My name is Benjamin Solovey, and with your help I'll be overseeing a full restoration of the cult classic Manos: The Hands Of Fate.
Manos: The Hands Of Fate is truly unique: sometimes derided, sometimes enjoyed, rarely forgotten once seen. A low budget horror film produced in 1966 by a small cast and crew in El Paso, Texas, it is part of a wave of independent horror from the era that includes Carnival of Souls and Night of the Living Dead. While Manos enjoyed some limited theatrical exhibition, it experienced none of the success of those films and almost disappeared into obscurity before a showing on Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 1993 brought it to the attention of B-Movie lovers everywhere.
Because of a perceived lack of interest in Manos, no new film elements were ever struck past the initial release. Even in the 60's these release prints had been made on the cheap, losing color and definition as they were blown up to 35mm. The rare few prints that still exist have faded almost completely to red and have seen a great deal of wear and tear.
Though the infamy of Manos has risen over the years, today it is viewable only in a blurry public domain VHS transfer ported to DVD. If no action is taken soon, that will be the only way that Manos survives at all.
The economy demonstrated during director Harold P. Warren's filmmaking process had one upside: Manos was shot and edited on 16mm low fade Ektachrome Reversal stock. This original material, just recently uncovered, has given us an incredible new look at the film. Now vivid colors, sharper focus, and a much wider frame have wiped away the once-impenetrable degradation of the image that had become the film's trademark.
Now we are seeing Manos through an Ektachrome image that properly represents it as a product of a certain bygone time and place. With a clearer view of the production design (paintings, metalwork, and stone sculptures by Tom Neyman, an El Paso artist who played The Master), the off kilter handmade world of the film, and the shaggy / poppy Ektachrome photography by Robert Guidry, 45 years later the film assumes a different identity as a fascinating bit of 60's ephemera.
Though Manos: The Hands of Fate is by all accounts a cinematic outsider, it is still in need of the same care and attention that any film of its vintage requires. Neglect over the past 45 years has made the case for Manos especially urgent. For decades, the only way to view the film has been an old VHS master sourced from a faded and worn theatrical print, and that is how it will stay unless we take the opportunity to scan, restore, and preserve these newly-discovered elements.
Film restoration is something that too often falls by the wayside in troubled economic times. Though it's doubtful I will change anyone's minds about Manos, I would like to send a message that every film, regardless of the place it holds in movie history, deserves a fair shot to be maintained and presented in the best way possible.
How Can I Help?
- Donate! Thanks to the outpouring of support this project has experienced, image and sound restoration professionals with a passion for this film have offered their services to this project at unprecedented rates. You can be sure that every donation will count and that every dollar we raise will create a better restoration faster!
- Spread the word! If you want to see Manos in HD, make sure everyone- your friends, your family, and your social network- knows about this project and our goals. Share a link to this project with your endorsement on Facebook or Twitter and you'll be helping us in an incredibly valuable way to give this film a new life.
What Your Donation Will Cover
Reaching our fundraising goal will help support the following:
- Scanning of the original Ektachrome workprint and original theatrical print on a top-of-the-line archival film scanner into 10-bit 2K DPX format with infrared damage detection.
- Professional image restoration on a PFclean suite to correct dirt, tears, irregularities and scratches.
- Further color correction to ensure that the Ektachrome color range is properly reproduced.
- Digitizing and restoration of the soundtrack by an audio professional on a high-end mixing station.
- Digitizing of additional sources for superior soundtrack elements as needed.
- Final edits to match the sound and image.
- The creation of a Blu-ray and DVD master.
- Creation of a theatrical-quality 2K DCP to facilitate modern digital projection.
If We Exceed Our Goal
Our initial goal of $10,000 is the bare minimum to ensure that the restoration of the film itself will be completed as planned. Donations beyond that amount will help us to dramatically increase the quality of the final result and also support the following:
- A 2K to 35mm film-out preservation negative, which will also enable us to strike new 35mm prints.
- The production of an audio commentary with surviving members of the original cast.
- A documentary covering the restoration process, to be used as a Blu-ray / DVD extra feature.
Thank you everyone who has been following the website and Kickstarter for your support and consideration! I intend to be as communicative as possible during the restoration process, so if you have any questions or comments please contact me via Kickstarter.
Join us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/ManosinHD
Check the website for new updates @ http://www.manosinhd.com/
Follow our progress on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/#!/Manos_in_HD
Look out for new screenshots on Tumblr @ http://manosinhd.tumblr.com/
- (41 days)