Nov 15, 2014
"Manos" The Hands of Fate (1966) (part 2 of 7)
Next we get a shot of Mike driving, filmed with the cameraman sitting in the back seat. People with severe emotional problems and weak stomachs should probably leave the room, because we’re now about to endure something I refer to as the God Hates Us And Is Now Punishing Us Five-Minute Drive From Hell. It begins when, with absolutely no dialogue or movement of any kind, this one shot goes on for twenty-five seconds. I’m not exaggerating. Twenty-five freakin’ seconds!!
To get an idea of what this feels like, here’s a simple experiment you can try at home: Stare at the image on the right, and start counting: “One-potato… two-potato… three-potato…” all the way until you get to twenty-five. No, seriously. Go ahead and do it. I defy you.
Can’t be done, can it? Now just imagine your eyes are being held open like Alex in A Clockwork Orange and someone’s forcing you to stare at this image. That’ll give you a good idea of what it feels like to watch this shot. Of course, I should note that we’re just getting started here, because once this shot is done, we cut to another shot of Mike driving, filmed from exactly the same angle! (The funniest thing is that parts of this driving montage were actually filmed on an El Paso street called—no joke—Scenic Drive. I’m guessing the name “Armpit of America Boulevard” was already taken.)