, Lisa all for the sake of providing you with a little shadenfreude. After this, Adventures in Pop Culture will go back to random musings on pop culture at large and I’ll go back to watching movies that are actually good. So hang on tight, Spider Monkey, because the future looks bright. So bright, in fact, that it’s blinded me so bad, I can’t see anything at all.
Posted under Kyle's Adventures in Pop Culture
This post was written by Kyle on March 31, 2011