Vanity (Action Jackson), Lucinda Dooling (Lovely But Deadly), Alexis Arquette (Bride of Chucky), Kim McGuire (Cry-Baby), legendary director-writers Herschell Gordon Lewis and Ted V. Mikels…The film industry has lost a slew of its iconic outsiders in 2016. Now the immortal Tom Neyman can be added to that list.
Neyman, who passed away at the age of 80 on November 13th, may be the most unusual of all these creative entities, though. An accomplished stage actor, Neyman is known for only one celluloid outing – a role that took him over 25 years to gain any notoriety for. But, as The Master in Manos: The Hands of Fate, Neyman strikes such a foreboding and impressive figure that he, ultimately, should go down in history as one of the most essential horror antagonists of all time.
Regarded as one of the worst movies ever made, Manos finally found public appreciation, after having been exiled to oblivion after its 1966 premiere, when Mystery Science Theater 3000 parodied it on a classic 1993 episode. Ever since, Neyman has gained a deserved, ever growing following. In fact, horror icon Elvira is among the movie’s biggest fans and a recent poll revealed the Manos show to be MST3K viewers’ favorite episode of all time.
Therefore, Neyman is so much more than an actor in a singular role. He will always be a prime example of the impossible come to life – of that ray of hope beaming through the tangled corridors of darkness. He found an odd fame, decades after it should have come, from a movie that many would dismiss outright.
He is the role model for everyone who strives, despite the odds, to connect with an unforgiving, uninterested public. He is one for the believers and for society’s hardworking misfits…and his legacy will live on forever!
Of further note: Neyman, briefly, reprised his role of The Master in the upcoming Manos Returns, the long awaited Manos sequel: https://www.facebook.com/manosreturns.
Jackey Neyman Jones, Manos’ Debbie and Tom’s beloved daughter, maintains a blog, featuring stories of her father, as well. https://www.facebook.com/Debbiesmanos/
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!