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The Manson Family (1997)

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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marcelo Games ... Charles Manson
... Charles 'Tex' Watson
Leslie Orr ... Patty Krenwinkel
Maureen Allisse ... Susan 'Sadie' Atkins
Amy Yates ... Leslie van Houten
Jim Van Bebber ... Bobby
Tom Burns ... Clem Watkins
Michelle Briggs ... Linda Kasabian
Sherri Rickman ... Snake
Nate Pennington ... Shorty
M.M. Jones ... Ronald
Carl Day ... Jack Wilson
Jim Sayer ... Bob
Mark Gillespie ... Terry
Paul Harper ... Jerry


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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You've seen the story through the eyes of the law... Now see it through the eyes of The Manson Family See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong grisly violence, strong sexual content/nudity, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

Official site



Release Date:

23 July 2004 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie's Family  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,647, 24 October 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$19,140, 31 October 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Despite the extremely heavy use of violence, sex, nudity and drug use, this film is not banned in any country. See more »


Hippie Trip
Written by Phil Anselmo (as Philip Anselmo) and Ross Karpelman
Performed by Body and Blood
See more »

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User Reviews

A Campy Film For Sure, But It's About Time Someone Showed What Silly Weirdos the Family Was.
30 July 2007 | by See all my reviews

**1/2 out of ****

By golly, it's about time that a film about the Manson Family wasn't made to be more of an event then it really was. I mean sure, it is very tragic that those people died, I always will mourn for their families and them, being that they were innocent people who did not deserve to die, but the family isn't something that should be really feared. When you really break it down, the members of the cult were not smart people. They didn't ask questions as to what was the purpose was for murdering all those innocent people, they didn't see Charlie as someone who should not be taken seriously, and they didn't even know who they were murdering. They were very foolish people, and they should be anything but feared. I don't understand the rationale of someone who finds the incident of the cult to be so shocking. I mean sure, it's shocking that these people actually went out and committed these murders, but they were just a group of people who had obviously lost too many braincells. That is why I thought this was a good movie. Because it is honest, shows the incident from the evil side, and does it in a responsible and realistic manner.

The film structure consists of the members of the family being interviewed in jail about what they did. We briefly see Charlie as the ringleader and we see him as a foolish looking funny man who mostly doesn't know what he is talking about. The film builds up to a Roman Polanski's MACBETH style third act in which the family goes on their killing spree, but by the time they begin to do these things, the audience realizes that these people don't have any rationale except for hate, and they gradually became blinded by it and began thinking that they were doing something of purpose, which they were certainly not.

I don't recommend this to the casual movie goer. People who rent this thinking that it's just a horror film are wrong. This is not just a horror film. This is an extremely disturbing, gruesome, tasteless, and senselessly brutal film that just so happens to depict an honest representation of the family. People who will see this film will wonder if it merits any purpose. Indeed, it may not. That is not the point though. The point is that Mario Vanbebbler wanted to make the most realistic version of The Manson Family as possible, so even though the film may not be good, I am happy to say that he has succeeded in doing exactly what he wanted. That is something I greatly admire, and that's why I like this film.

Not Rated. Adults only. contains explicit violence and sexuality, and drug use.

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