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3.1 out of 5 stars22
3.1 out of 5 stars
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on 26 June 2014
This film uses some superb methods from 60s films like Performance and old Hammer films esp all of the gore. The best aspects are Sexy Sadie who was so realistic she appeared to be a re-incarnation and the acid rock sound track. Basically a correct re-telling of the story though there could have been more on how Manson came out of prison and gate crashed the Summer of love party. The most sinister aspect was the actual interview with CM in jail - that was genuinely scary. The film about the making of the film was gripping but they come across as being a bit overly pleased with themselves. They can still improve upon this. The best film is the 1976 made for TV film. Also Manson didn't really seem that accurate - his hair was too long and did he really dress like the devil in the orgy scene? And why no mention of the Process that influenced him so much?
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on 28 July 2014
Dark, disturbing, and by far the best thing i have ever seen relating to the Manson family murders.
The film does have a few elements that don't do it justice like the future generation scenes but on the whole the film just nails the mood, and atmosphere, of this deeply disturbing true event, all filmed in 16 mm film stock, which adds immensely to the era the film is set in and gives the film an authentic documentary quality, that puts this film in a league by itself in this genre.
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on 13 June 2015
Good film and as close to the actual events as possible my empathy is with the victims and their families .how they were killed was terrible and cruely inhuman . This film shows that and doesn't put Manson and his mindless automatons in a good light. None of them should be released and this film explains why. I think the soundtrack should of been more variated to other artists or musicians as well as Phil Anselmo and his 10 thousand projects but a good film about a little despicable manipulator and his mindless followers.
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on 8 December 2005
A triumph of low budget, no correction, NO budget film-making this alternates between moments of excellence and equal moments of chaotic mess. Well done Vanbebber for working away and getting the thing finished but there are some weak things on display here. The biggest bad move was the inclusion of the "modern" Mansonites and their slaying of the news anchor man. Hopless and laughable in the extreme. On the other hand the 60's / 70's footage, for the most part, is very good and convincing. A good example of how having no money and poor grade film stock really adds to the look and feel. Still one of the best "fan" movies out there and truly ambitious. Comparing this to other independent horror film fair rubbish demonstrates how this work is simply miles ahead of the crowd.
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VINE VOICEon 27 February 2005
Apparently this film showed to London audiences in 2004 and was universally panned by the critics.Let me start by saying that I have a fascination for Charles Manson and The Family. I remember when it all happened in the late 60s, I saw the CBS documentary in the 70s (?) and I have read both 'Helter Skelter' and Manson's own 'Without Conscience'. This fascination doesn't extend to the hero worship that he seems to have achieved? I am fully aware that he is totally insane, having seen interviews with him on TV. The power that he managed to exert over his followers and indeed the affect that he has had on popular culture is nothing short of spectacular. The Family and Altamont signified the death of the Peace and Love Generation and the realisation that humanity is basically violent and not able to exist in peace.
And so onto this dvd. Whatever you have seen before, this will shock you. This is a disturbing film. Not so long ago it would never have made it to dvd?
It is filmed in a documentary style, with grainy interviews with actors playing the part of Family members. It is the story from inside the Family, rather than the story of Charles Manson. There are a lot of drug crazed, group sex and blood orgies, some of them being quite disturbing (e.g. the dog sacrifice, Charlie crucifixion, acid orgy). There is a soundtrack of psychotic organ and feedback guitar, interspersed with the sound of climaxing women. And there is the violence. This is not the sanitised, comic book violence of Hollywood. This is the most graphic, vivid, bloody and brutal violence that you are ever likely to see on a legal dvd?! It is Texas Chainsaw Massacre crossed with the drug fuelled excesses of Easy Riders' acid scene in the New Orleans graveyardn?!) with Snuff thrown in for good measure! Excessive? The true story is excessive! The Family really did cut the unborn baby out of Sharon Tate's womb! That is excessive!? I believe that it is necessary to the film. Disturbing? Without a doubt. If you aren't affected by this film you need therapy!
To add to it, there is a side story about some modern Mansonites, who are drug crazed, sado-masochistic psychos. Apparently some of the cast didn't like this being added to the film (which began filming in 1988!) but I think that it works in the way that it shows how some aspects of society will make a hero of the most evil, disturbed individuals and be influenced by them.
So is it a good film? It is one of the most disturbing, vilolent films that I have ever seen. No, make that THE most disturbing, violent film that I have ever seen! I think that it is a masterpiece. If you think that you can handle it, watch it!
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on 25 July 2009
This movie rocks, I loved it. Jim Van Bebber has created a monster of a movie. Just read "Coming Down Fast" and this movie really tied in with trying to get your head around the whole madness of the story. A shocking, brutal telling of the Manson Family and the horrific crimes. Some creative license is taken by adding a hypothetical contemporary connection to the Manson family, assuming the family has a lineage. Watch it!
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on 4 August 2015
This wasn't the film I thought it was and it was just the weirdest thing I have ever seen.
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on 29 December 2014
Did not know this would look amazing on blu...including his new short GATOR GREEN
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on 20 January 2007
The first thing you have to understand that this is not just a B-movie based on a bunch of murders and making a true story an excuse to make alot of bloody death scenes put into a film.

This is actually a fairy realistic film of the true events of the Manson family murders and dont get me wrong, this film has some terribly violent scenes, yet the vast length of this film is mainly about the events that lead to the murders and what caused the poeple to do what they did. That-plus-there is a little twist at the end which sees the manson family uprising again.

The acting isnt all magnificent and you can tell this is a budget film, but due to its extreme realism and surprisingly good picture (thanks to the surprisingly good DVD), this film doesnt look to dated or badly made when you get into the flow of the story.

Like i said earlier, this film does mainly show the event that lead the manson family members to kill, and how exatly they were brainwashed, the film does have alot of sex and nudity, plus a fair amount of drug use in the scenes that follow up to the disturbingly realistic and brutal killings of the familys. The murders themselves arent all that bloody compared to those of a film that revolves around the death scenes, such as a bloody slasher film. Yet the killings in this film are genually some of the most disturbing ive seen in films, so fans of this kind of thing should enjoy the climax of this film, Yet like i said before, this films violence is not the centerpiece of the film, so do not buy this film as i did in search of a super gory slasher film, because the killing is only at the very end of the movie.

This film also covers up alot of misconceptions of Charlie Manson, as in this film he only kills one person, if that. This film shows you what really happend with that little twist to make it into a movie that isnt like the rest.

This is also a docemantary style film and although the actors blatantly act as the people involved in the murders it does add alot of realism to the film, and the style in which the film is made, how each scene moves to the next from shots of the currently runnign manson members to the documentary style quotes the whitneses give to the main story. This is a very well made and extrememly wel directed movie when you really look into it.

I would reccomend this to anyone who likes disturbing B-movies, and dont mind watching 7/8th's of a movie to get to the murders or someone who is intrerested in the Manson murders may want to watch this but the hard-core Manson buffs may find this a bit unrealist as it does twist the truth a little to make it into a movie thats watchable by more audiences. Overall though this is a little gem of movie making, and a decent sex 'n' horror flick. And to be honest, i baught mine for 2 quid and the asking prices on amazon dont look like their gonna be much higher. The extras on this 2 disc version are also pretty good considering how quiet this film has kept and as i said earlier, the picture is pretty good.
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on 11 June 2012
Given this movie's zero budget, its reliance on grand guignol for cheap impact is perhaps understandable. Unfortunately that is all it has to offer. As a substitute for atmosphere or any sense of period, we are given annoying digitally distressed footage. In place of ideas or insights, we get nakedness and gore. Instead of an opportunity to empathise with any of the characters, we are pulled out of the action constantly by faux-documentary "interviews" which are presumably intended to compensate for the inability of the film-maker to tell a story by dramatic means. It doesn't work.

The framing device of some supposedly modern-day Manson followers running and doing their stuff is truly laughable and lends the whole effort an air of bathos and unintentional comedy. I've never before seen a movie undermine itself quite so severely. Most of the time it feels like an over-the-top heavy metal video crossed with some dubiously daring "alt-porn".

I'm surprised that some reviewers say that they find this movie to be so disturbing. I suppose it is because it is real murders that are being reenacted. Given that these events took place in fairly recent memory, it all amounts to a nasty exercise in exploitation with no positive qualities to justify it. What is truly bizarre is that this trash is being marketed by Anchor Bay as a "horror classic", which sets the bar so low you could trip over it. It doesn't say much for the genre.

If anyone is genuinely interested in the story of the Tate-LaBianca murders, the Academy Award-nominated 1973 documentary "Manson" is indispensable and far more chilling as it is told through actual interviews with Family members.
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