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Author Topic: Manos Returns  (Read 268 times)

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Offline JusSonic

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Manos Returns
« on: September 18, 2018, 09:35:43 PM »
....yes. There is a Manos Returns, thanks to Kickstarter (I'm surprised people funded it).

Sequel to the original and looks like something in the same verse as Birdemic, Jack & Julie, and Replica, riffers would have a field day with this one.


Offline WhyDontTheyLook

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Re: Manos Returns
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2018, 09:00:59 AM »
....yes. There is a Manos Returns, thanks to Kickstarter (I'm surprised people funded it).

Sequel to the original and looks like something in the same verse as Birdemic, Jack & Julie, and Replica, riffers would have a field day with this one.

As one of the guys who funded Manos Returns... despite how terrible Manos: the Hands of Fate is, I've grown inexplicably fond of it.  There's something underneath it all that feels like it could have worked, a kernel of an idea that, in the hands of a better director, or even just someone trying to do more than win a bet, would have been compelling to watch unfold.

This led me to (after numerous watchings of the MiSTed and Rifftrax'd versions of the film, and several viewings of unriffed, 'grindhouse' print of the original), to back the restored (unriffed) version currently on Blu-Ray.  It's not a super-pristine print of the movie--rather, the goal of the restoration was (according to Ben Solovey, the restorer) to get it back up to how it would have looked at its theatrical premiere.  And it looks great, even better than the 'good' print that was used for the Rifftrax version, and leagues better than the 'grindhouse' print used in the MST3K version.  Of course, that still doesn't fix the script, and the directing, and the acting, and literally everything else, buuut...

To me, though, the best parts of the Blu-Ray were in the extras, in the form of the "Hands: The Fate of Manos" doc, which was basically Jackey Neyman Jones (Debbie), Tom Neyman (the Master), and Diane Mahree (Margaret) talking and telling (often hilarious) stories about the making of the film.  Tom Neyman was particularly engaging, talking about how his sculptures and painting ended up being in the film (because he was an artist, and because Hal P. Warren was cheap).  It didn't surprise me that one of the better parts in the movie, the Master's invocation of Manos, was pretty much improvised by Tom, since there was nothing in the script for it.  I also enjoyed hearing Jackey and Diane talk about their post-Manos lives (Diane in particular; she turns out to have had a good career as a model in Europe for a few decades afterward).

I think it was this, more than anything else, that led me to back the Kickstarter, because I came to like them and wanted to see them get the sequel they wanted to do.  Originally, Jackey described the plan as to make it a horror-comedy--not deliberately bad (like Sharknado or Birdemic 2), and not a parody, but something with a balance of horror and humor elements.  Somewhere between the kickstarter and the movie production, this tilted more toward the horror side, taking elements of the backstory seriously and fleshing them out some.

As for the resulting movie... I liked it.  I mean that seriously, and non-ironically.  I mean, it wasn't a life-changing masterpiece by any means, and the limitations of its budget are evident, but it was enjoyable.  They made some solid stabs at expanding the world of Manos, and it was competently directed and scripted.  The humorous elements came through mostly in the interactions between the characters who got ensnared by Valley Lodge -- bantering with one another, throwing shade at Torgo, etc--and didn't get in the way of the serious elements.  The acting was a mixed bag--some of it was stiff, but most of it was in the passable-to-good range.  Diane Mahree (now Diane Adelson) in particular was really good, giving Margaret a degree of subtlety and tragedy.  (Tom Neyman, sadly, only appears sporadically, given that he wasn't in good health.  He passed away a few months after filming was completed.)

Is it riffable?  I'd say 'yes' -- the low budget look and limitations make it so, though I think viewers going into this expecting a Hands of Fate-level stinker will be surprised.  It can't be riffed right now, though, as it's not available commercially yet -- the only blu-rays produced were through Kickstarter and went to backers.  (Unfortunately, unlike the Manos:tHoF blu-ray, these were just bare-bones discs, the movie and nothing else.)  I'm sure Jackey would like to get it commercially distributed, though, through dvd or streaming or both.  She is a fan of the rifftrax and mst3k riffs of Manos:tHoF, and might welcome a riff of Manos Returns as a way of getting it more publicity and in front of a larger group of people.  In fact, in my ideal world, it would happen like the riffs for 'The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant' and 'Astro Zombies' happened -- with the commercial blu-ray coming out with the riff included as a bonus track (and the riffed-only version showing up for streaming on rifftrax.com).

Will it ever happen?  I dunno... but I hope so.
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