Houston Matters

Does The Worst Movie Ever Made Deserve A Prequel? Why Not

Houston filmmaker David Roy talks about his prequel to the wonderfully awful cult favorite “Manos: The Hands of Fate.”

Manos: The Rise Of Torgo

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Manos: The Rise Of Torgo Poster

Does the worst movie ever made deserve a sequel? God no – but what about a prequel?

Many lovers of bad cinema agree that Manos: The Hands of Fate is the worst movie ever made. Manos very awkwardly, bizarrely — and often nonsensically — tells the story of family that gets lost looking for their vacation retreat and ends up in the middle of some sort of polygamist occult nightmare.

The film, which was made on a bet in 1966 by a fertilizer salesman named Hal Warren, was shot around El Paso. It's dialogue is terrible. The dubbed-over audio was often out of sync. The editing was jerky. But it's become a cult classic, thanks to shows like Mystery Science Theater 3000, which mocked its terribleness on the small screen.

The film – if you can call it that – has spawned a few attempts at a sequel, along with a stage show featuring puppets (called, wonderfully, Manos – The Hands of Felt), and even a mobile video game. And now a Houston-based filmmaker has taken the Manos love to another level: he made a prequel. Manos: The Rise of Torgo tells us how some of the loveable/hateable characters got to be who and where they are.

In the audio above, director David Roy talks about why he wanted to make this film, the long process of bringing it to life, and about how he set out to embody the filmmaking spirit of Hal Warren by forgotten everything he learned in film school.

  • A scene from the movie "Manos: The Rise of Torgo." (Photo Credit: Dog Romeo Productions)
    A scene from the movie "Manos: The Rise of Torgo." (Photo Credit: Dog Romeo Productions)
  • "The Master" in a scene from the movie "Manos: The Rise of Torgo." (Photo Credit: Dog Romeo Productions)
    "The Master" in a scene from the movie "Manos: The Rise of Torgo." (Photo Credit: Dog Romeo Productions)
  • A scene from the movie "Manos: The Rise of Torgo." (Photo Credit: Dog Romeo Productions/Screen Capture)
    A scene from the movie "Manos: The Rise of Torgo." (Photo Credit: Dog Romeo Productions/Screen Capture)
  • Houston filmmaker David Roy has made a prequel to one of the worst movies ever made -- "Manos: The Hands of Fate." His film is called "Manos: The Rise of Torgo." (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    Houston filmmaker David Roy has made a prequel to one of the worst movies ever made -- "Manos: The Hands of Fate." His film is called "Manos: The Rise of Torgo." (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • Diane Adelson and Hal Warren on the set of the 1966 movie "Manos: The Hands of Fate."
    Diane Adelson and Hal Warren on the set of the 1966 movie "Manos: The Hands of Fate."

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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