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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Science Fiction > Horror > TV > Mystery Science Theater 3000: Manos The Hands Of Fate (Shout! Factory DVD)

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Manos The Hands Of Fate (Shout! Factory DVD)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B+     Movie: A+



Considered by many viewers to be the worst movie ever made, Manos The Hands of Fate “labored” in obscurity for years until it made its debut on Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the early 1990s.  This affectingly bad film quickly took on a life of its own among MST3K fans, and in fact, I remember watching it the night it first aired and being gobsmacked by not only its awesome “badness”, but also by the artful way the MST3K crew highlighted the movie’s many critical flaws.


This 2-disc set from Shout! Factory celebrates the film’s awfulness with the complete MST3K episode treatment, and also the Manos film all by itself on a separate disc, as it might have appeared originally.  In addition, extra features include a revealing round-table discussion between creator Joel Hodgson, Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank) and others.  It was illuminating to learn that while filming the episode for Manos (#424 in the long running series--season 4, episode 24) the crew had no real inkling of the “magic” they were creating.  They knew the film was dreadful, but their reactions to it at the time were more pained than anything.  There appeared to be a “let’s get through this thing” attitude, but some recognition of how truly terrible the film was did “leak” into the episode.  During separate segments, each mad scientist apologizes to Joel and the ‘bots for the awfulness of the film.  These simple, short moments mark some of the funniest of the show’s long history.


Although released several times before (including during the old Rhino run of MST3K boxed sets), this latest offering from Shout! provides plenty of new material to get excited about/  The interviews and the ability to watch the film by itself will render its full awfulness in a new light.  If you’ve never seen Manos before, this release provides the perfect spot to get in on the joke, but even if you’re an old “hand” (sorry, couldn’t resist), the new material and comic packaging will make this one a must for the collection.



-   Scott Pyle


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