Thursday, May 17, 2018

Debbie Does Lots of New Things



This year is busier than I've ever been doing Manos related things. Maybe that's not exactly true.  This is just a time when the accumulation of previous efforts are coming to the forefront and because of it, I'm traveling more.

So far this year, I was a celebrity guest at Cinema Wasteland in Cleveland April 6, 7 and 8th. It is a small but mighty event with fervent film fans.  They love the obscure stuff and I found many Manos fans among them.  Cinema Wasteland Blogpost

My fellow producers, Tonjia Atomic, Rachel Jackson, Joe Sherlock and I  premiered Manos Returns at Crypticon Seattle on May 4th.  I also had a table as a guest for the weekend so we had a base. We all got to hang out with much of our cast and crew for a fabulously fun filled weekend.  Crypticon Seattle Blogpost
and take a listen to my newish podcast, Jackey's Hand of Horror on Soundcloud.  https://soundcloud.com/handofhorropodcast/jhoh-episode-7-crypticon  On this most recent episode, we discuss all things Manos Returns and Crypticon.  I'm really happy with how the podcast is evolving and I especially love this episode.

This last weekend, I was a guest at Meadowlark Comic Con, the first of it's kind in Medford Oregon.  I drove to Medford and spent Friday night so as to be prepared for the May 12th Saturday event.  Meadowlark Comic Con .  It was small as was expected for the first year but the people who came really enjoyed it.  There were a lot of kids in costume to meet the pink and yellow Power Rangers.  I saw a little hulk and even a princess or two running around.  The whole event was very well organized and I felt comfortable and welcomed.
The main celebrity guest was Mindy Sterling who is a charming and very engaging person. She loved  interacting with fans posing for photos with them.  I could kick myself for not getting a photo with her. We were both busy the whole day and then I packed up to drive home right after. (The next day was Mother's Day and my kids had plans)

.  Although I didn't get to visit with her much, she did agree to interview with me for my Jackey's Hand of Horror Podcast on an upcoming episode.  I can't wait to chat with her and talk about her career and life.


This is coming right up on Saturday May 26  Destiny City Freaky Con I will be there along with the producers of Manos Returns from 4 to 8 pm at Destiny City Comics in Tacoma Washington and then for a Manos Returns Screening at The Grand Cinema at 11pm  Manos Returns Screening  Will be a blast watching it again with an audience and this time in a real theater!

Here is another project that I am hoping comes to fruition. A web series titled Manos: The Debbie Chronicles.  Will keep you posted as the news comes my way.  If the kick starter for Candivan succeeds...This will happen.
Manos: The Debbie Chronicles Web Series

The new Bigfoot film Primal Rage Bigfoot Reborn is now available for rent on Amazon.  I had a small part, got most of my family in as extras and got to be a location coordinator.  It's a small thing but I was honored to be invited.  If you watch it, our scenes involve the tipi.

and... here's something else in the works. A new comic book creation by Pulsar Entertainment.  I am planning to be at San Diego Comic Con as part of their booth and to promote the project.  Right now, they have launched a contest, so, if you know anyone talented in the arena of the comic book world, here's something that may be of interest.  Manos: The Debbie Chronicles Comic Book Contest .  The winner gets some cash and a pass to San Diego Comic Con.  Hope to see you there.

One other thing I am just getting organized to do, is to write a screenplay based on my book, Growing Up With Manos The Hands of Fate  How I was the child start of the worst movie ever made and lived to tell the story.  I am inspired by both I, Tonya and The Disaster Artist.  The back story of Manos is every bit as interesting, and I think, pretty damn funny.  While you're waiting for this new idea, you can order a personalized and signed copy of my book from me   paypal.me/JackeyNeymanJones/23   $23. includes shipping within the U.S.

As busy I am with all these things, I've still got to do other things as well, to make a living. As creative people know, you throw a whole lot out and hope some sticks.  I'm still teaching some painting classes and need to get back to creating new art.  It all goes in waves, but overall, I lead a pretty interesting existence and wouldn't have that part of it any other way.







Thursday, May 10, 2018

Manos Returns World Premiere at Crypticon Seattle

If you are a regular here, you know I try to write and post on Torgo Tuesday's.  However this week, Torgo is way slower than usual and we are going to call this a Torgo Thursday.  Doesn't have quite the same ring to it but it's the best I can do this week.

Last weekend, me and nearly the whole Manos Returns cast and crew went to Crypticon Seattle for the World Premiere of Manos Returns.  I cannot speak for anyone else, but it has taken nearly all week to recover.  We had just so much fun, and if I'm going to be traveling as much as I expect to in the future, I had better learn to pace myself better.
                                                         Me with director Tonjia Atomic


I arrived at the Seattle Doubletree Hotel on Friday May 4th in the afternoon to set up my table and to meet up with others I knew were coming. There was surprise after surprise when people I wasn't expecting arrived as well, like Steven Shields, our Torgo

 Danielle Daggarty who plays Clara along with Nuria Aguilar who plays Pat
 and our Director of Photography, Joe Sherlock

.  Our wives were there too and crew members that traveled from long distances.  Other friends and supporter continued to announce themselves as the afternoon ended and evening came.  I felt there was a perpetual look of surprise on my face and I reminded myself often to live in the moment and absorb all that was happening.   Even Diane Mahree who played Maggie in both the original and this film drove all the way from her home in Colorado.

                            Somehow, someone had the presence of mind to get a group shot.
A large part of the cast and crew of "Manos Returns" after the premier showing of the film at Crypticon Seattle on Friday night! With, l. to r., Milton and Myron Jenkins Maggies Ghosts, Donna Rooney P.A, Emily Watson wife, Stephanie J. Lunceford  wife, Nuria Aguilar Pat, Dale Wilson P.A., Rachel Jackson Assistant Director, Joe Sherlock Director of Photography, Jackey Neyman Jones Debbie and Producer, Tonjia Atomic Director, Christopher Barnes Jay, Derek Singer Ghost, Steven Shields Torgo, Danielle Daggerty Clara, Christina Pezzo Nicki, and Bryan Jennings Sheriff. 


and a nice photo of some of the ladies of Manos Returns
Nuria Aguilar,  Jackey Neyman Jones, Christina Pezzo, Rachel Jackson, Tonjia Atomic

I even got to hang out with uber MST3k fans and their Crow and Tom Servo

 The screening was scheduled for 9 pm that night and when we showed up, there was a large group already waiting.  I was told later that the venue had to bring in about 20 more chairs to accommodate them all.
                                                                      Here they are
I had been excited about the screening but not at all nervous because I was so proud of the work everyone did to make this film happen.  At that point, I felt satisfied and wasn't dependent on the audience to validate our efforts but I do have to say it was  pretty incredible feeling when we watched it together and I got to experience the first audience firsthand.
They were so wonderful.  They laughed when we hoped they would, clapped and were just so engaged from beginning to end.  I'm sure every audience won't be this loving but I definitely count this as a very good sign.  For the rest of the weekend, they sought us out to let us know how much they enjoyed it.  We cannot wait to share it with everyone.  As of now, we are working on distribution and will announce all over the place when it is available on DVD.   In the meantime, if you know a venue near you where we can screen Manos Returns, please let me know either here or on facebook at Manos Returns.  We would love to bring it to you and all Manos fans.

On Saturday May 26th we have a screening scheduled in Tacoma, Washington at the Grand Cinema at 11:00 pm. Manos Returns at The Grand Cinema We will announce other screenings and news as it is available.

I will be a guest this coming Saturday May 12th in Medford Oregon for a one day event Meadowlark Comic Con If you live near the area, please come visit and check out the other great guests and events for this new show.



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Full Circle with Manos

Manos Returns has taken a while to return, but considering we were writng a script and running a Kickstarter less than two and a half years ago and that now we have a completed project on budget?  Now that's a pretty good achievement.  I'm so proud that we delivered the online link to our Kickstarter backers before anyone else gets to see it...as promised, and  proud of my production team and our cast and crew.  Not only did we deliver as we said we would, we made a good film.  Although, we had a pretty good idea, we are happy our backers have confirmed, and now, I cannot wait to share at Crypticon Seattle this Friday night for the World Premiere of Manos Returns.

Manos Returns World Premiere


The whole project began with the idea of bringing together the remaining original actors and giving them the opportunity to do something better than the film that made them famous, and having an opportunity to connect with the long lived fan base.  The Master was on board and we were blessed to get his part filmed while he was still strong, We were so fortunate to be able to celebrate him and give him an idea of how much he is appreciated at our Manos Returns cast and crew party. 

Diane Mahree came to play Maggie again


and we got Bryan Jennings, son of the original sheriff to be our sheriff.


We even found the soundtrack vocalist Nicki Mathis to come recreate a couple of the original songs like 

Forgetting You



The Master in the limelight

Today, as I pack and get ready to head to Seattle, I am reminded of where this whole journey began.  On that first premiere night in  November 1966, no one could ever had imagined where things might go from there. 

In the Spring of 1966 a low budget movie was filmed in the desert outside El Paso Texas with a group of community theater actors and a guy with a script and a rented camera.  In  November of the same year, the finished film premiered downtown El Paso at the beautifully classic Capri Theatre. Everyone was there.  The Mayor, the police chief and his wife, the press.  The writer, director and star of the film Hal Warren had thought of everything.  In the week before, he had displayed The Master's robe, the painting and a few other props at the local Luby's restaurant.  Chances are, the display just confused the "SundayGoingToDinner" crowd.  The night of the premiere, Hal had spotlights in front of the theatre that he had borrowed from the local car dealership. The lights scanned the sky while the autograph seekers were seeking someone important. Hal had hired the small non english speaking Native born children who usually made a living selling gum or washing windshields downtown on the Mexican border.  He supplied them with small pads of paper and stubby pencils in order to collect the prized autographs.  Hal had a red carpet from the front of the theatre to the street and rented a limo to transport the actors to the front of the theatre.  One limo... We all were instructed to wait in the alley behind the theatre while the limo came around and picked up a few at a time and dropped us off on the red carpet with the autograph seekers. I was only seven at the time, but I remember thinking "Am I the only one who realizes how ridiculous this is?"  My mom and I, and obviousy all the other women, had spent the day in the beauty parlor getting prepared for this momentous occasion so there were photos taken outside in the spotlights before everyone went in and took their seats.  We got one really nice promo shot inside the theatre before the lights went down. I love this moment frozen in time before the film began, when we all, collectively finally realized just what we had got ourselves into.  


As I reflect on that time of 52 years ago, I cherish all that the original film has inspired, and the journey I have been privileged to travel.  I hope you are enjoying it too.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Manos: The Debbie Chronicles Webseries




This horror series is based off of the 1966 cult-classic Manos: The Hands of Fate, considered by many to be the worst movie ever made (scoring even lower on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes than The Room).
The coolest part? One of the last surviving actors, Jackey Neyman Jones, who plays Debbie in the original film, is the star of the new series. Despite its epically low ratings, the movie has a huge cult following because to put it simply––it’s fascinating! If you haven't seen it yet, you can watch the full film on YouTube, and Mystery Science Theater has a must-watch wet-your-pants funny episode on it.

WHEN BAD BECOMES GOOD
The series creator, Willow Polson, is doing something even more unexpected; she's taking the worst movie ever made and turning it into a force for good! This dark reimagining focuses on what happened after Debbie escaped the evil clutches of The Master and the primordial god Manos. But Debbie won't have to do it all alone -- she now has a very unique and unusual team that helps her take down evil, whatever form it may take. 
"I am always thinking about how to make this world a better place in everything I do," Willow, who is an award-winning producer with over 25 years experience, told us, "Each character in the show has traits that are not normally seen in leading characters on a show, or at all. "
The diverse female cast includes characters that are all fully-realized complex co-stars, not just a  girlfriend or one-dimensional bait to make a main character feel things.
The series co-writer, R. D. Hall is a multimedia writer and creator for films, comics, and music videos.
WHERE HAS DEBBIE BEEN?
In the 51 years since Manos, Jackey has been an artist, actress and producer.  She lovingly tends to Manos with her book Growing Up With Manos The Hands Of Fate, new film Manos Returns and personal appearances.
"I'm really looking forward to this new venture!"  says Jackey. 

THE LUCKIEST THING YOU CAN DO IS HELP CANDIVAN LAUNCH
Manos: The Debbie Chronicles and many other great series, will only exist if Candivan successfully launches. You can help make this happen! Please subscribe to the Candivan mailing list here, and stay tuned for more trailers and the Candivan Kickstarter campaign, coming very soon!
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram too!

HERE IT IS: THE TRAILER! CHECK IT OUT, LIKE IT, SHARE IT, LOVE IT, TELL YOUR FRIENDS

Hey all.  Jackey here.  This week I shared the blog post from Candivan because they said it best.  I do hope you will support Candivan so this webseries can be done.  As you all know.  It Is The Will Of Manos!  Thanks!...and see you here next week.  Lots of other new things coming along too.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Debbie Does Cinema Wasteland


Torgo Tuesday is Debbies Manos blog day,  but for this week we'll call it Wobbly Wednesday.  I'm off kilter only because all the things I've worked so hard to bring to fruition are coming about at pretty much the same time and it's a challange to keep up.

This week is about a fantastic trip where I was a guest at  Cinema Wasteland  in Strongville, Ohio just outside of Cleveland.  It's a small but very mighty family run show that's been going on for about 12 years. The organizer, Ken, and his crew were so gracious and attentive, that I really felt spoiled and kept teasing that they were ruining me for other events.  I imagine myself walking into another event with my chin up and saying "Do you know who I think I am?"

My sense of humor runs to the bizarre and odd, so my experience upon arrival in Cleveland cracked me up.  As the plane was landing, a conversation began with the man sitting next to me and we realized we were going to the same event.  I told him that I was to call the organizers upon arrival to be sure a shuttle from the hotel would be there to pick us up and if he waited at baggage for me we could find the bus together.  I made my way there and while watching the bags go around, thought I spotted the guy so walked up, leaned over and said "The shuttle is on it's way".  His head whipped around, he looked at me and said "What?"  So, while still watching the bags go around, I said again in a conspirital way, "The shuttle is on it's way" and without another glance, I slowly moved away.  As I looked toward the crowd in a different direction, I saw the actual guy I had been sitting next to.
Now it dawns on me that the one I spoke to is completely puzzled and probably thinking that I am either a spy talking code or maybe I am completely nuts and saying the shuttle from space will be here soon to take us away.  I do hope he came up with a good story to tell and that maybe it made his trip to Ohio a little more interesting.

I was especially thrilled for Michael Berryman to be there as a guest as well.  I had met him when he was at Crypticon Seattle a couple years ago and where he took time to advise me and talk about guesting at conventions.  Now, two years later, I have been taking his advice.  Was really great to have an opportunity to let him know how helpful he had been and how much I appreciated that.  He also has agreed to interview soon, for my Jackey's Hand of Horror Podcast .  He is one of the most genuine celebrities I have met so far and so interesting to talk with.  Can't wait for our interview.




I also met Dee Wallace and got her to agree to an interview as well.  Another very sweet and gracious person that I feel so honored to be able to connect with.  She has written a few inspirational books and I just ordered this one on Kindle.  Bright Light: Spiritual Lessons from a Life in Acting




The show ran Friday afternoon/evening, Saturday and Sunday. Although the event was small, it was really well attended by fans of film, and especially more obscure type film so I fit right in. Seems most who came were aware of Manos The Hands of Fate and the ones who weren't familiar were interested in learning more. I literally drank a gallon of water on Friday because of talking to fans so much. It was a blast.

On Friday evening, I headed to the hotel elevator to go to my room. The was a group of young men having an enthusiastic conversation while waiting for the doors to open and they were clearly having a great time. A couple of them had on some costuming including one with a wig and bloody lab coat. When the doors opened, they crowded on and then scrunched together to make more space while waving me on. 3rd floor for them. 6th for me. Somehow, the 3rd floor button didn't get pushed so the ancient slow elevator made it's way all the way to the 6th floor. When the doors opened, one of them said "Would you like us to walk you to your room?" Hahaha. They were adorable.


On Saturday, a friend I had never met but known for seven years drove several hours to come meet me in person. Joey Basford Founder of Manos The Hands of Fate fan Club of Facebook. I have met facebook friends a few times at various happenings and it's so interesting to me how when we finally meet, it's not so very different. It is that you already know them. Loved seeing him and and having a little time to visit.

Derrick Carey, editor of our new film, Manos Returns also came to meet me in person and to bring some friends with him. He did an incredible job on the film and was wonderful to get to meet him in person finally.

This was the first Con I've been invited to where it was farther than I could drive and I wasn't sure how much stuff to take with me for the table and to sell. The books were the bulky thing and I didn't want to carry a bunch home if they didn't sell but apparently I miscalculatred because I sold most of them on Friday and the Manos screening wasn't until Saturday afternoon. Fortunately I had a stack of large envelopes with me, so had the buyer write their address, and mailed them when I got home Monday. Now I know to ship the books to the hotel in advance so I'm not carrying them. Learning!

So many great experiences. Met a whole lot of appreciative fans, made connections for screenings of Manos Returns in some independent theaters, was invited to participate in some upcoming independent film projects, got to do Q and A with the audience of a Manos: The Hands of Fate screening sans robots and Joel and had some professional studio shots done with a beautiful Doberman named Zelda. Cannot wait to see those and share them.


It is these experiences that keep me feeling so deeply Blessed for the collaborations and friendships created along this unusual path my life follows. Thank you for coming along on this journey.

The next phase begins...






Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Debbie and the Dentist

Most people I know and meet have no idea who I am in the pop culture or Mystery Science Theater world because it's not relevant to those relationships. I am not recognizable in public and don't carry a sign identifying myself as the little kid from Manos The Hands of Fate.

A couple years ago when I was a special guest at Crypticon Seattle, a woman came to my table and kept looking at the banner on the wall above me with a photo of me as 6 year old Debbie.  She would study the photo and then look at me curiously.  After the third time of her looking back and forth from the banner to me, I said casually with a shrug, "It's an old photo".

On occasion, the Manos subject works into a conversation in the real world as it did last week at my dental cleaning appointment.

The dental hygenist and I were discussing her move to Oregon from New York and me telling her I had never been East but was traveling to Cleveland soon for the first time.  She asked if it was for business and I playfully said, "I'm a pop culture icon in a limited world".  She gave a clear "Go on" look so I continued by saying that as a kid, I was in a movie that many describe as the worst movie ever made.  Next was another questioning but now slightly skeptical look. "What's it Called?"  I replied, "Manos: The Hands of Fate"  (Normally, I would ask if the person has heard of Mystery Science Theater first, but we had a dental cleaning to get to.)  Her eyes flew wide open. "Wha!?  I know that movie!"  All in all, an enjoyable experience for me, which is more than many can say about a dental cleaning.  She wants to see me again in four months to check on a couple things and we'll have a few Manos happenings to catch up on too.

I am headed to Cleveland and Cinema Wasteland on Thursday
Cinema Wasteland

Then to Crypticon Seattle for the World Premiere of our new film, Manos Returns
Crypticon Seattle

The weekend after that will be Meadowlark Comic Con in Medford Oregon
Meadowlark Comic Con

San Diego Comic Con to promote the upcoming comic book that we will be talking about very soon.
San Diego Comic Con




Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tom Neyman aka The Master

 During the 1960's and early 70's, we lived in an adobe house, in El Paso, Texas, with walls over one foot thick that was built in 1887. When my parents bought the house they were told that the builders had placed a coin somewhere in the walls or floor with the year the house was constructed. During one of our endless remodeling projects, a 1887 silver dollar was found in a wall in the back of a closet.  That house is still at the top of a hill on North Cotton Street, tucked up tight at the base of Mount Franklin and just below Scenic Drive where the hapless Micheal, Maggie, Debbie family begin their journey to Valley Lodge.  As a kid, I would spend an afternoon climbing from our back yard and would go all the way up to that road and the pullout where Debbie states "I'm cold".

 We lived just three miles from Juarez Mexico and could see the Rio Grande river from our front porch.  The family that lived in the house in the early days were able to watch and hear the battle across the border in March 1911 where the decisive victory of the Mexican Revolution with the capture of Ciudad Juarez occured.  I still remember sitting on that porch imagining that family watching the battle as though it were live theater.

My parents were college educated bohemian types.  Mom was a teacher who became an administrator who became a Psychologist with another degree in Ministry.  My dad, Tom Neyman, who played the part of The Master in "Manos the Hands of Fate" was an artist of many mediums. His work was as Director of the South El Paso Boys Club and the Director of the Festival Community Theater before leaving El Paso, but he was creating every chance he got.  In our back yard was the only big tree in our neighborhood, a patio arbor and a small rock house where he had his art studio.
When he was home, he was either making changes to the house or working in the studio.  When I was around six years old, my mom and I came home from shopping and she went to hang the laundry on the line only to discover my dad had cut down the poles holding the line because he needed more metal for a piece he was working on.

 I loved hanging out, poking around his supplies or simply sitting on a stool watching while being bathed in music like the theme song to Zorba The Greek. Dad painted, sculpted, welded and carved. We would sometimes drive out into the desert in an old electricians truck, named Tobacca Roada from the 40's,  searching for things he could include in his work or in the house projects. Weathered wood from a dilapitated shack, railroad ties and nails, or anything that might catch his eye.
One day, as the truck was parked out front, the brake failed and she rolled down the hill and deep into the ditch across the road at the bottom.  Dad attached a chain, hauling it back home, and over time, Tobacca Roada succumbed to the welders torch transforming her into art, including the hand rising from the caldron of fire in Manos: The Hands of Fate.

Dad's most beautiful, expressive work was his hand sculptures in bronzed clay, metal and wood.  Although his painting was saturated with layer of meaning, his hand sculpture came from the deepest part of his soul.  I am now blessed to have one of his sculptures that I cherish.  It sits on my dresser where I can be reminded of his talent and our connection through art.

 I remember him making the hands in Manos. I watched while he painted The Master's painting and I recall him figuring out and building Torgo's leg braces. I remember the sketches he did for the Masters robe and the laying out and cutting of the fabric. My mother was a very gifted seamstress and gladly worked with him to design and construct the robe. Those were happy times in my childhood  I am so blessed that some of the best memories of my youth are immortalized through the famously bad Manos, The Hands of Fate.
As I often say, "If you can't be the best, make the most of being part of the worst"