Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 8th, 2015
BluRay released: October 13th, 2015
Approximate running time: 74 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 aspect ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
BluRay Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.95
From its inception Manos: The Hands of Fate was destined to fail financially. It is a one off film production shot by a first time filmmaker who not lonely gets a key role in the film. He also wears several other hats throughout this production. And right from the get go the lack of post-production polish is immediately clear as the film opens with an extended scene where characters drive aimlessly. Unfortunately this is just a minor flaw in a film overflowing with flaws.
There are films which turn out bad, though started with the best of intentions and then there are also films which are just painfully bad in every way. When it comes to this latter category, there has always been a strange allure which draws audiences to these films. And when it comes to it’s so bad its good category, it is safe to say that no film more fits this bill then Manos: The Hands of Fate.
Manos: The Hands of Fate comes on a 50 GB dual layer (45.5 GB) BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in its intended 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Also this release has been sourced from a band new 2k restoration and the end result is easily the best this film has ever looked!
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. Outside of some minor source imperfections the audio mix actually sounds better than I expected it would. And though dialog comes through clearly, it has that overdubbed feel to it. Range wise things sound limited, with the films score benefiting most from this audio mix. Also included with this release are removable English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Extras for this release includes, three featurettes – the first featurette is titled ‘Restoring: The Hands of Fate’ (6 minutes 36 seconds), the second featurette is titled ‘Felt: The Puppet Hands of Fate’ (3 minutes 38 seconds) this extra is about a puppet version of the film and the third featurette is titled ‘Hands: The Fate of Manos’ (30 minutes 46 seconds), an audio commentary with cast members Tom Neyman and Jackie Raye Neyman-Jones and a ‘Grindhouse’ version of the film which allows you to see what the source materials looked like pre-restoration.
The most informative extras are the featurette ‘Hands: The Fate of Manos’ and the audio commentary track. Content wise, this extras does a superb job covering every aspect of this film, from its origins, the cast & crew who worked on it, how it was rescued from obscurity and all the restoration work that went into crating this new 2k transfer. Overall Manos: The Hand of Fate gets an exceptional release from Synapse Films.
Note: This film is also being released by Synapse Films on DVD.