MST3K Wiki

Manos: The Hands of Fate

1,061pages on
this wiki
424 - Manos: The Hands of Fate
Air Date January 30, 1993
Running Time 92 min
AKA The Lodge of Sins, "Mangos, cans of fruit", "Fingers of Fate" (workprint title)
Movie Director Harold P. Warren
Year 1966
Cast Tom Neyman, John Reynolds, Diane Mahree, Harold P. Warren
Preceded by 423 - Bride of the Monster
Followed by 501 - Warrior of the Lost World

You know... there are certain flaws in this film.
  — Servo

Every frame of this movie looks like someone's last known photograph.
  — Joel

The Short

Hired! Part 2 (1940)


Continuing from the first part, managing salesman is inspired by his handkerchief-wearing father on how to motivate and instruct his young, inexperienced car salesman on how to close sales.

The Movie


The plot is as follows: Michael (Hal Warren, also director/producer/etc.) and Margaret (Diane Mahree) are going for a weekend trip with their daughter Debbie (Jackie Neyman) and their dog when a wrong turn takes them to a strange little lodge in the middle of the desert. It's run by The Master (Tom Neyman), with the assistance of Torgo (John Reynolds), a dim, lubricious, other-worldly man who immediately starts making advances towards Margaret being creepy.

The Master has a cult of semi-dead wives on the premises who summon "Manos". The wives wear diaphanous nightgowns and engage in full contact wrestling. The Master abuses Torgo and at one point pulls his hand off and burns it.


The Master (played by Tom Neyman)


  • Manos: The Hands of Fate is a film written, directed, and produced by American fertilizer salesman Harold P. Warren in 1966 as a result of a bet he made with scriptwriter Stirling Silliphant in a bar. Warren intended to make a successful horror film on a shoestring budget. The result, filmed entirely on location in El Paso, Texas, is a movie that is considered among the worst films ever made. After a failed debut, the film remained in almost complete obscurity until 1992 when it was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
  • Tom Neyman built metal riggings as leg braces for actor John Reynolds, on the bottom of which were cloven hooves. Torgo was meant to be half-man, half-goat. Unfortunately, the silhouettes of Joel, Tom, and Crow obscured the few shots where viewers might have been able to see Torgo’s goat feet.
  • All of the sound was done in post-production. Hal Warren, his wife, Tom Neyman, and Diane Mahree recorded the voice tracks in a sound studio. Everyone else’s dialogue – including Torgo’s – was dubbed by other people. (Joel points this out in the early scene in which the family is pulled over by a cop, and it's obvious that the same actor is doing the voices of both the father and the cop.)
  • The camera on which Warren shot the film could only record takes of a maximum of 32 seconds.
  • The film's title is itself redundant, since "manos" is the Spanish word for "hands", thus one could call it "Hands: The Hands of fate".
  • The movie was originally called 'The Lodge of Sins.' In production, Warren, for some unknown reason, changed the title to 'Manos'. As time wore on and tempers frayed, the crew began jokingly referring to the project as, 'Mangos: Cans of Fruit.' [1]
  • In 2011, the original 16 mm Ektachrome camera workprint of Manos: The Hands of Fate was discovered in a collection of 16 mm films by Ben Solovey, a Florida State film school graduate. Solovey has announced his intention to preserve and restore Manos for a High Definition Blu-ray release. Click here for more information.
  • According to, there were plans for a sequel called "Manos: The Search for Valley Lodge". In which “A woman battling mental illness regains her memory and heads into the deserts of El Paso, Texas to confront her inner demons and discover her mysterious past.” Some of the original cast members were expected to return.
  • Recently received a video game adaptation.

The Episode

Host Segments

Prologue: Joel has installed a chip in the Bots that makes everything he does seem brilliant, but it quickly gets on his nerves.

Segment One (Invention Exchange): The Bots are disgruntled over the chip. In Deep 13, the Mads invent the Chocolate Bunny Guillotine (which Frank despises), while on the SOL Joel introduces the Cartuner to combine two boring comic strips into one funny strip.

Segment Two: Joel and the Bots recreate the opening driving scene from the movie when they are pulled over by Officer Gypsy, but Cambot's failure to stop the blue screen footage pushes them over the edge. Frank apologizes for the movie.

Segment Three: Joel and the Bots discuss exaggerated features that make for a horrifying monster, but can’t agree if Torgo counts as one. They propose scarier looking monsters based on exaggerated or missing body parts.

Segment Four: Joel dresses as the Master and Crow is his hellbeast, but Tom isn’t impressed; he thinks Joel looks like Maude and his face is "too friendly". Dr. F apologizes for the movie.


Torgo (Mike Nelson) delivering the pizza.

Segment Five: The Bots reenact the wives' wrestling game from the movie to cheer Joel up (though he is not quite pleased over this). In Deep 13, Frank ordered from Torgo’s Pizza over two hours ago. Torgo finally shows up, but accidentally leaves their pop in the car. Frank disturbingly notes the pizza is still pretty warm.

Stinger: Girl in car saying "Why don’t you guys leave us alone?"

Other Notes

Guest Stars


  • Unusual credits: Torgo's theme music plays instead of "Mighty Science Theater" (which loops several times, due to its shorter length ).
  • Goofs: At the end of the movie, when the thank you credits pop up for El Paso, TX if you look at Joel's face as they exit the theater you'll notice he has his glasses on. This is because in real life Joel did indeed wear glasses but most likely wore contacts on the show. They helped him see the screen that was on the ground during taping.

Quotes & References

  • "Hired 2: Electric Boogaloo."
The 1984 film Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo was a quickly-made follow-up to the original Breakin', which had been released earlier in 1984. As pointed out on the IMDb, "The phrase 'Electric Boogaloo' has passed into common usage as the sub-title for any facetious sequel." The 1996 official MST3K convention was called "ConventioCon ExpoFest-A-Rama 2: Electric Boogaloo".
  • "Jam Handy to the rescue!"
"Jim Dandy to the rescue..." is a lyric from the song "Jim Dandy," first performed by R&B singer LaVerne Baker on her 1957 self-titled album. The song was a hit again in 1973 with the rock band Black Oak Arkansas.
  • "I may be wonderful, but I think you're wrong."
Quote from the Marx Brothers' 1930 comedy Animal Crackers, spoken by Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding to Chico Marx as Ravelli.
  • "Give 'em hell, Harry!"
Rally cry of supporters of Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States. During the 1948 Presidential campaign, Truman public appearances attracted enthusiastic crowd, who often cried out, "Give 'em hell, Harry!"
  • "Take his prospects for example." "Please!"
Comedian Henny Youngman was known for his one-liners. One of his most popular gags was the classic, "Take my wife. Please!"
  • "I wonder." "I wa-wa-wa-wa-wonder!"
Singer Del Shannon's 1961 debut single, "Runaway," features this combination of lines.
  • "Meanwhile, Eliot Ness and his Untouchables head for a speak-easy in Berwyn!"
This shot, with a group of men in period clothing in the old-fashioned car, resembles a typical shot from "The Untouchables" television series (1959-63). The show was loosely based on the adventures of real-life federal agent Eliot Ness (played by Robert Stack) and his men, dubbed the Untouchables, as they fight crime (especially the mob) in 1930s Chicago. The line delivered by Tom is typical of the program's narration, supplied by Walter Winchell.
  • "Meeting with Floyd the Barber." "Ooo, the car is so wonderful... ooo..."
The customer here does resemble Floyd Lawson (played by Howard McNear), the town barber on "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-8). Floyd was an enthusiastic fellow (with a speaking voice that Crow mimics well), often punctuating sentiments with "Oooo...".
  • "Are you now or have you ever been a Ford owner?"
In the United States during the height of the 1950s "Red Scare", the House Un-American Activities Committee attempted to root out Communists believed to have infiltrated the government and the entertainment industry. Witnesses called during the HUAC's investigations were commonly asked "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist party?"
  • "Adlai Stevenson buys a car."
Adlai Stevenson (1900-65) was an political leader. Stevenson ran for President twice, but was defeated both times by Dwight Eisenhower (despite being well liked, especially by the more liberal/progressive members of the Democratic party).
  • "Inka dinka doo!"
With his big nose, the character here resembles comedian Jimmy Durante (nicknamed the Schnoz). The song "Inka Dinka Doo" became one of Durante's trademarks after he performed it in the 1934 film Palooka.
  • "Like father, like son. Think about it, won't you?"
From an anti-smoking public service announcement of the 1960s. The ad showed sons imitating their fathers (playing sports, etc.), and ended with the sons smoking, just like their dads.
  • "Poodle bites, poodle chews."
Spoken by Tom Servo as the family sits at the vista point at the beginning of the movie. This is a line from the song 'Dirty Love ' by Frank Zappa .
  • "Cousin Itt!"
Cousin Itt is a recurring guest character from the various incarnations of "The Addams Family." Itt was a giant walking mound of hair, with no visible face. He also had an incomprehensible high squeaky voice, and sometimes wore a hat.
  • "Let's sing something from Pearl Jam!"
Formed in 1990 (built on the remains of a few other bands), Pearl Jam became one of the leading bands of the grunge movement. Their debut album was titled Ten (1991) and featured their first big hit, "Jeremy." Other albums include Vs. (1993), Yield (1998) and Binaural (2000).
  • "Row, row, row your boat. Sing, dammit, sing!"
Late in the classic Clint Eastwood cop film Dirty Harry (1971), psycho-killer Scorpio (Andrew Robinson) kidnaps a busload of children, holding them at gunpoint. At one point, he demands that the children keep singing songs like "Old MacDonald" and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," shrieking out "Sing, dammit, sing!"
  • "Pigs, lies and videotape."
The 1989 film Sex, Lies, and Videotape starred Andie MacDowell and Peter Gallagher as a married couple, Laura San Giacoma as the woman Gallagher has an affair with and James Spader as a man who likes to videotape people and complicates all of their lives. The reference here is due to the fact that the pigs in the field come across as someone's very poorly-filmed home movies (as does the rest of the film).
  • "Let's just pretend we're watching Trip to Bountiful."
The Trip to Bountiful told the story of Carrie Watts, a woman in her twilight years, who wants to escape the clutches of her controlling off-spring and make one more visit to Bountiful, Texas, the town she grew up in. It was first made as a 1953 TV movie (with Lillian Gish in the lead role), and again as a 1985 theatrical film starring Geraldine Page.
  • "...they picked up Shirley Bassey hitch-hiking."
Welsh singing artist Shirley Bassey (1937- ) has had many hits on the United Kingdom charts over the years, but it best known to North American audiences for her performances of three James Bond film theme songs: Goldfinger (1964), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Moonraker (1979). She was well-known for her ability to belt out a tune.
  • "It's like having Joe Cocker as your bellhop."
John Robert "Joe" Cocker, OBE (May 20, 1944 – December 22, 2014) was an English musician who became popular in the 1960s. In addition to being known for his gritty voice, he was also known for his spasmodic body movements when performing.
  • "It's Robin Stone, the Love Machine."
John Phillip Law (star of Space Mutiny and Diabolik) starred in a mostly-forgotten 1971 film called The Love Machine, based on the Jacqueline Susann novel of the same name. Law played Robin Stone ("the Love Machine"), an ambitious TV newscaster who has an affair with the wife (Dyan Cannon) of a network executive (Robert Ryan) to get a promotion. The reference here is most likely to its theme song, "The Love Machine," sung by Dionne Warwick.
  • "Go, Speed Racer!"
The line "Go, Speed Racer!" is sung in the theme song of the animated series Speed Racer.
  • "Yes, it's Hawaiian Tropic, for that savage buzz."
Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion (which comes in bottles that look like the one the girl drinks out of here) has been around since 1969. Some of its ads referred to the "savage tan" you can get using it.
  • "Yuk, it sounds like Jerry Reed."
Jerry Reed (1937-2008; born Jerry Reed Hubbard) is a popular country/western musician, known for his skilled guitar playing and folksy lyrics & voice. His hits include "When You're Hot, You're Hot" (1971), "Lord, Mr. Ford" (1973) and "She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)" (1982). He was a frequent performer on television (mostly variety shows), and appeared in several films, including the Smokey and the Bandit series (1977, 1980, 1983) and The Waterboy (1998).
  • "Tastes like cherry Robitussin!"
Robitussin is a cough syrup made by Wyeth Consumer Heathcare. It comes in many varieties and flavours, including cherry.
  • "Maybe it's Brigadoon."

In the musical Brigadoon , the titular Scottish village appears for one day every hundred years.

  • "Can we drop off Tim Weisberg now?"
Flautist Tim Weisberg (1943- ) recorded a couple of albums with Dan Fogelberg (Twin Sons of Different Mothers (1978) and No Resemblance Whatsoever (1995)), as well as a few albums of his own, including Naked Eyes (1996) and Undercover (1997).
  • "It's Dr. Giggles!"
Dr. Giggles was a 1992 horror movie starring Larry Drake (of TV's L.A. Law).
  • "Joel, I think they sent us a snuff film!"
A snuff film is a movie that shows someone being raped and/or murdered in real life. This is a riff on the graininess and extremely low-budget film quality of Manos, as well as the pervading sense of dread that the film provokes.
  • [The song Joel sings under his breath as Mike walks into the motel hell]

The song comes from an old cereal commercial for Kellogg's Graham Crackos. It is also heard in War of the Colossal Beast

  • "Oh look honey! Torgo has a little altar to Ba'al."

Ba'al is an ancient name (meaning "lord") often used to refer to certain pagan deities; in particular the Philistine God that might have led to the name 'Beelzebub'. 

  • "Someone left a cake out in the rain!"

​ A line from the song 'MacArthur Park' by Jimmy Webb.

  • "Ooh, I hope she doesn't make like Jenny Fields!"

Jenny Fields is the mother of T.S. Garp, from the novel The World According To Garp . Fields, a nurse, purposely impregnates herself by taking advantage of the state of perpetual arousal of a brain-damaged bomber ball-turret gunner who is under her care.

  • "This movie has kind of a Ken Russell feel to it..."

Director Ken Russell 's films were often accused of having a sexually obsessive nature to them: not really pornographic, but the character behaviors would be driven by sexual impulse, with other traits in the background.

  • "Ah, I used to go out with all these women and now they're all here... Kodachrome."
This line refers to the lyrics in Paul Simon's 1973 hit song, "Kodachrome." In one part of the song, Simon imagines what would happen if he took all the girls he knew when he was single and brought them all together for one night.
  • "They're rolfing him to death!"
Rolfing is a type of deep tissue massage promoted as "alternative medicine". It is intense, even painful.
  • "The new pope has not been chosen"
Black smoke from the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is the signal that the conclave of cardinals has not selected a new pope.
  • "It's like they're walking into a John Waters film."
John Waters is a filmmaker who first made a name for himself with intentionally offensive movies such as Pink Flamingos.
  • "I ain't gonna play Sun City!"
Joel is quoting the song "Sun City" by Artists United Against Apartheid.
  • "This is a bug hunt! Game over, man, game over!"
This is a reference to Private Hudson's hysterical breakdown in Aliens.
  • "I have my answer, I'm walking on air"

A quote from Michael Caine in the Woody Allen film Hannah and Her Sisters.

  • "Turn it off! Turn it off!"
Another use of the line from the 1979 George C. Scott film Hardcore. Scott painfully screams it when he is shown a film of his then-presumed kidnapped daughter is starring in a pornographic movie. The MST crew used this line in several episodes.
  • "If you'd like to contact Harold P. Warren, look in the Yellow Pages for the Fertilizer Corporation of Texas."
A reference made by Servo to Hal Warren's day job as a fertilizer salesman.

Video Releases


The Special Edition of the DVD.

  • ManosDVD

    The Rhino Videos version of the DVD.

    Commercially released on VHS by Rhino Entertainment in Feburary 1998, it was later released as part of a three-pack along with Gunslinger and the Poopie! tape in March 1999.
  • Commercially released on DVD by Rhino in November 2001, the DVD includes the entire contents of the Poopie! video as an extra.
  • The Manos DVD was re-released unchanged as part of MST3K: The Essentials, a double-disc set which featured this episode and newly released Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. As a limited time special offer, if ordered off a specially created Rhino website, a bonus disc of Shorts Vol 3 was also included with the set.
  • Shout Factory re-issued Manos as a 2-disc "Special Edition" on September 13, 2011. Disc 1 features the episode and a featurette, "Group Therapy", in which Joel, Trace, Frank, and Mary Jo discuss the episode; disc 2 features the original, unriffed movie; the documentary Hotel Torgo; the new featurette "Jam Handy To The Rescue!: A Ballyhoo Production", where Joel discusses the shorts used on MST3K; and Hired!: Parts 1 and 2, presented back-to-back for the first time in one volume.


2. A list of cultural references in the Mystery Science Theater cut.

External links

MST3K 424 Promo00:29

MST3K 424 Promo

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki