"Mystery Science Theater 3000" is all about digging up the worst movies possible, and relentlessly making fun of them. But Joel and the robots may have met their match in "Manos, the Hands of Fate" -- a tedious, fossilized movie with literally no redeeming characteristics at all. While the movie is too awful to even be amusing, it's kept funny by the running commentary.
On the Satellite of Love, Joel experiments with a module that causes all the bots to worship him -- and of course, once he removes it, they go right back to normal. Then comes the invention exchange, which is about as surreal as you'd expect, and then some.
Then the guys go into the theater for "Manos, The Hands of Fate"... and yes, that comma SHOULD be a colon, but isn't. After being treated to a horrible short film about "prospects," they are launched into the worst movie in the world: after a few hours of "driving" footage and some cop-related red herrings, a very boring all-American family arrives at a weird out-of-the-way house, occupied only by the knobby-kneed Torgo.
Amazingly, Torgo's creepy tics and constant babbling about "the Master" doesn't tip the family off that something weird might be going on in this place. And of course, eventually the bots begin to go insane from the sheer ineptitude of it all -- "Hey look, there's a field! And another field! And another field!" "Oh yes, it's very scenic. It's just like a scene from... "Manos, the Hands of Fate!". Cue Tom's hysterical sobs.
Well, what can I say about the movie? It is a dusty, tedious, grotesquely dull lump of fossilized excrement and I can barely believe it was actually released in even one theater. An example: after a make-out session is interrupted by a cop, the girl pauses, glances around as if confused, rearranges her hair and then shrieks in a Britney Spears voice, "Whah doncha leave us ALONE?"
I mean it. The movie is so bad that Frank and Dr. Forrester actually call to tell Joel and the bots that they feel sorry for them.
But the snark aimed at it is nothing short of BRILLIANT, especially since they have to make the worst movie EVER be entertaining just with their own wit. Of course, the bots spend most of the story alternately snarking ("Uh, that's not how you wear your Depends, Torgo") and sobbing ("Ma-ma-ma-MANOS! THE HANDS OF FATE!"). And, of course, mocking the horrible production values, ghastly dialogue, and spasmodic acting.
This particular edition is a deluxe two-disk edition. For one thing, it has the original movie... which I don't recommend watching unless you have a bunch of drunk friends to do your own MST3K impression of. It also has some truly awful shorts, featurettes, an interview with Joel, "Hotel Torgo," an interview with Bernie Rosenblum (aka Teenager in Car)/making-of story, and more. This sounds absolutely awesome.
"Manos, the Hands of Fate" is unquestionably the worst movie ever released in theaters (although I'm sure there are some worse student films out there), but the Mystery Science Theater 3000 snark is classic. Ma-ma-ma-MANOS! THE HANDS OF FATE!