Wednesday Video Spotlight: Kickstarter.com campaign raises $22,000+ for HD restoration of “Manos: The Hands of Fate”
The story I’m about to tell you is true. I promise. No matter how unbelievable it seems, this is happening:
A cinephile by the name of Benjamin Solovey is working on a high-definition restoration of the cult horror anti-classic “Manos: The Hands of Fate” for a future Blu-ray release.
Solovey has come by the original Ektachrome camera master of “Manos,” a low-budget horror film produced in 1966 by a small cast and crew in El Paso, Texas, and he wants to give film fans a chance to view a clearer, cleaner version of the movie than the blurry public domain VHS transfer ported to DVD now available.
Rumored to have been made on a bet, “Manos” is about a vacationing family who encounters a demon-worshiping cult led by the fearsome Master (Tom Neyman) and his freaky servant Torgo (John Reynolds). The movie had slipped into obscurity until “Mystery Science Theater 3000″ mocked it mercilessly in a 1993 episode that has become one of the most popular in the late, great TV series’ history. (It was actually re-released on DVD last year.)
Solovey started a Kickstarter.com campaign to help fund the HD restoration, with a goal of $10,000. The campaign has raised more than $22,000 and is continuing through Feb. 4. More than 300 people have backed the project.
Along with restoring the film’s visuals to their original, um, clarity – I couldn’t type greatness; my hands would not do it – Solovey plans on digitizing and restoring the soundtrack by an audio professional on a high-end mixing station. Yes, the haunting Torgo theme music will be new, improved and with us forever.
So, if the project goes as planned – and it seems to be going great guns right now – you will be able to buy on Blu-ray a copy of “Manos,” which MST3K’s Joel Hodgson described as “Every frame of this movie looks like someone’s last known photo.”