Monday, March 28, 2016


MANSON Directed By Laurence Merrick and Robert Hendrickson (1973).

The first time I saw this rare documentary which is still only available on VHS was in middle school, it's powerfully depressing and has some of the most idiotic people you've ever seen or heard in your life. All the girls wear punk haircuts and skimpy shorts as they brag about their shotguns and giggle while hurling anarchistic psychobabble your way. The girls cutesy antics wear out real fast. Lots of people have either fetishized these moronic chicks or sampled their dialogue in hardcore songs by Integrity and Poison Idea or industrial weirdos Skinny Puppy. The only reason they convinced half of the actual family members on the lam to participate in this film was because they were all given the opportunity to blab about how awesome they all were. Ah youth, almost all of these people currently wish they'd never met a con artist loser and extreme manipulator like Charlie. The ones interviewed in the film like Steve Clem Grogan aka "Scramblehead", Mary Brunner and Paul Watkins who does the eerie folk soundtrack were all released. Brunner who had a child with Manson, mentions how her baby just plopped out one day without any medical assistance at all! Watkins was a huge snitch and spoke out against the Family early on, he seems disturbed by Charlie's whole deranged concept of love byway of murder. The way Bugliosi breaks down the Helter Skelter concept reminds me of Joe Friday but don't underestimate him, later on he tried to convict GW Bush for war crimes. The whole warped ideology of Manson hearing The Beatles speaking directly to him about The Black Panthers taking over America and exterminating all races besides his appointed group hiding out in Death Valley is almost too idiotic to fathom.

We're warning you with Peace and Love, racial dominance is on your side Chuck

It's really fascinating to hear about how these dopey girls slept with grocery store managers so they could dumpster dive and get the best garbage in order to survive. Manson was basically their pimp and stepped on their necks to live out his messiah fantasy. The older I get the less I understand how any of this even happened, I mean how many drugs can you take before you'd listen to a maniacal dwarf rejected rockstar like Charlie--I just don't get it.

does this Manson caricature I bought on the pier for 5$ look inbred enough? 

Watkins mentions how they were on 30 or 40 acid trips a day, that would probably fry your brain enough to make you fall for any variety of bullshit. They showcase Manson's ceremonial psychedelic embroidered vest with human hair woven in from all of the girls heads and most of their crimes were recorded on it. The girls all enthusiastically boast about this shit like the documentarian is so privileged to hear about it. Later on, Lawrence Merrick was mysteriously killed even before the film was released. The most unsettling part for me was when the narrator talks about how the children born on Spahn Ranch smoked dope, dropped acid and even took part in group orgies! Yikes, these kids, now adults are most likely in intensive therapy I'm willing to believe.

It's actually made from Skunkape's butt hair

Brooks Poston (who joins Watkins on the eerie folk stylings) mentions Dennis Wilson for a couple of seconds and that they're jealous of his mansion. It's quite the opposite, Manson would do anything to latch onto Wilson's fame and the main reason the Tate/ LaBianca Murders were triggered. They were actually searching to butcher Terry Melcher for taking the song "Cease to Exist", changing the lyrics and not paying Charlie his due. There's a really cool documentary about the subject on YT. And there's a funny/terrifying scene in Beach Boys: An American Family, the tv movie, where Dennis' home is taken over by the family and he leaves and never comes back.

I also stole Kokomo from Geraldo's most famous meal ticket, thanks loser!

It gets pretty gross the way Watkins describes the crazy mescaline deflowering virgin's freakout on the beach. It's clear to me that all of these women were being used, in a later interview with Patricia Krenwinkel she even wonders if Charlie ever partook at all and forced all his wasted flunkies to do his bidding.

Nancy Jordan talks about how Manson had bitey sex with her and they do a four shot split screen ala-they told two friends and so on and so on. They talk to Veronica "Ronnie" Howard who says by the time you see this film, I'll most likely be dead because she broke the Tate-Labianca case. She died in 79 a few years later, she was kidnapped and beaten by a gypsy cabdriver, it's not proven however if it was related to her role in the conviction of Susan Atkins. It's pretty sketchy though and that case seems opened ended to me. 

Answer the phone for lesbian dial-a-date!

Atkins, who became a born again Christian in jail and had her leg amputated was released in 2001 and died a few years after. The way they describe her stabbing Sharon Tate's unborn child without any remorse or some dude who blew his brains out while they were fucking as totally "groovy", it's almost impossible to feel any sympathy for her. A lot of these lurid details to to have inspired Roger Watkins to make his film Last House on Dead End Street.     

UGH I don't feel so good I must've eaten too many ladies panties 

I used to have a xerox copy of Charles Manson with a box of celebs on a list that they targeted underneath (it's kind of pathetic to think about now). I love when they describe how they wanted to hang Sinatra on a meathook, skin him alive and sell purses they made out of his flesh to hippie shops! I was actually excited to check out Jim Van Bebber's Charlie's Family (aka The Manson Family) years before it came out and promoted in Deep Red Alert #1.That film threw in scenes from this documentary and went out of its way to make the interviewed subjects look like clowns.

Rocky Dennis post facelift

One of the most irritating bitches in this film is Sandy Good, who brags that their coming revolution will make Nazi Germany look like a picnic. I think if they slipped in some psychiatric drugs or thorazine in with their psychedelic shit, maybe all of this madness would've been avoided. You can obtain this film on a DVD-R signed by Robert Hendrickson for 30$ bucks from the co-director, I'm guessing that no one owns the actual rights to this film. I hadn't thought of this film for awhile until one of my favorite radio shows The Best Show with Tom Scharpling mentioned it, which intrigued me to review it. When I went to TV production school I was obsessed with a couple of things, this movie, the Paul is Dead Beatles theory and made a couple of music videos with the footage, one was for Violent School by The Dead Milkmen.
There have been so many wimpy watered down homogenized TV movie versions of the original story, but this one is the real deal. It's pretty nauseating psychologically and still baffling that this ever happened at all.


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