Manos The search for Valley Lodge

Earlier this year at Flashback Weekend I was told about a little old movie that was so bad it was starting to get a following. Of course my buddies know how much I love cheesy film's could not believe I had not heard of this before. That little old movie is Manos: Hands of Fate. Now when I got home I looked into this movie and it  does sound right up my alley. Here is some backround; The movie was made in 1966 for less then $20,000.

 The plot goes something like this: A family driving through a small town gets lost and winds up at a backwoods shack managed by Torgo, who takes care of it while The Master is away. The Master worships Manos, an evil deity, and he also wears a neat cape. When Torgo lets the family stay, The Master awakens and does mean stuff like burning off Torgo's hand and sicking his dog on the family pet. Meanwhile, The Master's wives wrestle for his favor. *Gulp* sounds odd don't it.

Now its so called cult status comes from Mystery Science Theater.  This was one of the single highest selling dvd for the show. In fact they just released a new version earlier this year. So now director Rupert Talbot Munch Sr. is sequelizing the MST3K favorite with MANOS: THE SEARCH FOR VALLEY LODGE. He has also managed to return several of the original’s participants to the scene of the cinematic crime.

After a stint at ComicCon in 2008 Munch showed up in character as Torgo “I kinda felt obligated to display my nerd/acting chops and decided to never break character. For four days, I lived, breathed, fondled and gimped as Torgo! It was a labor of love —and pain.”

“After all of this, on a dare, I agreed to make a sequel to MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE,” Munch recounts. “In MANOS: THE SEARCH FOR VALLEY LODGE, The Master is a powerful sorcerer who gathers his wives—a polygamy cult—to propagate an army to serve the elder god Manos. The wives are ultimately stripped of individuality and converted into demonic types with supernatural strength/powers. In the first film, we were given hints of The Master and his powers, but it was never actually said what he and his followers were. Vampires? No. Undead? Maybe. I figured Torgo as a named demon/satyr type and just took it from there.”

Returning to the sequal are  many of the original cast, and their families. Tom Neyman reprises The Master in THE SEARCH FOR VALLEY LODGE, with his daughter Jackey Raye Neyman-Jones.  Also back as Debbie, a little girl in the first film who is now the grown-up heroine. MANOS ’66’s female lead, Diane Mahree, is also back as the character Maggie.

The late Warren’s son Joe takes over his dad’s role as Michael in the sequel, and William Bryan Jennings III plays Sheriff Mulligan  the son of the lawman his father portrayed in the first MANOS. “We also recruited Bernie Rosenblum, the teenager making out in the car,” Munch adds, “but unfortunately, not two weeks before the El Paso shoot, he suffered a stroke and was unable to film.” Munch himself, of course, is Torgo, and other newcomers in the cast include former WWE superstar Gene Snisky , UFC Fighter Ryan “Big Deal” Jimmo, Playboy Playmate Maria Kanellis, Tara Cardinal  and Rippin’ Richie. Jay Lee, writer/director of the Robert Englund/Jenna Jameson-starrer ZOMBIE STRIPPERS, serves as director of photography.

And if that wasn’t enough, Munch and co. have been busy spiffing up MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE for high definition. “We, the people who represent the original cast and all things MANOS, have been working on the HD restoration for over 14 months,” he says. “Recently, some kid who found a print of MANOS at an auction is trying to cash in with the same idea. Myself and Joe Warren do not acknowledge, recognize, or approve of what this kid is doing. In the end, we just ask that the fans hold onto their money and wait for our version. It will include tons of never-before-seen footage, plenty of extras, cast and crew commentary, interviews…plus surprises. And the proceeds will go back to Joe Warren and the MANOS faithful.” Keep abreast of MANOS: THE SEARCH FOR VALLEY LODGE at its official website.

So there you have it the most bizarre news you will hear today. I'm sure I will keep you up to date on this movie project. Now to move the first one up in my pile to watch soon.



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