Mystery Science Theater 3000

All posts tagged Mystery Science Theater 3000

Tom Neyman: An Appreciation

Published November 26, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

tom-neyman

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!

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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!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

Jackey Neyman Jones: Bonding with the Daughter of Manos

Published November 10, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

jackey-photo

Jackey Neyman Jones may rival Troll 2’s Michael Stephenson as the child actor in the worst film ever made. As Debbie in Manos: The Hands of Fate, one of the most popular spoofed movies on Mystery Science Theater 3000, Neyman Jones found herself encountering long desert drives, lost pets, billowing cult members and overwhelming gray couches in one of the most notoriously awful (yet quite enjoyable) cult films ever made. Appointing herself Manos’ official historian, she has recently published a book, Growing Up with Manos: The Hands of Fate, about her adventures on the film and how it has impacted her life. Nicely, in a move that proves the enduring legacy of the film, Neyman Jones is also readying the world for the decades-in-the-making sequel, Manos Returns.

How did you get involved in Manos, Jackie?

My dad was doing community theater in El Paso. (Manos director) Hal Warren was a supporting actor in a number of plays. My dad often played the lead. At that moment, he was playing the lead in Henry IV. Hal was in it and John Reynolds (“Torgo”) was the stage manager. I believe William Bryan Jennings (“Cop”) was in it. That’s where Hal got his cast and some of his crew. They were all from that particular play. My dad came home, after he agreed to be in Hal’s movie, and they needed a little girl. He asked if I wanted to be that little girl. That’s how I got involved because I always wanted to be with my dad. I wanted to be where he was.

Cool. I did my first professional show in summer stock with my dad, too.

Oh, is that right? How old were you?

It was between the summer of 2nd and 3rd grade. I had always wanted to act. So we both got to perform with our fathers. That’s cool.

That is cool. A little later, when I was 9, my dad was the male lead in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. The theater director had raised funds and brought Julie Adams (Creature from the Black Lagoon) in to play Jean Brodie.

I love her!

Me, too! I got to meet her, in person, at Crypticon. I told her that she was in my book. I bought her book and that experience was in her book, as well.

I thought I had read about that in her book. So, you were in the show with her?

Yeah, I was one of the schoolgirls. That was the second time that I got to be a part of something that my dad was a part of. All my life, I wanted to act with my dad. Now, with Manos Returns, it’s pretty exciting. I got to pull him into that project. jackey-newman

Was the infamous Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode the first time that you realized that Manos had a cult following?

Manos was something that I held onto and nurtured. I told stories to my sons. But it was gone. We didn’t have a copy of it. We never saw it again after the premiere. Nobody wanted to talk about it – (Laughs) except maybe me. So, 27 years go by, and my dad calls me. He lived in Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast at that time. I was in Northern California, married with a young child. He called me and said, “You’ll never believe what I just saw on television!” It was January 1993 and it was on Mystery Science Theater 3000. He was a big fan of the show. He watched it every Saturday. There he was, dozing off, and he heard something familiar. He opened his eyes and was just astounded.

Naturally!

Even then, I had no idea that there was a cult following. Since I missed seeing it that day, I did some investigating. I knew it was on Comedy Central. I knew there was a 1-800 number on the screen. I called that number. The guy that answered said that he was at the HBO offices in Manhattan. I told him that they had just shown a film that my family was involved in and that I had been looking for it. Now, after all these years there it was and I wondered if there was any way that I could get copy. He asked me what the name of the film was. I said Manos: The Hands of Fate. There was this long pause and he says…”Oh, my god! Are you Debbie?”  (Laughs) That was literally the first time that I realized that anyone knew anything about this film, but me. From there… the internet was just beginning, we were still on dial-up…but I got online and kept running across little things about it. So, I began looking for things and started to set up my position as the person to kind of clean up all the Manos mythology. (Laughs) There was a lot of it. No one knew anything. They thought all the cast and crew were dead. Nobody knew anybody was alive. They didn’t bother to look for us. I started putting it out there. We were very much alive –

…And thriving!

Right…and thriving! I started cleaning that stuff up. Then I wrote a blog for awhile, just to see if anybody was interested in what I had to say. I also had to see if I could write, sustainably, and not just in little bursts. I ended up getting a pretty big fan following. I was surprised. I was getting about 3000 readers a month. Then I decided to write my book. That took me 16 months. So, I just focused on that. I couldn’t write the blog, too. manos-debbie

Now, there’s a sequel in post-production, as well. I love that the project is being created, pretty much entirely, by women. There’s you, Rachel Jackson and amazing indie film director Tonjia Atomic.

She’s amazing. It really is the will of Manos with the way that the right people have come together. They have passion and respect for each other and talent. It’s remarkable. I love Tonjia. We’re so thrilled about how this came about. Along with Rachel Jackson, we wrote the script. Well, mostly, they did. (Laughs) They keep giving me first billing which isn’t fair. I love Manos Returns. I love the story. I love the angle. Tonjia and Joe Sherlock, the director of photography, have both been making independent films for awhile, but with zero budgets. We were so excited to give them a budget, as small as it is. It’s just incredible. I know there is a lot of people out there who think that we are intentionally making a bad film. But I, honestly, think we are going to get a lot of notice because our budget is so tiny and yet it looks and sounds so good. That’s all because of the passion and how much talent that people willingly brought to the table.

It’s all part of an incredible and unlikely legacy!

I was born to be Debbie in Manos. The fan base for the film has the coolest people. They are really awesome, intelligent, innovative and creative people. I just couldn’t think of a better place to be. I want to do more of it.

If you are located in the Midwest, be sure to join Jackey this weekend in Chicago for two incredible events. On Friday, 11/11/16, she will be at the Music Box Theatre for a screening of Manos and on Sunday, 11/13/16, she will be appearing at a book signing at Bucket of Blood. More info follows, below:

https://www.musicboxtheatre.com/events/manos-the-hands-of-fate-actress-jackey-neyman-jones-in-person and https://www.facebook.com/events/981307258645825/

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

Music to Make Horror Movies By: George Maharis

Published March 20, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan
george rosemary

Maharis ‘sees the light’ in Rosemary’s Baby sequel.

 

Using his handsome swarthiness with toxic intent, Greek maverick George Maharis brought slick evilness to such 70s television terrors as The Victim, Look What’s Happened to Rosemary’s Baby, where he took over the role of Guy Woodhouse from John Cassavetes, and (Mystery Science Theater 3000 favorite) SST: Death Flight.

One of the first male celebrities to pose entirely nude for Playgirl, Maharis proved his resilience when a 1974 arrest for lewd conduct with another man didn’t totally stall his career. But, this should come as no surprise when you view this smooth, theatre trained performer, who released multiple albums during his prime, in this clip from an episode of Hullabaloo. Maharis was, obviously, way too groovy to let any scandal ever slow him down!

 

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

George Maharis

George in repose.