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

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

Director of Photography: Joe Sherlock, award winning Oregon filmmaker

Writer: Steve Foley

Producer: Jackey Neyman Jones

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


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Kickstarter Countdown! Tuesday March 1st Online Party!

The Kickstarter Countdown Event

Welcome to the Weekend, MANOS Fans!

Weve been quiet for a few days, because we wanted to give you a bit of a break after the big push to beat the funding challenge. But now we are back and in the Last 3 Days of the Campaign, so its No. Sleep. TIL MANOS!

The Kickstarter Countdown Event
We hereby cordially invite you all to our live streaming event to celebrate our successful campaign! We thought it would be fun if we all got together and watched some MANOS. Tune in Tuesday, March 1st, starting at 6pm PST and join Jackey, Tonjia and the whole MANOS Returns crew as we countdown the final moments of our Kickstarter campaign and announce the grand total live!

Watch online here:
Comment and tweet along as we watch the puppet musical MANOS -The Hands of Felt followed by a quality non MST version of MANOS - The Hands of Fate that we can riff together.

Sponsored by our friends at From Dusk Til Con Radio and

No Stopping the Stover
Were obviously really excited to have artists from the original MANOS - Tom Neyman, Nicki Mathis and Jackey - joining us for MANOS Returns. And we hope to be able to stretch our budget to include even more - Diane Mahree, Bryan Jennings and soundtrack musician Curt Warren.

But we have another genuine B Movie Cult Star joining our cast: The incredible George Stover!

Basically if youve seen any John Waters or Don Dohler, youve encountered George. Or is youve seen Cinematic Titanics riff of The Alien Factor. George is a massively versatile actor with a well-honed sardonic sense of humor and we are beyond excited that he wants to be part of MANOS Returns. Check out this trailer from the upcoming documentary about him, No Stopping the Stover, to learn more.

We are so close to the end of this Kickstarter and, as I type this, so close to achieving our first Stretch Goal: a second Nicki Mathis song for All Backer Levels! Please, please keep sharing our project. Every little bit we can add to our budget will help us make a better movie. Lets make these final 3 days the best 3 days!
- Jackey

p.s. Please share these ready-made posts today!

B-movie star George Stover is in @ManosReturns?! Join him & make the sequel awesome!

Back @ManosReturns today and then join us Tues @ 6pm PST to countdown to the grand total live!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Torgometer Hits 100%!!

What a week it's been.  In the last few days, our Manos Returns kickstarter hit our goal of $24,000. a full 7 days before the end of the campaign.

A huge boost came by way of an interview with CNET

and then another great boost this morning on

If you want to go straight to the Manos interview skip to 37:45

as of this moment (looks at watch) we are funded

which means that YAY, we are making a movie and we believe that you are going to really enjoy it.  We still have 5 more days on 

until March 1 Tuesday 9pm PST

and we have some very cool stretch goals so we can make this an even better film.  Talent equals a lot but talent and more money equal better.  Keep sharing and keep giving!
The Master Approves!!