Sure, a twenty-year gap between Independence Day films may have felt like an eternity, but fifty years waiting for a sequel to Manos: The Hands Of Fate has been unbearable. Luckily for cinephiles, Jackey Neyman Jones, who portrayed Debbie in the 1966 slice of exploitation trash (and came out psychologically unscathed), launched a Kickstarter in order to fund the next film in the Manos saga that has already surpassed its goal of $24,000, reaching $31,750. Yes, it seems there were at least 420 people (of course, the number’s “420”) who believed in a Manos sequel enough to send Neyman and her crew some cash.
“Thanks to Mystery Science Theater 3000, Manos has become this pop-culture phenomenon,” Jones states on her Kickstarter page. “However, none of the original cast or crew ever got paid… and they haven’t benefited from it since then” she reveals. “If you loved Manos, this your chance to give back just a little bit of that love.”
Manos Returns will not be a remake of the original film, but rather a “companion piece to the original Manos. It’s a comedic horror film set in a world where Manos and his cult are real and dangerous.” The Kickstarter page states they want to make a horror-comedy more in the vein of Cabin In The Woods than Birdemic 2. Jones, daughter of the Master himself, Tom Neyman, is simply to “do something her dad can be proud of.”
Manos was of course featured on a 1993 episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and is the only film that it would appear Dr. Forester and TV’s Frank actually felt bad about subjecting Joel and The Bots to. It got another thrashing in 2012 at the hands of MST3K offshoot RiffTrax. But since that first MST3K airing, the Manos cult has expanded exponentially from a few scantily clad ladies and a fellow with really big kneecaps; the film was given a restoration fitting of a Criterion release by Synapse films, was reimagined as an 8-bit video game, and its smooth jazz score was released for the first time on vinyl just last year.
The Manos Returns Kickstarter ended this week, and while a start date has not been set, the involvement of Tom Neyman has been confirmed along with original Manos contributors Diane Mahree and Nicki Mathis, who portrayed long-suffering wife Margaret and sang on the original soundtrack, respectively.