Helter Skelter (2004)

TV Movie  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  16 May 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 2,630 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 12 critic

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



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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joey Dimarco
Detective Morrisy
Sgt. Whiteley
Catherine 'Gypsy' Share (as Yvonne De La Rosa)
Kathryn 'Kitty' Lutesinger


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


How did one man turn all-American teens into cold-blooded killers? See more »


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Official Sites:



Release Date:

16 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Helter Skelter - Le folie de Charles Manson  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In 2001, Jeremy Davies was in preparations for a different independent film about Charles Manson. He made a tape for the filmmakers of himself playing Manson and the tape became a popular bootleg in the industry. CBS cast Davies and allowed him to rewrite his lines due to his performance in the tape. See more »


As Linda is going through Rosemary Labianca's wallet, VISA and Master Cards can be seen. In 1969 Visa was called Bank AmeriCard and Master Card was called Master Charge. See more »


Sharon Tate: [cries] Please don't kill me!
Susan 'Sadie' Atkins: Look, bitch, I have no mercy for you.
Sharon Tate: Please let me live so I can have my baby...
Susan 'Sadie' Atkins: [Susan stabs Sharon, then Patricia joins in]
See more »


References Cry for Cindy (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

Complements the 1976 original
17 May 2004 | by (Columbia, South Carolina, USA) – See all my reviews

If you are really interested enough in the whole Manson affair to

devote 7 hours to it, it would probably be best to see this together

with the 1976 original, because the two fascinatingly complement

each other like yin and yang, or two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

Moreover, in spite of the chronology of their release, it would

probably be better to see the 2004 version first, then the 1976

version. The 1976 version begins with the murders already having

occured, whereas the 2004 version focuses mainly on the events

leading up to the murders, and hardly at all on the legal aspects. It

could be summed up: 1976 version, mostly detective and legal

work, 2004 version, mostly a psychological study.

The 2004 version succeeds quite well in showing how Manson

had the power that he did. Nothing that Manson says makes

much sense; he exhibits what shrinks call tangentiality, i.e., the

inability to focus on a point. While this leads most people to avoid

Manson in the outside world, in the cloistered environment of

Manson's commune, it forces the listener to listen all the more

closely. In Jeremy Davies' riveting performance, Manson seems

almost oracular; the very obscurity of what he was saying can

make him seem, to the young naifs with whom he surrounded

himself, profound. It is easy to see how they found him hypnotic.

Davies makes Manson seem scarier than ever.

40 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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