After one too many encounters with The Spiders (a rival gang), The Ravens' leader's girlfriend tells him to quit the gang or it's Splitsville. He does so, but the leader of The Spiders is ... See full summary »
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 »
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 »
Rick the Precious Dove,
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 »
A TV talk-show hostess and her boyfriend investigate a shady magician whom has the ability to hypnotize and control the thoughts of people in order to stage gory on-stage illusions using his powers of mind bending.
Master Ota demonstrates all 18 Shorin Ryu Kata, both at a learning speed and at full speed. All forms are performed in the traditional Okinawan style and can be learned in this easy to ... See full summary »
'Inside the MANSON Gang' The incredible behind the scenes, exclusive footage and true story of the most notorious white gang in American history, and the Trial of the 20th Century. Robert ... See full summary »
If you think you know the story of the Manson Family, you are dead wrong. On a ranch outside of Los Angeles, the dream of the "Love Generation" is transforming into something evil. What was once an oasis of free love and acid trips has become ground zero for a madman's paranoid visions. An average group of kids, the "Family," become engulfed in a delusional world where torment and slaughter are considered the path to righteousness.Director Jim VanBebber (Deadbeat at Dawn) delivers a dizzying, rapid-fire vision of the sex and violence that unifies the misguided group, a group hell-bent on executing the brutal vision of its leader, Charles Manson. You've seen the story through the eyes of the law. Now witness it through the eyes of THE MANSOSN FAMILY. Written by
Of all the highly publicized American murder cases of the 20th century, the massacres committed by cult leader Charles Manson's followers in 1969 are probably the most infamous. Despite never personally killing anyone, Manson is still often seen as some kind of embodiment of evil and thus an object of constant curiosity. Several films have been made about "The Family" over the decades, one of them being Jim Van Bebber's semi-mocumentary finally released in 2003 after having been in production for nearly 15 years.
The frame story of the warped cinematic trip takes place in 1996 when a TV reporter named Jack Wilson (Carl Day) is preparing to interview the incarcerated Family members for his program. Some kind of strange modern followers of Manson have sent him a videotape and are not going to leave their interference at that. The bulk of the film consists of faux-interviews with the Family members and psychedelic flashbacks of scenes from the time preceding the murders. The interviewees Leslie, Bobby, Sadie, Patty and Tex seem to regret their actions, while Manson himself is only seen in the flashbacks as portrayed by Marcelo Games.
Instead of a clear, tightly-written plot the jumpy movie favours a fragmented sensory mindf**k kind of approach to its subject. The film's exploitation roots become highly evident during the long home video-like flashbacks illustrating the interviewees' memories full of hazy drug use and gratuitous nudity and sex. The lighting is mostly very richly coloured in red or blue, creating a fittingly otherworldly feel to the scenes of cult bonding under the influence of the charismatic Manson who is seen entirely through the eyes of his followers: he doesn't speak much and remains a distant character throughout. The intentionally grainy, worn-out and damaged look of the film (not only the flashbacks) strengthens the alienating atmosphere as well.
At times the film effectively captures the distressing, insane state of mind that the Family members can be imagined to have been in. The Devil worshipping orgy is a highlight among the bizarre scenes, but the colourfully lit final massacres testing the audiences' tolerance to excessive gore are a must see for any fan of hard horror too. The prolonged knife violence and maniacally laughing killers are pretty much what people (or at least me) are looking for in sleazy trash movies like this one anyway, so in that sense Van Bebber and Co. have achieved their goal with flying colours. Perhaps some of the acting is not the most realistic ever, but I cannot consider that a major flaw in a film that is so heavily focused on the effects of brainwashing and not being in touch with one's regular self.
In a way The Manson Family is a relative of Oliver Stone's controversial media satire Natural Born Killers (1994), but ultimately comes across as sleazier and more nihilistic since the satirical aspect is less pronounced. I am not sure if the filmmakers have taken a lot of artistic license with the presentation of how the actual events took place; in the end it doesn't even matter since the movie never strives to be an accurate portrait of Manson as a person. As an examination of disturbing group psychosis it works enjoyably and is recommended to those into exploitative true crime stories.
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