Monday, October 19, 2015

At last, a 'Manos: The Hands of Fate' alignment chart!

Here is the "Manos" The Hands of Fate alignment chart you've been clamoring for. EXPLANATIONS BELOW!

Since Halloween is just a couple of weeks away and since the 1966 cult classic "Manos" The Hands of Fate has recently been restored and released to DVD and Blu-ray, I thought the time was finally right to do one of those Dungeons & Dragons-inspired alignment charts for the film. There are already such charts for everything from The Big Lebowski to The Office to Alice in Wonderland, but there wasn't a "Manos" one yet. Well, now there is. You're more than welcome, I'm sure.

ADDENDUM: I thought I'd add some explanations, in case anyone wanted to know why I put each character where I did on the chart. Let's start with the lawful column. Obviously, the merciful, sensible wife who wants to spare Debbie belongs in the Lawful Good spot. A no-brainer. The do-almost-nothing sheriff belongs in the Lawful Neutral position because he represents the actual law yet does not use his authority to help anyone, and the Master takes the Lawful Evil spot because he's always talking about the "will of Manos" and quoting the rules to Torgo. Plus he's pretty darned evil. Of all these characters, it was the sheriff who was my inspiration for the entire chart. 
Good old Bernie. Can't rattle him.
For the neutral column, I chose three characters who don't actually impose the rules but don't go out of their way to cause havoc either. At opposite ends of the scale are two wives. At one end, we have simpering, obedient Margaret, who bravely offers to sacrifice herself to save her daughter, Debbie. At the other end, we have the Master's snottiest bride, who happily snitches on Torgo and accuses the "good wife" of jealousy. In the middle is the movie's true zen master: Bernie the smoocher, whose only interests in life are sucking face with his best gal and sucking down hooch from a flask. Nothing gets to this guy. True neutral all the way. 
Now, we move on to the chaotic column, where I put three characters who deliberately add to the pandemonium of the film. In the "good" spot, because she's still an innocent child, is young Debbie. She causes chaos by just randomly running away in the middle of the night and bringing a strange dog back with her. In the neutral spot is Debbie's useless father, Mike, who is just a mess. He gets the family lost, can't start the car, and just generally makes poor decisions at every turn. And finally, we come to the film's obvious master of chaos, Torgo. Some may question my rating of Torgo as "evil," but let's take Torgo's track record into consideration. During a conversation with the Master, it's revealed that Torgo takes advantage of the wives in some way (sexually, is my guess) when they are immobile and helpless. Add to this the fact that he peeps on Margaret and tries to force himself on her, and you get a habitual sexual predator. He serves a transparently evil master, additionally, and takes obvious pleasure in sadism. In short, not a nice guy.