Debbie’s back, yall! Jackey Neyman is most known to horror fans for her role in the infamous independent flick of 1966, Manos: The Hands of Fate. Following the “success” of Manos, Jackey briefly appeared in another horror film, Curse of Bigfoot, in 1975 before retiring from the business. Fortunately, if it’s on film then it cannot die, and in recent years Neyman has enjoyed getting the word out about Manos while enjoying its newly found cult following.
Everything really kicked off for the actress and producer in 2015, when she returned to acting in BedtimeScarries.com and in an unofficial Manos sequel, The Rise of Torgo. But that’s not all! At the end of the year it was announced that another Manos sequel, Manos Returns, was in the works with Jackey taking on the role of producer and reprising the role that made her famous. It goes without saying that people are excited to see what that world looks like 50 years later!
Currently, Manos Returns is seeking extra funds through Kickstarter. The fundraiser has already amassed 56% of its $24,000 goal in just a few days! With 26 days left to go and the finish line almost in sight, Jackey Neyman took the time out of her busy schedule to chat with me about all things Manos. You can find my interview with her below and then we’d both love it if you could head on over to Kickstarter and donate. $25 gets your name in special thanks credits!
H: Do you agree with Manos: The Hands of Fate being ranked the #5 worst movie ever by IMDB?
J: Well, Manos has raised in the ratings, I see. I don’t know anyone anymore that truly believes Manos is as terrible as countless film out there. It has an odd, otherworldly uncomfortable feel and terrible production, shallow script and so on, but it also has a sense of earnest intent that somehow captivates the audience. It grabbed the title “Worst Movie Ever Made” a long time ago and with the fan’s loving cultivation, that title sustains.
H: Why do you think Manos seems to be more respected today than back in the 60s?
J: It took me a long time to even begin understanding Manos‘ pop culture status today. I have talked to many people who first learned of Manos in film school as everything not to do in film making. It stands as a supreme and clear example of inexperience in film and somehow ignites creative minds to believe if Hal Warren could complete his project and get it distributed, then truly, anyone can. It embodies the classic “can do” American Spirit.
H: You also appeared in Manos: The Rise of Torgo (2015). Are Hands of Fate, Rise of Torgo and Manos Returns all related or are they alive in separate universes?
J: David Roy’s film, The Rise of Torgo, has no connection to Manos Returns in this realm. They live in vastly different universes and the original certainly lives in a world of its own. The wonderful talents and the range of creativity that Manos: The Hands of Fate has inspired makes every project so different from one another. I celebrate them all.
H: How do you feel about helping to produce Manos Returns? Do you feel like you have a bigger burden on your shoulders to carry on the legacy of its predecessor?
J: This whole Manos adventure has happened so naturally for me through the years as I’ve put myself out there talking about Manos through social media, personal appearances for Q and A, interviews, and my blog http://debbiesmanos.blogspot.com. I’ve been interviewed in Entertainment Weekly and most recently Oct 2015 Playboy Magazine http://www.playboy.com/articles/the-battle-over-the-worst-movie-ever. I’ve been invited to participate in a number of projects and have really embraced the unique place in culture where Manos lives. I even wrote a book that will be available soon “Growing Up With Manos The Hands Of Fate” http://www.debbiesmanos.com and yet this project carries the most weight for me because my dad agreed to be in it and I need to do the best job possible to honor him and make him proud to be part of it. He’s 80-years-old, so we needed to do it now and I need to finish it for him to see. It’s redemption of a sort.
H: Is there any chance that you will somehow reprise your role as Debbie in the new movie?
J: Oh yes. My character will befit the Mistress of the lodge and I am, of course 50 years older. I love the role and look forward to exploring a much darker venomous side that I know exists deep down.
H: Why should horror fans support the Manos Returns campaign over any others that are currently fundraising?
J: Manos is more than just a bad film. It’s fans, friends and family. Not only has my own family experienced a new way to come together, I’ve heard so many stories of bonding that happens and ideas born from the magical concoction that is Manos. Our production team are just such nice people with a tremendous combined talent. We have all worked wonders and won awards with low and no budget projects and can’t wait to make a fan film that we can truly feel proud of. Please help us shine! It is the Will of Manos.