Harold P. Warren
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|Harold P. Warren|
Diane Mahree as Margaret and Hal Warren as Michael in Manos: The Hands of Fate
|Born||October 23, 1923|
|Died||December 26, 1985(aged 62)|
|Other names||Hal Warren|
|Occupation||Salesman, director, producer, actor, screenwriter|
Harold P. Warren (October 23, 1923 – December 26, 1985), better known as Hal Warren, was an insurance and fertilizer salesman who lived in the El Paso, Texas area. He is best remembered for writing, directing, producing and starring in the 1966 movie Manos: The Hands of Fate. The film is noted as one of the worst films of all time.
Warren made the film on a bet. He had met Stirling Silliphant, who was in the area scouting locations for a film. Warren bet Silliphant (who would later write the award-winning screenplay for In the Heat of the Night) that he could make a successful horror movie on a limited budget.
Warren raised about $19,000. He managed to find an old 16-millimeter Bell & Howell camera to use on the film. Because the camera was spring wound, it could only shoot just over 30 seconds of film at a time. After casting himself in the starring role of Michael, he approached locals to play the other roles, as well as fill crew positions. He did not pay anyone, instead promising people a percentage of the profits. Warren and two others also dubbed all the voices, as the camera was not capable of capturing sound.
For two months, Warren, the cast and crew filmed at County Judge Colbert Coldwell's ranch. Warren's prima donna attitude caused much friction among those working on the film, who began calling the film Mangos: The Cans of Fruit behind his back.
When the time came to premiere the film in El Paso, Warren turned the premiere into a media event. He hired a limousine to carry the cast to the theater. But a few minutes into the film, the audience began heckling the cast, who soon broke down into hysterics. Warren and the others who worked on the film sneaked out before the film was over.
Warren did manage to convince Emerson Releasing Corporation to distribute the film. As a result, the film had a short run on some drive-in theaters in West Texas. Afterwards, the movie was largely forgotten until it was featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 1993. A film titled Sueño: The Dream of Hal Warren, starring George Hardy of Troll 2 as Warren, is in pre-production from Mind Bender Motion Pictures.
Later life 
Warren worked as a fertilizer salesman for some time after making Manos. He was married to Norma Friedman, script supervisor upon the Manos set. He tried pitching a sequel to Manos and another script named Wild Desert Bikers, but failed. Warren then tried turning the script of Wild Desert Bikers into a book named Satan Rides a Bike, but was unable to find a willing publisher. Hal Warren died in December 1985. His widow Norma moved to Colorado.
- Ross, Dalton. The Worst Movie Ever Made, 1. Entertainment Weekly, 2005-06-06. Retrieved on 2006-11-04.
- IMDb Bottom 100. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-04-24.
- Manos, The Hands of Fate (1966) Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 2007-04-24.
- Bracken, Mike. MST3K: Manos: The Hands of Fate. ToxicUniverse.com, 2002-02-01. Retrieved on 2007-04-24.
- Brandt, Richard (May 1996). "The Hand That Time Forgot". Mimosa. pp. 35–38. Retrieved 2006-08-17.