Do you remember the first time you saw Manos: The Hands of Fate? Infamous for its bizarre script, amateur cinematography and editing, and obviously overdubbed dialogue, Manos was the result of a bet made by the late Harold P. Warren, a Texas fertilizer salesman, who asserted that “anyone can make a movie.” Warren shot the film in three weeks with rented equipment, on a very low budget, with a cast of local theater actors. It had a poorly-received local premiere on November 15, 1966, and soon faded from memory.
Then, in 1993, Manos was rescued from obscurity when comedian Frank Conniff proposed it for what would become the fourth season finale of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The MST3K take on the film solidified Manos as a campy cult classic. Since then, Manos has persisted through additional “riffed” releases: RiffTrax (MST3K alumni Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett) produced a live show featuring Manos in 2012 and more recently, Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff released their own, new version through their monthly livestream series, The Mads are Back, produced by Chris Gerbeck’s Dumb Industries. Since then, Dumb Industries has also hosted regular online art classes featuring original Manos cast member Jackey Neyman Jones. Per Gerbeck: “Manos: The Hands of Fate is one of those rare gems of a B-movie that only gets more fascinating with time. A huge part of that is owed to Jackey Neyman Jones’ dedication to keeping Manos fandom alive.“
Now, Neyman Jones and Dumb Industries are inviting all Fans of Fate to join in their celebration of Manos Day on Wednesday, November 15, the 57th anniversary of the film’s original premiere. When asked about her thoughts on the resurgence and sudden popularity of Manos, Neyman Jones mentioned: “Manos created a global, diverse, loving and deeply creative fan base who continues to uphold its claim to fame as any self-respecting cult following would. The public domain status of the film makes possible the variety of Manos-related projects developed independently by the fans over the years, creating a series of rabbit holes that is now known as ‘The Manosverse’.” As for Dumb Industries’s involvement, Chris adds: “Dumb Industries has been so honored to collaborate with Jackey on her regular online art classes, her paintings, an entire clothing line of Manos-related apparel, and the upcoming audiobook version of Growing Up With Manos: The Hands of Fate.”
What will Manos Day entail, exactly? There will be “24 Hours of Manos” streaming via the Dumb Industries Twitch channel, which will include streaming the 4K restoration of Manos: The Hands of Fate, the Mads Are Back riffed version of the film, the world premiere of The Manos Chronicles series, and much more. Plus, there will be giveaways, discounts on Manos-related items in the Dumb Industries online store and more. When asked about what she would like fans to get out of Manos Day, Jackey Neyman Jones said: “Manos Day is a day to share our love of Manos and what Manos means to each of us. It’s an opportunity to show others how so much has been inspired by something so bad that it’s good. It’s a movie that ignited many creative sparks, and through those sparks, it showcased so much talent to the world. Pass it on.”
So this Wednesday, November 15, do your best Torgo shuffle over to Dumb Industries and celebrate a full day of Manos: The Hands of Fate. In this case, the Master WILL approve!