Manos Returns

Discussion in 'General' started by X-human, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    8,100
    Likes Received:
    777
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Illinois
    There's a Kickstarter now up for Manos Returns with the involvement of three key members of the original ensemble cast:

    Jackey Neyman Jones (little Debbie), Diane Mahree (long-suffering wife Maggie) and of course, The Master himself, Tom Neyman. Along with Nicki Mathis the original vocalist on the MANOS soundtrack.

    They're already close to getting the total of $24k and will probably have more than a week to work towards their high end of $55k. I chipped in and I'm even contemplating coming out if there's a final premiere (I have family in Portland anyways, why not?). Here below is most of the proposal.

    Produced by Jackey Neyman Jones, who played little Debbie in the B-movie classic "MANOS: The Hands of Fate," MANOS Returns is a tongue-in-cheek return to Valley Lodge. It follows a group of young would-be filmmakers who learn their favorite movie, “MANOS: The Hands of Fate,” is based on a true story. They set out to visit the site of the events that inspired the original and of course they find more than they bargained for.

    Thanks to Mystery Science Theater 3000, MANOS has become a pop culture phenomenon, gaining more and more fans as time goes on. We think it’s high time we found out what became of everyone at Valley Lodge, so we want to film MANOS Returns this summer, release it on DVD and have it ready to screen in time for MANOS’s 50th anniversary, November 15th, 2016.

    [​IMG]
    A big part of my motivation for making MANOS Returns is to do something my dad can be proud of.

    What we’re NOT doing:
    We are not trying to make a bad movie.
    We are not trying to recreate MANOS - The Hands of Fate.


    The original MANOS was lightning in a jar. Part of its charm is the sincerity with which it was made. They weren't making a good movie, but they were making the best movie they could. It's got an eerie quality to it and something that is inexplicably magical not in spite of but because of its awkwardness. It would be impossible to recreate that and almost an insult to try.

    And, frankly, we don’t find movies that are bad on purpose to be very entertaining.

    So What ARE We Doing?
    We see MANOS Returns as a companion piece to the original MANOS. It’s a comedic horror film set in a world where MANOS and his cult are real and dangerous. There will be jokes and references to the original film, of course, but our characters take everything that happens to them seriously and will react accordingly. MANOS Returns will feature many of the characters from the original MANOS, and we will introduce some new characters along with the old.

    When we say MANOS Returns will be “tongue-in-cheek,” we mean “funny.” We plan for our movie to be both funny and scary. We think that’s the best way to both honor the original and embrace all the reasons why people are still fascinated by it today. Think “Cabin in the Woods” or “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” (thanks @MovieVigilante), not “Birdemic 2.”

    A lot of the comedy in our movie comes because the non-cult characters don't really understand what they've gotten into. Our script is really clever that way; a great balance between funny and eerie. It will complement the original that inspired us, while taking the story further down the path.

    MANOS Returns is coming from a place of affection and respect…..respect for what Hal Warren was trying to do, respect for the other people involved, and respect for the fans who love MANOS for all the reasons that it’s bad. The pure number of MANOS inspired projects, both attempted and successful, points to a need for this to happen. Clearly there’s something there people can’t leave alone.

    [​IMG]
    We’ve already cultivated a great support network for this project, but making a good movie takes money, there’s no way around that. Equipment and locations, insurance, travel expenses, craft services and of course we’d love to be able to pay our cast and crew for their time…..it all adds up.

    This is where you come in. We're asking for your help to get the whole MANOS family back to Valley Lodge.

    $24,000 is our base Kickstarter goal. For that amount, in addition to the people already willing to help us with their time and resources, we can make a bare bones version of MANOS Returns. Most of the production money would go towards rental fees and insurance, we’d borrow costumes and other set pieces, and rely quite a bit on favors and volunteers.

    $55,000 would mean we can make the sequel of our dreams, the movie we envisioned when we started talking about MANOS Returns. We’ll be able to hire a costumer, craft sets and props specifically for the movie, and give the whole project a larger scope with a bigger cast and better locations.

    None of the original cast or crew got paid for their involvement in “MANOS: The Hands of Fate.” One of our secondary goals with MANOS Returns is to involve as many members of the original production as we can, and pay them this time. Jackey Neyman Jones (little Debbie), Diane Mahree (long-suffering wife Maggie), Nicki Mathis (the original vocalist on the MANOS soundtrack) and of course, The Master himself, Tom Neyman…..we think they deserve to get something more than notoriety for their place in bad cinema history. And we need your help to make that happen.

    [​IMG]
    10% of the funding from this campaign will go to Kickstarter fees.
    10% to Pre-Production
    40% to Production
    20% to Post-Production
    20% to Reward Fulfillment

    We're off to a good start by completing the highest risk and most important areas of filmmaking first: The Master, Tom Neyman is 80 years old and we've already filmed his scenes thanks to the financing provided by October's t-shirt fundraiser. And we have Nicki Mathis, the original vocalist for "Forgetting You," scheduled to go into the studio as soon as the Kickstarter is funded.

    As for the challenges of reward fulfillment, our team has experience there as well. We’re working with people we trust and have done our best to be realistic about delivery dates. We’ll keep the communication flowing so that if we do hit any unforeseen snags, you’ll know about it.

    Now all we need to do is fund the project, so we can get everyone on set, hit record, and take you back to the realm of MANOS.
     
  2. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    8,100
    Likes Received:
    777
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Illinois
    I got my digital download early as a backer before the official premiere but there was a moratorium on reviews before the public screening. It's been about a week since I've watched it now but here's some thoughts:

    It's a well done backyard film with a lot of good ideas and solid performances. There's some humorous moments but they're done like most any horror films and this isn't a spoof. The guy playing Torgo, Steven Shields, does a good job staying true to the character while not aping John Reynolds's original performance. Diane Mahree has probably the best role; she has some great moments but is also a little uneven. Sadly Jackey Neyman seemed to have the least to do when her part could have been the funnest. Tom Neyman shot some footage early in pre-production, just prior to his death, but its wonderfully eerie and it seems like they used only a small portion heavily reworked so it's a shame we didn't get more of it. I have an inkling they might have been better off using most if not all of it and conforming the later scripts. (But you never know, sometimes a few seconds is the only usable footage you get out of a day's work.)

    They found an awesome old trashed house to do the interiors in and show us a lot if it which was cool. The Cinematography suffers a bit from that amateur "we're going to put different colored gels on each light to be SPOOKY" that always ends up clashing and making a brown soup instead. [It always amazes me that people don't realize, "Hey, that looks like shit! Maybe we shouldn't do that after all?"] Sounds and music is good to great. The CGI has some cool 60's psychedelic moments which make for some of the highlights of the film.

    But the meandering script doesn't seem to know where to go with its setting. Even with all the production setups as is I think reworking some scenes and their order could have really helped to tell a more compelling story.
    One of the odder narrative choices was to have the Sheriff and deputy be Manos worshipers but still rescue the final girl after she killed The Mistress. It would have been a better staged ending if they picked her up down the road, and brought her back to the house revealing their true colors. Instead they pick her up in front of the house (with the hand in possession) to help her and drive AWAY from the house.

    Also there's a weird moment where a male says a female should know stuff about the woods because she's a lesbian. ??? At first I thought he meant Latino but they make it clear it was because she's a dyke. Even being with the lesbians I know I've never encountered that sort of stereotype so it was just nonsensical like the director just had to insert a dig like that somewhere in the script to satisfy a beef of theirs. I think it would have played better saying, "I'm brown so I should know survival skills?"

    What's oddly missed is the sardonic humor of the original. Lines like "killing doesn't help anymore" and an undead bride making sexual advances upon an unconscious man tied to a tree only to attack him when he doesn't wake up to reciprocate. Don't get me wrong there's some clever twisted stuff in Returns, but nothing left field. I get the feeling they were like, "Let's make a fun little Manos movie while we're still alive, we'll do a Kickstarter" and then once it was over were like, "Holy shit, now we have to deliver a Manos movie to 500 people who gave us money while we're still alive!"

    I'm glad they got to do it. And I'm glad I was a part of it. And if they wanted to do another I'd get behind that too because I think they can only do better with the lessons learned from this one.
     

Share This Page