What was the plot of Manos?

I have no idea what to say. It’s so odd and obscure that me and my dad can’t make any sense of it. I was hoping someone can help us.

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The perils of Sunday driving?

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Use a GPS

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A Sunday Drive Meets The Manson Family. As simple as that. What if a vacationing family runs into a bunch of cultists in the middle of nowhere? Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) is the positive version of the same idea. Only done well versus Manos (1966).

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When refusing to stop and ask directions goes horribly wrong.

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The very basic plot is that a family gets lost in the remote wilderness, and encounter a supernatural evil that takes the wife and child as brides, and the husband as his new servant. The movie ends with the loop about to repeat.

There’s additional wrinkles, like the suggestion that the house can appear and disappear, and one of Manos’s brides suggesting that the family was “brought” there. Also, sideplots about the brides bickering with each other, and Torgo lusting after the new arrival. The rest of it is just a lot of stumbling around in the literal dark.

There’s basically enough plot for a shot film, but then they just added a lot of padding to get it to feature length.

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Only travel to certified vacation destinations.

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Was the small dog the only death in the movie? We last see Torgo running away with fire where his hand once was, right? Sure, he was doomed to die, but aren’t we all, really?

I only half watched last night due to a scheduling conflict. I can’t remember if one of the wives died.

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It wasn’t featured in the MST3K cut of the film (we only get a fleeting glimpse of the character on that stone slab), but the Master attacks and apparently sacrifices his first wife, the one who says “You’re mad, the whole lot of you!”

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Only The Master knows.

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An ordinary innocent family has booked a vacation at the non-existent Valley Lodge. As they drive along the ever more desolate road to nowhere, they begin to feel uneasy. The locals know for a certainty that there’s nothing at the end of the road, and no one ever goes there. But the family finds a lonely house. They are greeted by the cursed satyr Torgo, who warns them of his fearful Master (who is both “away” and yet “always with us”), but recognizes that they are trapped with nowhere else to go.

It’s dark. They’re lost. And, mysteriously, their car won’t start.

Torgo is the only resident who can move during daylight. In the crypt below, the Master keeps his Brides. Their bodies are frozen while he’s “away,” but they remain conscious of what’s going on around them. They are bound to the Master and devoted to him, yet retain some measure of independent thought.

Torgo is frustrated. He is forced to serve the Master’s will, but he lives a lonely, pitiful life. He sleeps on a pile of rags and has no company save for the Master, the Brides, and the occasional victims lured to the house. He is jealous that the Master has so many Brides, and yet he himself has nothing and no one. He makes creepy advances on the woman, spies on her as she gets undressed for bed, and has a habit of groping the frozen Brides.

Night falls. Evil things befall the family. The Master’s dog devours their poodle. Torgo knocks out the father and leaves him tied up in the desert outside the house. The little girl goes missing for a while.

The Brides fight. They know what is to come, and some of them object to the unprecedented involvement of a child. But it is moot. The Master has decided.

Torgo is punished for having laid hands on the Master’s Brides (and Bride-to-be). The Master beats him and leaves him for dead. But he survives and rebels. During the dark ritual to claim the family’s souls, Torgo tries to kill the Master. Instead, Torgo is killed, and the sacrifice consummates the ritual.

The next day dawns. Or perhaps it is another day, another year. Time has no meaning in this cursed place. Two women drive down the same road, looking for the mythical Valley Lodge. They are to be the Master’s next victims. The man who had been the family’s father greets them at the door. His soul is lost. Compelled by demonic magic, he has taken Torgo’s place. Down below, his wife and daughter stand frozen, the Master’s newest brides.


That’s the best I can do from memory. As I said elsewhere, it’s not bad on its own. Fairly boilerplate horror story. We’ve seen more done with less. (Ring of Terror comes to mind.) But it was done by a community theater group, in one weekend, on a bet, with no budget. The camera recorded 32 seconds of film at a time, with no sound (it all had to be dubbed or foleyed in later). They had no extra film at all, so there were no second takes and nothing was left on the cutting room floor. Only the inexperienced cameraman using a cheaply rented camera he’d never held before could see what was being shot, and only through a small eyepiece. They had no budget for lighting. The actor who played the Master handmade the props (as well as his own costume and the Master’s portrait), supplied the family doberman as the dog, and had his daughter play the child. They really weren’t working with very much, and none of them had any experience making a movie. So you end up with a choppy meandering mess. But there is something of a plot there.

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There was a plot?

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Nice summary. I don’t know if I’m impressed or concerned for your mental well-being. :smiley:

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it makes a little more sense if you think of Dracula and his wives (and sidekick Renfeld/Torgo) . Instead of a Castle-there is a one room Lodge (lol). There is a family instead of just one visitor to the Castle. And the whole thing ends with a Twilight Zone type twist ending. I think it wouldve tied together better if Debbie had been found by the cops and/or the kissing couple with no knowledge of what happened. Then cut to the “next victims” with Mike as the new Torgo and a new wife for the master.

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also if the one wife or Torgo had “Saved” Debbie and then died. That would be a little more satisfactory as a story

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You might be a Redneck vampire if…

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I think that’s one of the aspects that makes “Manos” so compelling. So many movies — even MSTified ones — hew to certain storytelling formulae or clichés. “Manos” doesn’t. Whether that’s by design or incompetence, I cannot say.

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Other people have already satisfactorily explained the plot. As much as that’s possible. So I’ll add that my main takeaway was, “Poodles are annoying and not very bright and Lassie could’ve taken out The Master and freed the wives in about 15 minutes.”

(Just kidding. I have nothing against poodles in real life.)

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total incompetence- The cliches are there just not quite done due to inexperience and the reality of making it happen before the money ran out (rented camera had to go back- no more camera no more Manos).Though not as cynical as Monster A-go-go which had no ending filmed and fell back on a Twilight Zone twist just to end the damn thing.

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There was a plot? Lol I have watched it un riffed and it still has no story

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