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MSTay3K: Torgo the Man, the Myth, the Legend

Illustration for article titled MSTay3K: Torgo the Man, the Myth, the Legend

Yo dawg, I heard you liked bad movies, so we put some more bad movie in your bad movie. Yes, in the 60s America independent cinema was mostly horror movies, though some people, like those that made Texas Chainsaw Massacre, would actually transition into Hollywood. For fertilizer salesman Hal P. Warren this would not be the case, he was terrible. Just terrible.


The closest comparison to make is Ed Wood. A similarly "visionary" director. All of this is explained in the documentary, available in 3 parts on YouTube. Just something everyone should watch once they've seen the feature.

I said previously we wouldn't do this one. It's just a different beast. The film was "lost" until MST3K did an episode. They somehow found a copy and, doing what they do best, riffed away. Supposed to be a dark story of terror as one family gets trapped in an otherworldly dimension and is destroyed by the eldritch horror that is The Master it actually turns out to be a film kept in focus poorly with terrible editing, voice audio, and lots of jazz.


I like jazz as much as the next guy, Mingus is great, Miles is great, Manos is not great. Anyhow, unlike most of the experiments I wanted to highlight in this series, which is concluding in a little over a week, Manos is already super popular. Maybe I should say infamous. You look up MST3K and Manos will pop up. Sidehackers not so much.


But hopefully the addition of the Hotel Torgo doc will at least make those of you who give it a shot a bit more knowledgeable about the film than most. I didn't know that, after the film was completed, they held a premiere in El Paso. I can't imagine what the El Paso bigwigs were dealing with in the theater that night. "I own 5% of what?"

And Torgo. Sadly the actor playing Torgo, John Reynolds, was a substance abuser. He made some interesting choices in his part, some might say poor choices. But in this film you'd have to be pretty terrible to stand out. Which brings us to Hal P. Warren...he wrote the film and yet is awful at delivering his lines. The Mads are great in this one, watch for another Mike cameo during one of their segments. So on with the show, experiment #423 Manos: The Hands of Fate. Starting out with the second part of the short "Hired." I know everyone was wondering whether that Plymouth dealer would make good.

So as this series begins to wind down let's get weird. (weirder than Manos?) Next week, Sandy Frank...deep hurting.

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