return to screencuisine


Henchman of the Week (5/2/01):  Manny Ray

Featured in:  Scarface (1983)

Specialty:  Security, swarthiness

Attire:  Pants so tight you can read the dates on the spare change in his pockets

Attitude:  Horny

Not Suited For:  Phone work, due to thick accent

Temporary Assignment:  In 1980, Fidel Castro came up with a novel way to solve the problem of prison overcrowding:  he emptied his jails onto boats, and floated the inmates to Miami.  Along for the ride came one Tony Montana, an ambitious thug, and his loyal, long-term, goofy-grinned, over-sexed henchman, Manny Ray.

Manny and Tony wind up in a detention center, where Manny walks around in tight red pants and finds them their first assignment:  in exchange for Green Cards and freedom, they have to kill a former Castro associate named Rebenga.  During a bloody riot filled with unconvincing extras half-heartedly waving sticks, Manny chants and swings his hips to distract Rebenga, while Tony stabs him (Rebenga) in the stomach.

Once released, Manny and Tony work in a kitchen, where we first witness Manny's love (or lust) for beautiful  women.  The two Cubans (well, Tony doesn't really look Cuban), get an assignment from another Cuban named Omar (who doesn't really look Cuban either), which involves picking up cocaine from some Colombians (who look Columbian, I guess, I'm no expert).  Tony goes into the Colombians' apartment to make the deal, while Manny stays in the car, trying to pick up women.  After being rebuffed by a bikinied beauty, Manny notices that Tony has been gone for a long time, and bursts into the apartment, where he finds Tony about to be cut up by a chainsaw (in fact, while Manny was groping the girl in the street, one of his chums, Angel, was being sliced up like a redwood).  Manny comes in blasting, takes down a woman (surprisingly, he doesn't even try to get her number), and wounds two other Colombians before taking a round in the torso.  He's okay, though, because the bullet "went in and out", which, in the movies, means it's no big deal.

They deliver the drugs and money to Omar's boss, Frank Lopez.  Manny allows Tony to do all of the talking (by talking, I mean butchering of the English language), while Manny laughs politely at Frank's jokes.  Frank takes everyone to a club for dinner, where Manny immediately heads for the dance floor to wrestle women into submission.

Tony is quite taken with Frank's wife, Elvira, but Manny warns him, "Man, dat's de bosses lady, ogay?  You're gonna ged us gilled."   Good advice, but Tony doesn't seem to want to take it, so Manny adds "Don't fugging go crazy on me, ogay?  Jus remember, lass year at dis time we were in a fugging cage, too, ogay?"

Ogay.  Three months later, the boys are doing well, but Tony is bored, and Manny is still striking out with the ladies.  Tony wants the world, riches, and fame, but all Manny wants is "...a line of blue-jeans, right?  Wid my name written on da backsa chicks asses."  He then attempts to pick up a sunbather by waggling his tongue for her, but she slaps him, and he calls her a lesbian.  Tony lets Manny in on his business plan:  "Firss, ju ged da money.  Den, ju ged da bowwer.  Den, ju ged da weemon."

Manny, clearly, is only interested in gedding da weemon, as we see when Tony goes to visit his sister, Gina. Manny leers at her from the car, mumbling "Sheez boodivull," and Tony screams "HEY!  Ju stay away from harr.  She nod for you.  You hear?"

"Ogay," Manny agrees.

When Omar is whacked in Bolivia, Tony climbs into Frank's number two spot, but clashes with Frank when he makes bigger and bigger deals without permission.  Manny sees Tony explode into another jealous rage over his sister Gina, screaming in her face and slapping her, and as Manny drives her home, she hits on him, and he screams in her face, but doesn't slap her.  Could dis be love?  It cood be, ogay?

After Frank tries to have Tony killed in a nightclub filled with even more unconvincing extras (they're laughing uproariously at a Richard Belzer routine, I mean, come on), Tony rouses Manny from bed, where he is enjoying a nude woman (surprise!) and they head to Frank's office to discuss a possible company reorganization.  Frank pleads for his life, and Tony promises he won't kill him, then turns to Manny and says "Choot dat piece of chit."  Manny choots Frank, then goes so far as to recruit Frank's temp, Ernie, to Tony's payroll.

Everything goes along swimmingly for a while, with Tony marrying Frank's widow, Manny and Gina getting closer, and everyone getting richer and more powerful to a cheesy 80's soundtrack.  Manny gets ambitious but sloppy, setting up a deal which results in Tony getting arrested.  In exchange for some legal favors, Tony must now help a Bolivian thug whack someone, but Tony instead whacks the Bolivian thug while the original target goes unwhacked.  Already in a bad mood, Tony drives to Manny's house, where he finds him with Gina.  Surprisingly, Tony is not happy, and he subtly indicates his displeasure by refusing to sign Manny's time card, as well as pumping a couple bullets into his torso.  These bullets go in, but don't come out.

Performance Review:  Manny, for the most part, isn't a great henchman.  Sure, he's loyal, but he's easily distracted by the ladies.  Spending too much time inviting women to say hello to his "little friend", he gets his fellow goon Angel sliced up, and then gets his boss in trouble with the Feds.  While chasing women is nothing to be ashamed of, try not to use your temp job as a dating service, and when it comes to the boss's sister, best to keep the Cuban cigar in the humidor.  Ogay?

Manny is played by Steven "Rocky" Bauer, a Cuban-born film and television actor who most recently starred in Steven Soderbergh's Traffic.