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On their way to wherever, Michael (Harold P.Warren), Margaret (Diane
Mahree) and their daughter Debbie (Jackey Neyman) find themselves forced
to spend a night at a place in the middle of nowhere which is run by
creepy caretaker Torgo (John Reynolds), who keeps rambling on about his
undead Master (Tom Neyman), then tries to rape Margaret, then Debbie's dog
is killed by who- or whatever, and so on ... but hey, it's still better
than spending the night in the car, right?
Cut to the Master and his six
wives (Stefanie Nielson, Sherry Proctor, Robin Redd, Jay Hall, Bettie
Burns, Lelanie Hansard), who are of course also undead, and who quarrel
over what to do with the new arrivals. There are those who want to kill
them and those who don't. The Master, who seems to worship a God called
Manos and who wears a cape with hands on it, kills Torgo for taking the
little family in, then for no apparent reason identifies one of his wives
as a traitor and kills her as well.
Finally, our little family get
freaked out at the place they're staying at, and they decide to make it
back to civilisation on foot - bad idea, since civilisation is far away.
Margaret strains her ankle, and now Michael decides to head back for the
house, since they have already looked there and won't do so again -
how exactly he comes to that conclusion is beyond me, but the conclusion
is dead wrong anyways, since once at the house, they are overcome by the
Master, and while both Margaret and little Debbie are made his wives,
Michael is installed as Torgo's successor, caretaker of the house in the
middle of nowhere.
A bad movie gem: Manos: The Hands of Fate's
plot is unbelievably silly, and it's not at all helped by a cast of
amateur actors, sloppy editing with no sense for continuity, limited dirt
cheap sets and production values, and a score that undermines the film's
atmosphere - and still, these are exactly the reasons that keep you
watching the film, and some scenes, despite everything, even seem
inspired, like the almost avant garde fight scene among the Master's
wives, all dressed in white gowns, on desert sand set to an
improvisational saxophone score. It's so-bad-it's-good in the best Ed
Wood-meaning of the expression.