This list of eleven documentaries about the Manson Family’s atrocities will leave you in a state of shock and disbelief.
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Charles Manson was a convicted felon and cult leader. Members of his “family” were referred to as “Helter Skelter.” His most notorious victims were those implicated in the Tate–LaBianca murders, which he was intimately associated with the terms “Helter Skelter.”
Since his death in 2017, there has been some type of buzz around him, and numerous pieces of entertainment have focused on him and his life during his most active years. If you’re curious about Charles Manson and the Manson Family, you must see the ten films listed below.
1. Helter Skelter
Helter Skelter was the title of a book written by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry in 1974, and a television movie with the same title aired over two nights in 1976. When Charles Manson used the song’s title as a metaphor to allude to a potential racial conflict, the band’s moniker was born. An investigation led by a Los Angeles District Attorney, Vincent Bugliosi, monitored the activities of the Manson Family, and Bugliosi went on to write about it all. An further film based on the novel was released in 2004.
2. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Thanks to Quentin Tarantino, the film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has just been released. As the title suggests, it is set in 1969 and centers on an actor and his stunt double. Although Sharon Tate and her husband, filmmaker Roman Polanski, move into the house next door, this film actually focuses mostly on Charles Manson.
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Rick Dalton, stunt double Brad Pitt portrays Cliff Booth, Margot Robbie portrays Sharon Tate, and Austin Butler portrays Charles “Tex” Watson, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, and Charles Manson is played by Damon Herriman (and Herriman also plays Manson in Mindhunter).
3. The Manson Family
It was released in 2003 to tell Charles Manson’s tale and that of his wife and children. Using interviews and flashbacks, this group’s period living in a commune, breaking into residences in Los Angeles, and leading up to the evening surrounding the Tate-LaBianca parties may be explained in detail. Immediately following the events of that night, the film shows Manson being arrested and utilizing his supporters to speak out in the media in order to defend him. Some of the show’s notable cast members include Marcello Games, Marc Pitman, Leslie Orr, and Maureen Allisse.
4. Live Freaky Die Freaky
Live Freaky Die Freaky, a documentary on Charles Manson’s life in stop-motion animation, is available online. In 2006, it was released on DVD and in a few cinemas. In the future, a nomadic nomad discovers Helter Skelter and believes it to be the Bible.
After hearing Manson’s story and believing that he was a savior, he even puts a “X” on his forehead. For this independent film, actors like Billie Joe Armstrong, Kelly Osbourne as well as Travis Barker and Benji and Joel Madden were also included in it.
5. The Six Degrees Of Helter Skelter
As of 2009, there is a crime documentary titled The Six degrees of Helter Skelter. Scott Michaels, a well-known Hollywood historian, tells the narrative, and it’s packed with fascinating details: Unreleased autopsy reports and music from The Manson Family are included, as well images and in-depth analyses of more than 40 locations associated with the notorious serial killer. Michael Dorsey directs this film on Charles Manson’s life, with a focus on the 1969 killings committed by Manson and his followers.
6. Charles Manson Superstar
Charles Manson Superstar, a film based on the life of the notorious serial killer, was produced in 1989. Filmmaker Nikolas Schreck has created Charles Manson Superstar that includes Charles Manson’s own comments on his actions and the reasoning behind them.
“Clang Bang Clang,” “Mechanical Man,” and other Manson songs are featured in the documentary. The interviews with Manson were taped in San Quentin Prison while he was in custody.
In 1973, the film Manson was released as a follow-up to the first. Fromme’s daughter, Squeaky, appears in a number of interviews in this one. Images from famous places including Spahn Ranch, Barker Ranch, and the Hall of Justice in Los Angeles are included in the collection.
For the soundtrack, director David Fincher enlisted former members of the Manson Family Brooks Poston and Paul Watkins. As a result of this, a U.S. district court judge ordered the film to be banned from theaters in 1975, so that Fromme could have a fair and fast trial.
8. Charlie Says
Charlie Says was screened as part of the 75th Venice Film Festival. The story of a graduate student who met three of Charles Manson’s female followers and tried to assist them understand what was going on and what they were truly involved in was told in this biographical film, which was released in 2019 by IFC Films.
Actors Hannah Murray (Game of Thrones’ Gilly), Suki Waterhouse (Gossip Girl’s Mary Brunner), Chace Crawford (The Boys) and Matt Smith (Doctor Who and The Crown) were all cast in the parts of Leslie Van Houten, Mary Brunner and Tex Watson.
9. The Haunting Of Sharon Tate
The Haunting of Sharon Tate, a film about Charles Manson’s most famous victim, focuses on actress Sharon Tate. This suspense thriller was released in 2019 and starred a number of well-known actors and actresses, including Hilary Duff, who has been in shows like Lizzie McGuire and Younger as well as films like A Cinderella Story and Cheaper by the Dozen.
As Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls, Jonathan Bennett portrayed Jay Sebring. Abigail Folger was played by Lydia Hearst, a model and the great-granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst and Patty Hearst (all of whom have significant backstories).
10. Manson Family Vacation
As can be seen, there are several works written about this famed figure, far more than those included here. That leaves us with Manson Family Vacation as our final recommendation for today. Two brothers (one a family guy, the other a fan of Charles Manson’s family) tour Charles Manson’s murder sites in Manson Family Vacation, which premiered at SXSW in 2015. After that, it was also available on Netflix. The cast includes Jay Duplass as Nick, Tobin Bell as Blackbird, and Matt Bennett as Buddy Holly.