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"HAL WARREN" The Director of Fate
by TONY TROMBO
Manos - The Hands of Fate, worst movie of all time
The making of the worst film in history...Harold P. Warren (October 23, 1923 – December 26, 1985), better known as Hal Warren, was an insurance and fertilizer salesman who lived in the El Paso, Texas area. He is best remembered for writing, directing, and producing the 1966 movie "Manos" The Hands of Fate.
Manos is remembered as one of the worst films of all time.
Warren made Manos on a bet. He had met Stirling Silliphant, who was in the area scouting locations for a film. Warren bet Silliphant (who would later write the award winning screenplay for In the Heat of the Night) that he could make a successful horror movie on a limited budget.
Warren raised about $20,000. He managed to find an old 16-millimeter Bell & Howell camera to use on the film. Because the camera was spring wound, it could only shoot just over 30 seconds of film at a time.
After casting himself in the starring role of Michael, he approached locals to play the other roles, as well as fill crew positions. He did not pay anyone, instead promising people a percentage of the profits.
Warren and two others also dubbed all the voices, as the camera was not capable of capturing sound.
For two months, Warren, the cast, and crew filmed at County Judge Colbert Coldwell's ranch. Warren's prima donna attitude caused much friction among those working on the film, who began calling the film Mangos: The Cans of Fruit behind his back.
When the time came to premiere the film in El Paso, Warren turned the premiere into a media event. He hired a limousine to carry the cast to the theater. But a few minutes into the film, the audience began heckling it, and soon broke down into hysterics. Manos had a short run on some drive-in theaters in West Texas. Afterwards, the movie was largely forgotten until it was featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 1993...
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