Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Manos is Permanent!

Manos is Permanent!...or so it seems.  Fifty years now since the year Manos was first created and then fizzled out in a grand spectacle of humiliation.  Most everyone who had anything to do with it preferred to go on with little to no mention of it at all.  Many of them successfully completed their time on this earth doing just that.  Most everyone except for one observant kid.  She just couldn't let it go and carried the memories and stories with her through her young life.  If fact, this child grew up to be a woman and still carried those stories with her and shared them with friends from time to time. She kept them alive as one does with precious memories, knowing them never to be re-lived.

Many years went by.  Twenty seven of them to be exact, and then something strange happened. Practically a lightning strike kind of a thing.  A lottery win kind of thing.  A small cable television program in the wilds of Minnesota unearthed that long lost and rarely seen film to a open and willing audience.  And suddenly the movie that ran a cast and crew out of a theatrical premier in shame became a beloved hit.  A funny sort of hit but one nonetheless.  Many more years went by and the interest, fascination and love for it grew and grew until 50 years from the 1966 premier.  The 50th year of 2016 has seen a number of notable markers.  Especially for me personally.

Aside from Manos and because of it, I was in three films this year.


                                                             and





My book  Growing Up With Manos: The Hands Of Fate: How I was the child star and lived to tell the story was released end of March with a foreward by Joel Hodgson and an epilogue by my dad, The Master himself.

   Five months later, after a successful Kickstarter,  we filmed our sequel  Manos Returns with a talented group of actors, crew and filmmakers.  We began actually shooting on July 23rd and ended 10 very long days later. The Manos Returns  legacy cast includes my dad returning as The Master, Diane Mahree as Margaret and me as grown up pissed off Debbie, all fifty years later.  Bryan Jennings who's father played the original Sheriff is our Sheriff and Nicki Mathis the original female vocalist on the soundtrack has reprised her songs Forgetting You and Love Inside This Magic Circle both available for your listening and purchasing pleasure  on Bandcamp. In the midst of production we had a cast and crew party as part of our Kickstarter reward for our very special backers who earned the right to be part of the movie. My dad came to that party and for one grand moment in his life, he truly got to receive and absorb the love people have for Manos and for him.


                                                   Tom, Diane, Bryan and Jackey

 Manos Returns is in post production and will be released in 2017 to the public after screening it at a few upcoming film festivals.  It's coming along beautifully and we are all really happy with the level of talent, support and resources the the Primal God Manos seemed to have arranged to help us make something we will be proud of.  Check out our Teaser Trailer Here



Over the years since Manos: The Hands of Fate was shown on Mst3k in January 1993, I have had the honor to participate in Manos driven projects and have attended a few screenings but this year was my first as a celebrity guest at a fan convention.  I appeared at Crypticon Seattle in May and found an opportunity to chat with one of my favorite celebrities Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira: Mistress of the Dark.  We traded when I gave her a signed copy of my book and she gave me a signed photo while telling me that Manos is her favorite bad film. She asked questions about John Reynolds/Torgo and wanted me to say hi to my dad.  It was truly a golden moment in a shining weekend and I had a little geek out dance once I walked away around the corner safely out of eyesight.


On November first, I took my dad and youngest sister to a screening of Manos: Restored at The Darkside Cinema in Corvallis Oregon.  The Darkside is a small community theater and it was a low key event, but for me, it was really special because it was the first and only time since the 1966 premier that dad and I watched Manos The Hands of Fate together in a movie theater.  Joe Sherlock Director of Photography for Manos Returns was there and we got a great photo in the lobby together with dad wearing one of the fan made Manos tshirts I bought him.



On November 11th I appeared onstage Chicago Music Box Theater to introduce the beautifully restored Manos The Hands of Fate, to talk about my family's role in the original film and our involvement in the popular resurgence of the last twenty three years.
I took part on a panel that included my co author Laura Mazucca Toops, Jeremy Guidry (Son of Bob Guidry Manos original DOP), vocalist Nicki Mathis and was moderated by Ian Simmons.




I signed books and met face to face with fans in the lobby before and after the show.  All in all, a truly magical evening.
The next day, Saturday was a day off to see some of the beautiful city of Chicago and prepare for my Bucket O Blood booksigning for Sunday afternoon.  Early Saturday evening, I got a message from my fathers neighbor that the EMT's had been at his house and taken him to the hospital.  For the next few hours, I sat in my hotel room 2,193 miles away trying to get more information, eeventually receiving a call from the hospital charge nurse saying they needed permission to call code and were unable to reach anyone else.  That all became a moot point when the nurse said if she were with me, she would give me a big hug.  It was over.  His heart was done and I was not prepared.  You never can be.
The next morning on the 13th, I determined I had to go ahead with the scheduled book signing and podcast interview that afternoon and set about trying to let everyone know so I wouldn't have to explain it raw at the event.  Rough day, but I knew dad would have wanted me to go ahead with the plan.

Most who came were informed and offered hugs and prayers.  Others were happy to meet me and wanted photos with Debbie from Manos so I obliged with a pale face, puffy eyes and somewhat lesser smile than usual, hoping they were OK with that.  They were.

Once the signing wrapped up, Ian Simmons, Laura and I went to another room for our interview.  The initial intention and direction shifted as it became a beautiful tribute podcast to Tom Neyman.  I could almost feel him sitting with me as we talked about him.

                                                          Click for Podcast below

                                                  Kickseat Episode 169



I traveled home on the 14th just wanting to hide somewhere and be alone and then the next day was the long awaited 50th Anniversary of Manos: The Hands of Fate since it premierde on November 15th 1966.  It was a quiet day of accepting the countless offers of condolence and support.  Sadness and comfort all in one.  The 23rd of November would have been his eighty first birthday and on the 24th, The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Turkey Day Marathon announced Manos: The Hands of Fate as the MST3k All Time Fan Favorite.

Since then, of course the Holidays and New Years and all that goes along when you celebrate these things and have family.  So much reflection this time of year as many do.  For me, the events of the past year and especially the last two months have created new determination and purpose.  Time is always too short.  There are always excuses to to not do something.  Through the dark there is light.
I have been playing this Manos game for many years and I've had incredible experiences and great fun while meeting the most creative diverse and joyful people imaginable.  Through it all I've been a single mom and self employed artist,  I bought a 100 year old home on an acre and half in a tiny Western Oregon town in which to raise my boys.  The only income the fame of Manos has ever provided me is what I created myself through merchandising tshirts and things I make (I am an artist, after all), and believe me, it doesn't pay many, if any bills.  I have donated my time to people and causes longer than I can remember.  In my town, I was on the school board for 4 years and I spearheaded and ran our community Arts Center for 16 month until it fell apart due to lack of funding.  I've always been for others while seeking my own bliss because it was blissful to watch other flourish, but for us, it's always been a struggle and it's time for that to change because I may have finally learned that the Greater Good includes me too.  When I flourish, those around me can too.
                              My sister Juli, grandson Jayce, Dad, Me and my eldest son Jack

I will honor myself while there is still time and I will honor my dad's memory in ways he never could do for himself.  I'l give you The Plan in my next post.  Stay tuned!

May you and your loved ones be Blessed in this New Year!

Love, Jackey






Thursday, December 8, 2016

Headed to Seattle and Tacoma


If you are in the Seattle area or know any crazy Manos fans, send them my way.
On Friday Dec 9th I'll be hanging out at Comics Dungeon for three hours and hoping I won't be alone.  As an author, I've heard those horror stories of book signings where no one shows up.  I will report back next week.  Stay tuned.

Comics Dungeon Book Signing



If you can't make the book signing and/or face to face contact is too much for you, please come watch the beautifully restored HD Bluray of Manos: The Hands of Fate.  You watch it with me or watch me watch it.  Either way is fun and you are are free to Riff it too.  This event is happening Saturday night in Tacoma Washington.  Come for Manos.  Stay for Rocky Horror.


                                         Blue Mouse Theater Manos Event



Ready to hit the road.  I enjoy traveling and meeting fans so if you've got some ideas of venues, just let me know.  Look forward to meeting you someday.  

If you don't live in Washington State or the weather is too crappy to go out, or the scheduling doesn't work, or you just don't want to go anywhere then you can sit in your comfortable home and listen to this awesome Podcast interview by Derek Koch of Monster Kid Radio.  Monster Kid Radio    

Email me at jackey@debbiesmanos.com

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Birthday to The Master


Happy 82st Birthday Dad


The man who is known to the larger world as The Master, from the 1966 cult classic film Manos: The Hands of Fate would be eighty one years old today. He was born on November 23, 1935.  
He passed away on on November 12, 2016.





I wanted to honor him today by writing about him but struggled with how to do it.  What to say.  What to focus on.  How do you sum up a person's life in a blog post?  You can't possibly.  Not for any life because life is complicated and when someone has lasted almost 81 years, there are a lot of experiences to account for.  I finally decided to share a little of what he was to me.  Not the hard stuff or the sad stuff.  Just maybe a couple anecdote's to show you the Spirit his body housed and the Spirit that is now free.  I want to share a little of who he was besides the guy in "The Worst Movie Ever Made"

Tom Neyman was my dad and I was his first born child.  He adored me when I was small and I felt his love always, even in all the years we lost.  In the end, we found our way back together and it was because of Manos The Hands of Fate.  That's a whole other story and one you can learn in my book Growing Up With Manos The Hands Of Fate.  

My birthday is on July 2nd and family lore says I was due on the 4th but the doctor induced labor early so he wouldn't miss his family BBQ and celebration of our country's Independence.  BBQ is big in Texas so no one ever blamed him for that, but dad loved any reason to blow things up so for my 8th birthday he decided to write my name out in gun powder glued to a piece of plywood and light it on July 4th from our front porch so all of lower El Paso could see.  It was such a sweet thought and although it fizzled out at every bend in the letter, he persevered nearly till the end.  I wasn't disappointed.  

After my parents divorced and he moved far away to Southern California, I knew I couldn't live without him so when he came to visit summer of 1972, I had my bags packed and could not be talked out of going back with him.  I was going to be a Sophomore in high school and dad had no choice other than to become a single dad to a teenage girl.  He was barely getting by in those days and we had to sleep in the back of the Datsun pickup on the trip and at one point he used his tools to somehow change the expiration date on a gas card so we could fill the tank in the Arizona desert in order to make it home.  As stressful as it must have been, my memories are of driving across the desert at dusk in the un air conditioned cab of the Datsun truck and belting out show tunes at the top of our lungs from plays he had done and I had memorized from helping him run lines and attending so many performances at The Festival Theater where he had owned the stage for years.

The last time I saw my dad was a few days before I left for Chicago on to appear at the Music Box on November 11 for a screening of the Restoration of Manos.  He was really happy for me and said if he were stronger and younger, he would love to go with me.  I promised to take lots of pictures and bring lots of stories home.  That day we were together, I was helping him at a community food bank. It happened every Friday and was the third time I had taken him in an effort to help him and his family in their tough times.  We were going through the line choosing items he might want or need when we came to the end where the bread and pastries were.  He was diabetic but had a ferocious sweet tooth and I saw his greatest weakness laid out before us.  A big box of maple bars.  I tried to distract him while reaching past it for a slightly more practical apple coffee cake.  As I turned back with the coffee cake, he was already holding the box of maple bars in both arms and looking down upon it with a look of great hope and reverence.  Without looking up, he whispered, "Can I have this?"  He looked just like a sweet little boy with a new train set at a toy store.  Without a beat, I laid down the box I held and said. "You can have whatever you want, dad."  
That is a choice I will always cherish.







Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Today is the 50th Anniversary Of Manos

Yes.  It has been a while since my last post here.  This fiftieth Anniversary since the November 15th premier of Manos The Hands of Fate at The El Paso Capri Theater seems a good time to start again but there are other deeply compelling reason to write again as you will see in the next few sentences.

My dad Tom Neyman who played The Master in that film, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday night, November 12,  just three days before this anniversary and eleven days before his 82nd birthday.  I was away in Chicago for a screening of the restoration of Manos at the Music Box Theater on Friday night and a book signing event at BucketOBlood Books and Records scheduled for Sunday.  I got a call Saturday night from the charge nurse at Salem Hospital in Oregon that dad's heart had stopped and they needed instruction on how to proceed with heroic measures.  My answer or anyone else's became a moot point anyway as nothing else could have been done.  The hospital was following procedure.  She said she wished she could give me a big hug before we hung up.

It was a rough night and I had to decide how to proceed in my own life and particularly in regards to the next day's book signing event.  I immediately knew that dad would never have wanted me to cancel because of him.  He was a gentle loving and humble man who was in constant awe that anyone even cared about him at all.  I knew I had to find the strength to show up authentically to celebrate and honor him.  In spite of the heartbreak I was determined to avoid a maudlin affair.

Some of the people who came to talk to me and Laura Mazzuca Toops,  co-author of my book Growing Up With Manos The Hands Of Fate, had not yet heard the news of dad's passing and some had.  It was a challenging and odd balance of smiling for photos and receiving hugs of condolence.  I had to step outside of any vanity concerning my pale face and puffy eyes.  Everyone seems satisfied with the evening.

After the signing and visiting with people who came, Laura and I stepped into the back room with Ian Simmons for a prescheduled podcast interview.  Our interview became a tribute to dad on the spot and I feel is one of the most beautiful and appropriate things I could have done for him.

Kicking The Seat Podcast


I do hope you listen to the end and learn something of what made my dad so very special and maybe is some of why you love Manos for all it's flawed glory.

Podcast Audio


I like to think now that The Master has ascended and has become Manos himself.
Manos is Permanent!

 As many of you know, the world also lost Leonard Cohen on November 7th, and the ending song that Ian chose for his podcast is a perfect way to say goodbye to both these men.


Love each other.  It is The Will of Manos


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Manos at Crypticon! Manos Book! Manos Everything!

2015 ended on a highlight for Manos, and for me personally.  The October edition of Playboy Magazine published a feature article about the film titled The Battle Over The Worst Movie Ever by Jake Rossen.  My name was the first word in the article and my boyfriend got a lot of mileage telling friends his girlfriend was in a recent issue of Playboy.

In December, I turned in the completed manuscript to my book "Growing Up With Manos The Hands of Fate" to the publisher Bear Manor Media about a week and half before deadline and immediately turning my attention to the new project of creating a sequel to Manos titled  Manos Returns.
 I joined forces with an amazing team of Indie filmmakers and in April launched what we considered a very successful Manos Returns Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, ending on March 2nd at $31,750.  A nice amount above the base goal of $24,000.  We jumped immediately into production and last week, my director, Tonjia Atomic and I spent three days scouting and organizing the upcoming film shoot. We secured all the locations dreamed of and looking just as written in the script.






While preparing for Tonjia's visit, I had the opportunity in early March to be a location coordinator for an upcoming Bigfoot film.  The entire production team of Patrick Magee's film  traveled from Los Angeles to my backyard in rural Oregon to shoot a final scene for Primal Rage. The Legend of Oh-Mah.  A bonus is I got a walk on part and included friends, family and my community.  Primal Rage article 

I'm really excited to be a special Celebrity Guest at this years Crypticon Seattle and am looking forward to interacting with fans.  If you are in Seattle for Memorial weekend, May 27th -29th, please come say hi and pick up an autographed copy of my book.   Crypticon Seattle 2016 Promo

To order a copy of the book:
" Growing Up With Manos The Hands Of Fate is now available in hardback, softcover and ebook at Bear Manor Media.  
Growing Up With Manos The Hands Of Fate ~ Softcover~

Growing Up With Manos The Hands Of Fate ~Hardcover~

It's a busy and exciting year.  After all, this IS the 50th Anniversary year of Manos: The Hands of Fate and it just keeps going.
















Please share these tweets
Jackey Neyman Jones of Manos The Hands of Fate at Crypticon Seattle https://youtu.be/JprGE6sK384

Sunday, March 13, 2016

“Growing Up With Manos The Hands Of Fate” is Available!



I am attempting to process this whole Manos experience that has consumed my life and usually, I don’t stop and take stock, but yesterday afternoon all that changed. Don't get me wrong.  I work to remain present, express genuine thanks and do my best to recognize all the gifts, great and small that come my way.
In my normal life, I am a professional artist and all that entails.  I had a business creating faux finishes for private and commercial clients for about 25 years, and in the early days of that career, MST3K aired a movie I had been in as a child.  My entire family had been heavily invested in the making of Hal Warren’s film, Manos: The Hands of Fate and although it was something that most wished to put behind them, for me, it was a bright beacon of an otherwise often dark childhood.   In January 1993, Joel Hodgson, creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and his team showed Manos on television with great trepidation and thinking that airing it might be too much, even for them.  In the ensuing years, Manos has taken that spark and created a life of it’s own, claiming the title of being “The Worst Movie Ever Made” while building a loving and engaging fan base.
  I’ve tagged along since the beginning by chiming in on chat room discussions, Facebook and any social media I could find time for.  It was always a fun hobby and I loved including my dad, The Master, whenever possible and reminding him that the fans are always seeking his approval.  He gets a big kick out of hearing about it and Manos has been an opportunity for us to bond again. 
 I cherish everything about Manos culture, the great people I’ve met and and all the opportunities I have found cultivating my place as the only living cast or crew willing to talk about it, and now I am thrilled to share that place with others who were there in 1966.  My whole philosophy on life is that if it’s not for the greater good, it’s not something I want to do and Manos has become a way for all my dreams to come to fruition because I invite people to come play with me and they invite me to play and incredible projects are born.   
Along the way, I kept thinking about writing a book and decided to see if I even had enough to say or if anyone might have an interest in reading a book about Manos, so I began this blog.  Turned out, there were quite a few people interested so I began looking for someone with experience to help me through the process.  That’s when I found my incredible co-author on Facebook.  It took 16 months and a ton of research while the story grew.  One opening led to another as I discovered people who weren’t listed in the credits and others who had all but forgotten about it.  I made new friends and connected with others who remembered my family and me as a little girl.  I even connected with Joel Hodgson who wrote the foreword for me. All along, I just kept working and trying not to think too much about where all this was going.
We completed the book and sent it off to our publisher right before Christmas and I immediately jumped into my next project of producing a sequel to the original film, “Manos Returns”. (That’s a whole other story!) The Manos Returns team launched a successful kickstarter and filmed my dad’s scenes as The Master.  We are busy, busy.  In the meantime, I’m teaching painting classes to happy drinking people in bars to pay my bills and overall, having a great time.  It’s good to be me.  I can’t think of anyone who is more suited to being me than me.  So yesterday, I’m racing out the door to set up to teach a painting class to a group of 10 year olds (who are drinking lemonade or milk) and check my email one last time.  There is one from my publisher with a link to my book on their website.  WHAT??  I had no idea.  I thought I had to look at a final final final proof first.  Suddenly I could hardly breathe and I had to leave my house right now or be late for my appointment!  There was no one to tell and no time to tell.  Truly one of the most surreal experiences to date.  I’m driving and laughing and crying and pulling myself together.  So, I get there, put it away in my head and have a great class with cool kids.  By the time I get home, I’m emotionally wrung out and for some strange reason want to hold onto this moment just a little longer and keep it close so I do.  Last night, I posted in just a few of my favorite places where they know me best and the response fills my heart with joy.  I thank you all for taking me as I am and for all the love and support.

 I hope you enjoy my book...and please buy a lot of copies!


Friday, March 4, 2016

Debbie Does Manos Returns

For the initiated and uninitiated alike, this blog's for you.  For Manos history and behind the scenes, my early posts cover all that.  This post covers the the How's and Why's of Manos Returns, sequel to the film commonly referred to as "The Worst Movie Ever Made".

To answer the most obvious question "Why in God's name would you do such a thing?"
I say this:
Manos is so much more than a bad movie.  Yes.  As a film, it's horrible, and it's that horribleness that brought it back into the world after 27 years of oblivion, and it's that inexplicable awkward factor along with complete film ineptitude that places it high among sources of inspiration for many.  It's the sheer unworthiness of it that makes it worthy of notice.  Many quality projects have birthed from Manos and the idea of it.  A blu ray restoration that is preserved in the Texas Film Archive and was on Amazon's top 30 best seller list.  A stage adaptation in Portland, Oregon that played to sold out audiences as did Rachel Jackson's Seattle Washington puppet show, Manos Hands of Felt. An iPhone game by Freak Zone, a couple of novelizations by Steven Sullivan not to mention that Manos has remained a top title for MST3k since it aired on the program in 1993.  Even Rifftrax brought it to theaters nationwide in one of their live shows.
 All along the way, I have played on the fringe of it and although I've met so many talented people and been invited to participate in some of the projects and attend a few screenings, my dad has never had the chance to feel, first hand, that Manos love.  He's always stayed private and content to hear it through me.  So when he expressed an interest in showing the fans he is still The Master, I had to make it happen.  For him, for me and for the fans who have demonstrated their support for so long.  I know this isn't for everyone and I would not expect it or anything else to be, but for fans of Manos, Indie Film and the Creative Spirit that resides in us all, we are bringing you Manos Returns.

To answer the immediate assumption that I've heard expressed...No.  We are not making a bad movie.  We are not remaking the original Manos or trying to re create it in any way.  That would really be crazy. Besides our film team's experience in low budget film, there is fifty years of technology between 1966 to now.  We can't pretend to unknow what we know and I deeply dislike intentionally bad film so would not insult you by attempting that
.
We are creating an homage to the originals and to nod to the followers of Manos.
Manos Returns brings a new cast of characters with a few of the old mixed in. The Master and I return along with Diane Mahree who played Maggie. Bryan Jennings, son of original Sheriff William Bryan Jennings will play our Sheriff.  We will make the best most entertaining film we possibly can.  It is the Will of Manos!

Director: Tonjia Atomic, award winning Seattle filmmaker   TonjiaAtomic.com

Director of Photography: Joe Sherlock, award winning Oregon filmmaker  SkullfaceAstronaut.com

Writer: Steve Foley

Producer: Jackey Neyman Jones  DebbiesManos.com

A Huge Thank You to all 420 backers of the Manos Returns Kickstarter that ended a 31 day campaign on March first with $31,750.  We hit our second stretch goal with hours to spare.  Thanks to you, we are already hard at work to bring you our film and our first screening by the 50th Anniversary of November 15th 2016.
Manos Returns Kickstarter

To stay updated on our project please visit us at ManosReturns.com