7.4/10
2,574
57 user 10 critic

Helter Skelter (1976)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | TV Movie 1 April 1976
The investigation and trial of the horrific Tate-LaBianca mass murders orchestrated by the psychotic pseudo-hippie cult leader, Charles Manson.

Director:

Writers:

(based on the book by), (based on the book by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,253 ( 812)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Helter Skelter (TV Movie 2004)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A new take on the Manson Family murders, with a keen focus on Charles Manson himself.

Director: John Gray
Stars: Jeremy Davies, Clea DuVall, Allison Smith
Manson (1973)
Documentary | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Documentary on Charles Manson and his family. Has a number of insightful interviews with many family members most notably Squeaky and Sandy (Blue and Red). There is also a history of Manson... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Hendrickson, Laurence Merrick
Stars: Mary Brunner, Vincent Bugliosi, Bruce Davis
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

"The Six Degrees of Helter Skelter" walks in the footsteps of the Manson Family, visiting over 40 locations related to the infamous Tate/LaBianca murders, and tying together the dozens of ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Dorsey
Stars: Ron Hale, Craig Harvey, Nikki Medlin
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A dramatization of the horrific and notorious Manson Family Murders, in the form of super 8 home movies.

Director: Jim Van Bebber
Stars: Marcelo Games, Marc Pitman, Leslie Orr
The Deliberate Stranger (TV Movie 1986)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Based on a true story, this film depicts the life of Theodore Robert Bundy, the serial killer. In 1974, after having murdered several young women, he leaves Seattle for Utah, where he is a ... See full summary »

Director: Marvin J. Chomsky
Stars: Mark Harmon, Frederic Forrest, George Grizzard
Documentary | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

For forty years, Charles Manson has survived most of his life in what he calls 'the hallways of the all ways,' the reform schools, jails and prisons that have been his home and tomb. His ... See full summary »

Director: Nikolas Schreck
Stars: Charles Manson, Nikolas Schreck, Zeena Schreck
Manson Family Movies (Video 1984)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

In response to the legend that the "Manson Family" may have filmed themselves in some of theirs exploits, this film is a re-creation as to what a film of their may have been like. The film,... See full summary »

Director: John Aes-Nihil
Stars: Rick the Precious Dove, John Aes-Nihil, Katie Lazarus
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Betty Broderick stands trial for shooting her ex husband and his new bride.

Director: Dick Lowry
Stars: Meredith Baxter, Judith Ivey, Ray Baker
The Legend of Lizzie Borden (TV Movie 1975)
Drama | History | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A dramatization of the famous 1893 Massachusetts trial of the woman accused of murdering her father and stepmother with an ax.

Director: Paul Wendkos
Stars: Elizabeth Montgomery, Fionnula Flanagan, Ed Flanders
Fatal Vision (TV Mini-Series 1984)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A retiree spends nine years relentlessly seeking to prove that his son-in-law, a former Green Beret Army doctor, murdered his pregnant wife and two children.

Stars: Karl Malden, Eva Marie Saint, Barry Newman
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A radio 'detective' gets involved with a wealthy socialite who can't seem to stop hiccuping due to the machinations of a ghostly cupid who works his magic to cause mayhem and laughter throughout the film.

Director: Ralph Thomas
Stars: Carol Marsh, David Tomlinson, Mervyn Johns
Are You in the House Alone? (TV Movie 1978)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Teenage girl is plagued by harassing phone calls. Her fear mounts when she's babysitting at a neighbor's home one evening and the caller rings her at that number.

Director: Walter Grauman
Stars: Kathleen Beller, Blythe Danner, Tony Bill
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Christina Hart ...
Cathey Paine ...
...
Aaron Stovitz
...
...
Ronnie Howard
George Garro ...
Rosner
Vic Werber ...
Lt. Brenner
Wright King ...
Friend
...
William Garretson
Edward Bell ...
Sgt. Hank Kruger
...
Punchy
Edit

Storyline

Chilling story of the investigation and trial of Charles Manson, leader of a strange cult which under his direction and 'control' committed numerous murders. Written by Jerry Milani <jmilani@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His name is Charles Manson. His disciples call him God. HE PREACHED DEATH!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 April 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Massacre in Hollywood  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film almost was not shown in Los Angeles because network executives were afraid that it would stir up bad memories, especially since it had been only seven years since the murders. See more »

Goofs

One detective shows others how The Beatles' "White Album" has a song called "Helter Skelter". As he tells them this, he points to the Apple Records label on the record. The problem is, the label he's pointing to is the "sliced" label, which appeared on the even numbered sides of that (and any) Apple album. Since the song "Helter Skelter" appears on Side 3, the label should be of a green apple's body. See more »

Quotes

Ronnie Howard: What's your name, honey?
Susan Atkins: Sadie. Sexy Sadie.
See more »


Soundtracks

I'm Scratching Peace Symbols on Your Tombstone
(a.k.a. "First They Made Me Sleep in the Closet")
Written by Charles Manson
Performed by Steve Railsback and assorted "Family" members
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Remake...WHY???
25 January 2004 | by (usa) – See all my reviews

It's not bad enough that Hollywood is so addlepated as to think that they can improve upon the quirky genius of Willy Wonka with special effects, or the cinematic perfection of 1967's In Cold Blood, now they are remaking what is still an effective frightener of a movie as Helter Skelter? I weep for Hollywood sometimes...but I digress...

TV movies have not really come very far in this generation when compared to the movies of the 70's or very early 80's. Sure, they can get away with some language that they couldn't before, and maybe a little more skin. But there lacks the explorative nature of storytelling the miniseries of that bygone era once gave us. Case in point, the 1976 TV movie, Helter Skelter. The chronological point of view takes the viewer through the important milestones of prosecutor Bugliosi (very accurately portrayed by Geo. DiCenzo) and his search for answers in what seems to be a motiveless crime. But as most people should know by now, there is no such thing as murder without motivation--every killer has his/her reasons. It just depends on whether or not the evidence shows that motive. And that evidence can be something as overt as a letter, or something as minute as an object placed upon a victim or even how the victim is left...The motive is always there; and in recent years, maybe the last 20 or so, profiling experts have proved this. But in the late 1960's, profiling was unknown, and the search for a motive was dependent upon good old fashioned legwork and long hours staring at notes. The book Bugliosi wrote of course goes into far more detail about how formidable a task this was for such a notorious and violent crime as the one depicted. But for the 3-plus hours of this film, we get a lot of information indeed, and it only serves the viewer to get as complete an education as possible about Manson, his vagabond followers, and the collective insanity that ensued. Actually, I suppose with our rash of reality shows, we are seeing more of that 'collective insanity' when people are thrown together without many means of escape...again, I digress...Overall, the acting was formidable, effective, and quite fearless for its time period--I can't recall another TV movie where the actors swallowed their roles with as much gusto without going way over the top, to the point of caricaturizing. Truly, this is a small but bizarre chapter in criminology, and everyone involved in this movie had their work cut out for them. They did not disappoint, and they don't disappoint us. Neither did the film-makers by dumming up the story to be more acceptible to the masses, which is the hallmark of its era, and sadly is ALL too common in the television fare as of late. This is a horrible and weird story that deserves to be told in toto. Kudos to the film-makers and actors who did not insult the viewers' intelligence levels, and told as much of the truth as they could cram in to the alloted time.

One more interesting note: Much has been said about Manson's subsequent interviews and parole hearings displaying his "madness". I'm going to throw a thought out here--did it ever occur to anyone that this is the image he WANTS us to have? If you've done your homework, you know the famous tale of how he has repeatedly asked not to be released. Maybe, just maybe, do you suppose that his disconnected ramblings, fits of anger, bizarre diatribes about ninjas and wildlife--perhaps even the motive for such overly gruesome and notorious crimes--are his way of guaranteeing that he will indeed never get out of prison again? That this is all an act so that the prison and the public will think he's a looney and keep him locked up? He has been tested with an above-average intelligence with the footnote, 'master manipulator who can seemingly talk anyone into anything', after all. And not so impossible...Now THERE'S something to think about!!


22 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
does anyone feel they should be released after 39/40 years? johnq0583
The Beatles Responce??? convoy34
Tate/Polanski house quakeworld
The old lady in the cage?? laranadtony
Would have liked to have heard the Defense's summary borg1005-1
Anyone going to watch new movie notspecial
Discuss Helter Skelter (1976) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?