Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Hands of Fate Wish You a Great Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving to all, whether you celebrate for traditional reasons or make your own traditions.
Today I am thankful for many many things and before this day passes I want Manos fans to know how thankful I am for how great you all are.  I've met the most interesting people through this experience of being part of Manos: The Hands of Fate.  You come from every demographic.  Young, old, rich, poor, conservative, liberal and everything in between and yet you have a common link in "off the main path film".  You are quirky with a great sense of "Cosmic Humor".  I love your insights, observations and conversations.  You have enriched my life and infused it with more joy than I thought possible.  You are a fun crazy extended sort of family and I thank you.

For fun, I wanted to share a couple questions that came my way through a MST3K Discussion Board

 A lot of folks, J&TBs included, were squicked-out by the sight of you becoming one of the Master's Wives despite being a cute little child. In the movie, was the Master supposed to be a pedophile or was he simply saving little Debbie for later when she grew up?

I will have an opportunity to read the original script soon and I hope to find much enlightenment there.  It certainly does freak people out when they see sweet little Debbie dressed as a wife.  I'm thinking the idea was purely for shock value and that Hal wanted to leave that to the audience to decide, which displays an odd sort of genius...or, just a sick mind.  Lol.

Also, didn't it feel kind of weird having that happen to your character when the nefarious Master was played by your dad. I know it's just acting and two were playing different imaginary people but as a CHILD, did it seem kinda...weird?

I was accustomed to my dad playing many roles in theater so it was no different this time.  I was just happy to be there and spending time around my dad.  Also, truth be told, I loved that mini wife dress.  The other dress I wore came out of my closet and was nothing special.  I was pretty excited to have something like what the big girls were wearing.

Finally do you think Mr. Warren was a weirdo for coming up with that? I'd also imagine he had issues with women.

  I think that the 60's allowed many ideas to cross previously held boundaries, and in an artistic bohemian context, no subject would be off limits.  I have heard various private stories that indicate Hal had certain views of women that many might find offensive but I don't think he was any sort of weirdo concerning children. 

Have a great Holiday and travel safe!  See you next week.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Birthday, The Master!

November 23rd is my dad's 78th birthday and I must say, he looks pretty great, even if he doesn't always feel so young any more.  He's my dad, but out amongst cult film fans and most anyone reading this, he is The Master from Manos, The Hands of Fate, the 1966 independent amateur earnest worst movie ever made film.  Or so it's been said.

Me and my dad 

To celebrate his birthday I would like to share a couple interesting things about his life
 before he became famous for being an evil polygamist Master.

This is a photograph of little Tommy Neyman at 2 years old on the beach at San Padre Island near Brownsville Texas on the Gulf of Mexico.  His mother, my grandmother took this shot and when she sent it in to be developed, she was contacted by Kodak.  They wanted to know if they could use the photo of the little girl on the beach for their National ad campaign in 1935.  My grandmother was so incensed that they called her son a girl that she refused...Never mind the Shirley Temple curls and one piece bathing suit.

On the morning of November 22 1963, President John F. Kennedy was  in Fort Worth Texas where he had stayed the night before heading on to Dallas.  We lived in Fort Worth at that time so my dad got up early and went to join the crowds to catch a glimpse of the President while thinking "What a great early birthday present to myself".  He would be turning 28.  He felt fortunate to see even if he couldn't get close.  It was no more than an hour after getting back home that the phone rang.  It was one of my dad's college friends calling to say that the President had just been shot and though I was only 4 years old, I do remember that day.

Tom Neyman is a gentle, kind and humble man.  Quite the opposite of The Master character he portrayed in Manos.  How ironic to be known so widely for something so different from yourself. and yet how appropriate for someone so private.  Happy Birthday dad!  May you have many more and in good health.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Happy 47th Anniversary Manos!!

Today, November 15th is most certainly a notable day for cult movie fans.  Well, at least the Manos: The Hands of Fate Fans.  November 15th marks the  47th anniversary of the 1966  World Premiere of Manos: The Hands of Fate at the Capri Theater in downtown El Paso, Texas.

I would like to pay tribute to Hal Warren, the imaginer of this film that has delivered in equal measure,
disbelief, confusion, and joy without clear focus.  Hal is a man who, until now has been a mystery to fans of his work.  All that is about to change.  I had the greatest thrill yesterday when I had the opportunity to talk with Hal's daughter and granddaughter on Skype. Beautiful, charming women and a real pleasure to chat with.  We have many talks to come, and between us we will unveil the wonder of Hal Warren.  For now, just a taste.

Hal Warren was a Renaissance Man of high standards.  He loved the theater, acting and consorting with the creative crowd and yet he was a shrewd business man.  Although it is a common Manos legend that Hal was a Texas fertilizer salesman, the truth is that at the time of Manos he was selling insurance.  He went on to other business dealings with a goal of alway moving ahead to better things.  He was a visionary who enjoyed making a big production of everything.  His daughter says he staged and filmed family movies to the extent of one Christmas when he made the kids get up at midnight and come down the stairs as though it was a joyous Christmas morning so he could film it.  Then they were sent back to bed until the real morning happened.

Hal's daughter was a teen at the time of Manos and remembers that one goal her dad had in doing Manos was to have the opportunity to cast himself as a hero and good guy.  In theater, because of his "look" he was always cast as the  less savory characters such as General Bullmoose in Li'l Abner and Mr van Daan in Diary of Anne Frank.  I'll leave the discussion of whether he achieved that goal, to you, the fans.

She recalls his description of the night of the premiere.  She recognized my story of the one limo and driver that circled the block picking up the cast and crew from the back alley and delivering them to the entrance and onto the red carpet.  The difference between his story and mine is that he made it sound a lot better and more fun. Like "Yeah, I meant to do that." His view was always brighter and had more potential than many folks view may have agreed with.  He succeeded and he failed as anyone who is willing to step out and take risks.  The funny thing here is that, what appeared to fail in 1966 and stayed buried for the next 27 years until it somehow surfaced, got dusted off and presented to the public, is now cherished by so many.  Somehow Hals spirit comes through and resonates.  When viewers get it they really get it.  He had a dream.  He had little idea of how to achieve it so he found similar thinking people with various resources and skills and brought it to life.  Simple and yet profound.
 Hal Warren reminds us to Dream.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Manos Happenings

Hope you all had a great Halloween this year.  As always, the Manos fans are uber creative and dedicated to expressing Manos love in so many ways.  Here are two fantastic paintings found on Deviant Art

Deviant Art

...and something else

Manos The Animated Series

Here is my little dog Shanka, named after my doberman who played the  Manos hell hound.  I made a Masters Robe for him for Halloween but made it warm and cozy for the whole winter.  As you can see, he adores it.  If you would like a robe for your little Master, they are available on my Etsy store and are made to order.

Jackey Raye's Etsy Store

This show just performed in Wichita, Kansas. 
 Hoping it was recorded so the rest of the world can see it too.
and Manos: The Restoration is doing great.  It has started screening around the country and will be leaving these shores to show at the Night Visions Festival in Helsinki, Finland

Night Visions Festival

To keep up with where the Restoration is going next ,check out the website and if you want a screening at your own local theater, let the theater know about it.  Fans have the power!
If you want Debbie there for a visit and some Q and A, let the theater know that too.  
I would love to come see you.

Manos in HD