The Manson Family (2004)


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Movie Info

The fictitious TV show 'Crime Scene' conducts new jailhouse interviews with the members of Charlie's Family as they recollect the events of the summer of '69. Although the participants, Tex Adie, Lesley and Bobbie, often contradict one another to either show themselves vaguely as innocents or to sensationalize the story event further, the portrait of the '60s ideals of freedom and expression are twisted beyond recognition. The interviews are interspersed with devastatingly authentic dramatic recreations of mythical Manson family home movies. It starts with a group of innocent youths forming a commune, smoking pots, dropping acid, making love and making music. But, when their leader, Charlie, is rejected as an artist and money starts to become tight, the kids change their lifestyle in order to survive.

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Critic Reviews for The Manson Family

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (14)

A nauseating mélange.

Dec 17, 2004 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Its own mythology aside, this flamboyant, graphic and disturbing quasi-docu reenactment of a notorious chapter in U.S. counterculture life is a fascinating if peculiar accomplishment.

Nov 1, 2004
Top Critic

Van Bebber has delivered a stylistically vigorous and often insightful piece of work.

Oct 29, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

There's no real journalism here, just the sort of appalling revisionism that can turn a bloodbath into a beach party.

Oct 29, 2004 | Rating: 0.5/4 | Full Review…

The less-than-persuasive result is like mediocre leftover psychedelic '60s underground cinema.

Oct 28, 2004 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

It seems little more than the heir to Survive!, The Zodiac Killer and other unsavory 1970s horror cheapies that tried to turn a quick buck on real-life tragedy.

Oct 28, 2004 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Manson Family

An effective docudrama about the cult of Manson which features mock interviews with the members of the cult along with flashbacks of their dirty deeds. Lots of sex, nudity, drug taking and graphic bloody stabbings. But it's all been shot in an hallucinogenic way with choppy editing, which I got and understood, but it didn't make for a comfortable viewing experience... a bit too wierd. It's not completely accurate to the original events either. Still, an interesting little fim.

Lee ?
Lee ?

Super Reviewer


Damn this movie was brutal! From the cover of the DVD I thought this movie was going to be more of a documentary. However it really wasnt,there were some interviews followed by some reinactments. The picture quilty of this movie was really,really bad. There was grain everywhere. This movie was creppy though. The Manson family is the story of Charles Manson's followers. How they were brainwashed to thinking that he was a God or something. Thier were many graphic sex scenes,much like a soft core porno. Then there were some of the most brutal deaths scenes I have ever seen! Which is saying alot bevilve me! This movie is defentiley not for the faint of heart. This movie might scare the shit out of you!

Kevin L
Kevin L

Super Reviewer


Interesting film that is most notable for being the infamous Van Beeber film. Years in the making, mostly in post, there were many articles and even a book put out before this film ever saw the light of day. I remember thinking I'd never get to see this. With that kind of anticipation, the film was sure to be a let down. Still, it's a great cross between an art film, bio pic and extreme horror with Van Beeber's expected anarchic style. Good stuff that really deserves a second viewing from me.

Christopher  Brown
Christopher Brown

Super Reviewer

With scenes of extreme violence and sexually explicity, this film based on the true story of Charles Manson and his followers and the murders they comitted is shot partly as a pseudo documentary style film, whilst flashing back to the actual events. Having not known too many of the details before viewing this film, it's difficult to know how much of the film is accurate, however it does prove that the power of suggestion through brainwashing is a dangerous and powerful thing. VERDICT: As long as you are not offended by the sexual nature of this film and have the stomach to watch the details, it's defintely an interesting watch.

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer

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