Starring Matt Rogers, Danny McCarty, Elizabeth Redpath, Lance Henry, Jackey Neyman Jones
Directed by David Roy
Released back in 1967, Manos: The Hands of Fate has gone on to achieve widespread cult status for being ‘so bad it’s good’, in the same vein of films such as Troll 2 and The Room. Director David Roy has clearly worked overtime to evoke the spirit of the original with his sequel, Manos: The Rise of Torgo.
Overweight and sporting a huge beard, young Manos grows up in Texas, eating the best fried chicken the world would ever know. In addition to being overweight, Torgo is also awkward with women, and has no luck finding a date. So naturally, he asks if he can marry his mom, which is apparently possible in the state of Texas. So with Torgo clearly not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, things don’t exactly go according to plan when he is forced to serve the being known as the Master, who in turn serves Manos, the god of primal darkness (played by the original’s Jackey Neyman Jones). Torgo’s overbearing mother is also none too pleased with his new career choice.
The original film is notorious for its poor lip-syncing and occasional flat deliverance, something which is found here in abundance, as no actual dialogue was recorded during filming, with everything instead being added in post. And I know it was being played for effect, but the cheesy acting ultimately started to wear on me after a while, even though Matt Rogers and Danny McCarty were both endearing in their roles as Torgo and the Master.
If you didn’t find the campiness and low production quality of the original Manos to be particularly entertaining, then to be honest, you probably won’t be too fond of Manos: The Rise of Torgo as should probably look elsewhere. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad film, but it’s clearly catering to a very specific audience. My main take away is that if you enjoyed the original Manos, you’ll probably find this to be a worthy sequel, in the sense that it strives to stylistically be as similar as possible. If campiness is your thing, you’re in for a fun ride.
If campiness is your thing, you’re in for a fun ride.