As Manson, Steve Railsback's performance is What makes this film worth watching is that it is a true story Manson had no qualms about killing innocent people. And he sought to sublease that evil to weaker personalities, like Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, Leslie Van Houten, and other members of his hippie clan. And that power over others in turn fed his megalomania. Manson was a cultural scavenger, a junk man without conscience.
He and his "family" subsisted on food from dumpsters behind supermarkets. And at one point in the film, he even says he wouldn't mind prison chow; "it's better than eating garbage". What a statement. It says a lot about him and about his followers. Scarecrow 3 February Stunning, matter-of-fact television film runs around three hours but holds it's grip the entire time. Steve Railsback is absolutely mesmerizing.. Most notable was pregnant actress Sharon Tate, famous director Roman Polanski's woman, along with others in the house that horrible night.
Along with those were the La Biancas, also unfortunate chosen victims of the Manson followers. Along with Railsback chilling portrayal was Nancy Wolfe as Susan Atkins who will bring eerie goosebumps as she describes in luridly evil yet coldly and unapologetically detail how she murdered Sharon Tate as she begged for herself and the unborn baby she was carrying. Not to mention how she describes the "gurgling sound" that a victim makes choking in their own blood. We also hear about how a fork was used to carve "war" in Mr. La Bianca's torso. Another interesting..
George DiCenzo portrays DA Vincent Bugliosi, the man whose life would certainly be effected by the immense strain of putting together an extremely difficult case against Manson.. Excellent TV movie look at the dark side of the sixties. Infofreak 27 December It is mainly a courtroom drama and within those limitations it is a successful one, but it's too bad that it didn't have a larger budget and more ambition. Steve Railsback is an impressive find as Manson.
He gives a chilling and accurate portrayal. Unfortunately Railsback never became the star he threatened to be, and has had a checkered career ranging the sublime 'The Stunt Man' to the ridiculous 'Barb Wire'. He has always been a talent no matter how dubious the material he has had to work with. The rest of the cast are adequate and are largely unknowns, though horror fans will get a buzz out of Linda Kasabian being played by Marilyn Burns of Tobe Hooper's 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and 'Eaten Alive'.
Overall an interesting look at a turbulent era.
Maybe one day Sharon Tate and 6 other people were horribly slaughtered in two nights of senseless killing by Manson and some of his devotees. Much of the movie deals with the prosecutor,Vincent Bugliosi,and his courtroom quest to convict the heartless butchers. Bugliosi also wrote the definitive book about the killings that you should also be sure to read.
It will scare you like no work of fiction ever could.
Railsback is perfect in every way in his portrayal of Manson. He has the voice and mannerisms down and it would be hard for a casual viewer to tell the difference between clips of Manson and Railsback,he is that good. Marylin Burns plays Linda Kasabian,one of the family members.
But she will forever be best known for playing screaming Sally Hardesty in the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Being a TV movie of course the gore is pretty tame but even without the graphic gore this movie still makes the horror and awfulness of these murders crystal clear. Railsback shows you the inside of Manson's mind and that is a twisted nasty grubby little thing. Despite attempts by some rock bands and others to make Manson seem cool he is nothing but a runty little sadistic loser who continues to show no remorse to this day.
He will end his senseless little life locked up like the slobbering animal he is. This movie is even better than other later movies made for theater release. It is pretty much faithful to Bugliosi's book and trial transcripts and gives you the best film account of the murders that set Los Angeles and the nation on edge and ended the 's with a big bloody exclamation point. I saw this movie in when I was 16 years old and it scared me to death. The first half came on Thursday night and I did okay with that. The next day I bought the book and watched the second half of the movie. The book states "the book you are about to read will scare the hell out of you".
And it did. When I went to bed that night, I had nightmares so vivid that I could see the killer's car pull up in front of my house. This terror went on for several nights more and I decided that I was too dang scared to read the book so I threw it in a dumpster.
It was 15 years before I would pick that book up again and actually be able to read it. Even then though, it frightened me something terrible. I rented the movie on VHS a few times and it scared me each time, but I loved the movie. I now have it on DVD and I watch it from time to time. The movie, with the clothes and hairstyles is indeed dated but it is still an excellent movie.
On a scale from one to ten, it is a ten. I have since read the book numerous times, but I always heed the warning about it scaring the hell out of you. Anyone that has not seen this movie needs to see it. For me, it is not about the control that Charlie had over his family that is so evil. It is the fact that there are people in this world evil enough to do what they did to their helpless and innocent victims. These murders changed the U.
I read everything I can find about the case, the victims, the killers and everyone else involved. I would like to be in contact with others that are still interested in this bizarre story. My contact information is maryaha yahoo. The Manson murders had nothing to do with "flower power" and the 60's peace movement, as this movie and book eloquently exposed. Instead, the Manson Family was led by a man who successfully posed as a Beatnik hippie, but in reality promoted Neo-Nazi values Jews and blacks were subhuman and were meant to be ruled by the white man, according to Charlie's theorem.
Bugliosi does an excellent job of laying out the legal details of the events, and showing the complications of our legal system and the difficult task of bringing justice. It is unfortunate that today's youth see the legacy of Charles Manson as simply an anti-establishment hippie rebel, instead of the psychotic, bigoted, desparate man that he really was and remains. I am appalled to read that there are imdb.
He was neither. He is neither to this day. It would creep you out, as it shows how completely mad he is, to this very day. And his anger is creepy, too, and I thought he was going to physically harm the female interviewer at one point. When told of some of the things that the now older and wiser "family members" said of him that he asked them to kill for him, that he instructed them in detail, and that they no longer have any regard for him , he just laughed and derided them as getting to be "old broads".
This is a flower child? I've done enough reading of various books and articles about Manson. He was the product of our institutions -- the one point on which he is correct. From childhood on, he never lived a normal life, always an institutionalized life. Then he took on this Messiah persona to impress the only people who were impressed by him -- young teenaged girls or other young women from homes where they felt unwanted. He literally rented them out as sexual favors to his biker pals, whom he was trying to impress and keep on his side.
This was a flower child? He has, and still has, a twisted but skillful mind. As for the stupid premise that Buguliosi "framed him", have these people who write such nonsense read his book? Buguliosi documented, and this was affirmed in such books as "The Family", that Manson actually liked his prosecutor and respected him, and said so, even though there is good evidence that he wanted him dead.
Like I say, Manson is a twisted person. This TV movie is good drama, and totally accurate. Unlike others, I would like to see it redone for the big screen. I think the entire story of Manson's life and of his "family" and what they did to others at the Spahn Ranch before the murders of Sharon Tate and the others, needs to be told. Maybe bring people up to date with interviews with this monster on TV.
No, not Oliver Stone! But to tell it somewhat in the way "In Cold Blood" was transferred from book to movie. I expect to get nasty, threatening replies from Charlie's idiot disciples.
That's right, you are all whacked-out idiots for thinking that he is anything but a monster. Rathko 15 October Nothing is shown of the killings themselves, just the aftermath, and being told from the point-of-view of the investigators, nothing is seen of Manson and his followers in the period leading up to the murders. The whole thing, therefore, is a pretty standard legal procedural thriller, often highlighting the unbelievable incompetence of the LAPD and associated authorities.
The movie has dated, not only in its look, but in its style of storytelling. This extended running time does, however, present an opportunity to go into minute detail about the case, and patience is often rewarded. So fascinating and genuinely chilling are the two characters that these actors create that the movie seems to fall flat when they are not around. I, for one, was far more interested in them than the investigation and wanted to know more about their background, the origins of their unquestionable insanity, their motives, their relationships, and how the Family came in to existence in the first place.
Though these issues are hinted at, none are developed as much as the brilliant characterizations demand. Worth watching for some incredibly cold and chilling performances, but offers little in the way of real explanation for their actions. Hitchcoc 22 January I recall being a young teacher in , visiting an artist friend and watching this film. We had read Vincent Bugliosi's book.
Manson gained celebrity as a latter day Hitler, enticing young lost souls into his lair and sending them off to do his bidding. Those names, Patricia Krenwinckle, Leslie Van Houton, and the others were a part of the popular culture. And Manson, who remains in prison to this day, with those piercing eyes and crazy antics, that swastika on his forehead, was the stuff of horror fiction.
It is believed that Manson intended using the murders to incite an apocalyptic race war he called Helter Skelter, taking the name from the Beatles song. If you could make a vague and far from watertight claim for a couple of the songs Manson recorded prior to the murders having some musical value — not least Look at Your Game, Girl — there is absolutely nothing worth hearing in the subsequent recordings. One of the Rolling Stone reporters sent to interview Manson for the aforementioned cover story, David Dalton, started from the premise that Manson had been framed. We knew that anybody who looked like that could never have done these horrible things they were saying he did.
It was just the pigs picking on some poor hippy guru. After his conviction, Manson initially hung around in the popular imagination as a source of terror. I Drink Your Blood, Deathmaster, The Night God Screamed, Terror on the Beach and The Love-Thrill Murders all featured acid-befuddled commune-dwellers on killing sprees: sometimes they were satanists, sometimes they were Jesus freaks, but there was always a Manson-like figure guiding the murderous action.
Something like that had happened somewhere like this, to people not unlike you, masterminded by a man who had spent a lot of time scouring the lyrics of albums for non-existent reasons to murder, who was driven at least in part by jealousy towards those who had succeeded in the entertainment industry.
In , the defendants were all found guilty and sentenced to death, which was commuted to life when the state briefly did away with the death penalty. Atkins died of cancer four years ago, at the age of Krenwinkel, 65, and Van Houten, 64, are in the California Institution for Women in Chino, where they have been model prisoners and continue to hope for parole. He has confessed to perpetrating all the killings in the case, with the girls mostly just stabbing the victims after they were already dead, for what difference that makes. They have all repudiated Manson.
And Bugliosi, 79, after a lengthy career both as an attorney and a bestselling author, is now mostly resting at his California home, battling cancer and giving the occasional interview. An aura. Wherever he went, kids gravitated toward him. This is not normal. How the hell do I know? How the hell would anyone know? Since then, the books and stories have kept on coming. I first talked to Star in September , and spoke to Manson on the phone two months later, after which he became increasingly squirrelly about seeing me, some days half-agreeing, some days saying no, some days berating me for being a media stooge.
But he changed his mind at the last minute and then, after our initial talk, asked me to come back the next day. The deep-thinkers have also had their say. In , theologian David R. He was the monster in the wilderness, the shadow in the night forest, the beast said to lurk in the Terra Incognita beyond the edges of the map.
This also explains why, in part, the case itself has never gone away, especially on the Internet, where every detail is open to re-examination and reinterpretation. It may have been in the air at the ranch. It may have been talked about during the nightly dinners. But so were lots of things. I can see your brain rattling and running back and forth.
But what happens when that baby dies? So, was it wrong to do it to those people? Visits with Charlie are always taxing for Star, and she takes it easy driving the two miles from his door back to her own. How she got here is pretty much like how many of the Spahn Ranch girls got to where they were going, too, as a reaction to the world around them and how it made them feel. She grew up on the Mississippi River, near St. Louis, had an early fondness for I Love Lucy , had parents who were deeply religious and disliked all her friends. And, like Charlie, she found a way to coexist with such solitary confinement.
Her pad is not large, not well-lit and inexpensively furnished, with a bedroom too messy for her to let me into. A guitar and a violin case are in a corner. No television. On one wall is the great, evocative black-and-white photograph of Charlie at Spahn Ranch, wearing a beat-up side-tilted fedora with a crow on his arm, the rugged Dust Bowl guy who could tame birds.
It was just a crow. Of the original Family girls, only two of the main ones are thought to still believe in Charlie — Sandra Good, now 69, and Squeaky Fromme, She did 34 years in prison and never broke her vow. Star, however, pays little attention to these things. A while later, she sits on a couch talking about a problem she and Gray Wolf are having with a Manson-memorabilia collector named Ben. Every time Manson does something wrong and is sent to solitary, he has to get rid of everything he owns or the state will take it, so he sends the stuff to those who have befriended him, mostly collectors looking for some big future payoff.
Your [sic] toast! People are so weird. Charlie gets up in the morning, leaves his gray concrete cell, goes to breakfast, grabs a bag lunch, comes back, naps, eats his lunch, takes another nap, paces back and forth, maybe plays a game of chess, goes to dinner, has to be back in his cell by p. See, my best friend is in that cell. I like it. He says he always has to be on high alert. Even so, back in , at a different prison, a guy doused him with paint thinner and set his head on fire. So far, they seem to all get along just fine.
He plays his guitar and sometimes offers musical advice to fellow guitarist Corona, the serial killer. He gets thousands of pieces of mail a year, more than any other prisoner. In the late afternoon, he saunters over to the wall where the telephones are.
His phone calls are recorded, but he can make pretty much all the calls he wants, collect only, 15 minutes at a clip, and he makes tons. I know this, because I have been on the receiving end for months now. Are you ready? Carry moonbeams home in a jar? Without killing, we got no chance. It took a while for what he was suggesting to sink in. Like one and one is still one. I recognize you. He brightens right up and admonishes me to go soak my blisters in apple-cider vinegar.
He reserves a goodly amount of venom for Bugliosi. So how could he convince himself of that for all these years? He made the money, he won the case. He got over! Is there no honor in him at all? How many people did she murder onscreen? Was she so pretty? She compromised her body for everything she did. And if she was such a beautiful thing, what was she doing in the bed of another man when that thing jumped off? What kind of shit is that? Put you in the grave. Now Tex was in his debt, man to man.
He took off after that, leaving Beausoleil with an even greater problem than before — what to do with Hinman, who was now wounded and probably ready to go to the police, which would bring the law right to Spahn Ranch. Then he got arrested. What do I do? I know the law. I walk the line all my life. Do whatever the fuck you want to do. I also knew it was none of my business. Although Manson himself told everyone that a recording contract was imminent.
He got their hopes up, you dig? It was part card game, part con, all devil, heh heh. But I won it. He owed me. So, Terry Melcher was part of it. But no one was mad at Terry Melcher. Not really. Tex did what he had to do. Good boy. Good soldier.