Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hotel Torgo

To begin with, this is not an endorsement of Hotel Torgo, the Manos documentary. It must be mentioned however in any examination of Manos The Hands of Fate because as far as documentaries go, it's not all that much better than the film it's documenting. Which of course, makes it perfect for Manos.

I got a call from Richard Brandt, the Manos historian at the time. He let me know that he had interviewed for a documentary in the making and thought I should contact the film makers and offer info. I called the guys and had a quite brief discussion that went something like this, "Hello, my name is Jackey. I played Debbie in Manos, my dad was The Master". I understand you're making a film about Manos and thought I could help you out." The response. "Wow, that's great. OK, um, yeah. Well, we'll get back to you." I heard nothing back and later saw "Hotel Torgo" had been released. I didn't get around to watching until a few years later when someone asked if I had seen it and what did I think of the opening credits that say something to the effect "All cast and crew have either died or mysteriously disappeared" I imagine I never received a call back because my dad and I turned up inconveniently alive and it didn't fit with decisions they had already made. The only cast or crew they had found to interview, Bernie Rosenblum, still lived in El Paso and had his name painted on the street door of his photography business. The film makers did, however, locate the property where Manos was filmed and sadly, the place had been vandalized repeatedly over time with little recognizable other than the columns and block of stone where Torgo was massaged almost to death.

I've thoroughly enjoyed seeking out Manos mythology to reveal the truth. Some of the stories are facinating, but I believe the actual events are just as interesting.

Here's a new one I heard just the other day when I met a young man whose buddy is a fan. He texted his friend to let him know he was talking to me and got this text back. "No way. I heard she had Downs Syndrome or something."