After the non-Manson brilliance of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2nd best MOTY after Joker) movies are being retitled and rereleased like House Of Manson, if you‘re looking for the best ever CM performance, then it is Ryan Kiser in that film. Then there are cheap cashins – like The Manson Family Massacre.
Firstly, the title makes no sense, The Family were the people who hung around Charlie waiting for Helter Skelter, when they would all rise up and, you know, be in charge of stuff. Only a few of them were at Cielo Drive. I dunno, maybe this film is not meant for someone like me who has read all the books and seen all the films and, you know, researched the death of the sixties. Maybe it is for those people who just pop the corn and say “These people were terrible”.
On the plus side…cause you know there are downers coming… The actor Derek Nelson playing Bobby Beausoleil is fantastic, he totally shows the manic behaviour, the smile followed by the punch, he seems to be channeling Brian Pillman‘s wrestling madness, which is a compliment as BP was a great performer too. Brendee Grenn is also good as (deep breath) Margot Lavigne (sigh) a 90‘s singer who goes to the house for inspiration after reading about Manson.
Add to the positives (I‘m really trying here!) the fact that they include the Gary Hinman murder and Hinman is portrayed as weasly as he always seems in reports. You feel nothing when he dies. And now, let‘s talk about the bad stuff. Firstly, this feels like two films stuck together. The Cielo Drive tragedy and a rubbish Twilight Zone episode. Yes, as well as showing the 10050 killings, it tells the story of a 90s musician who moves into the house and…well, what? I wonder if the makers of this know about Trent Reznor making the genius The Downward Spiral album in the house. Once you know that, this seems ridiculous, Trent went on to make soundtracks, this girl…well you‘ll see.
The murder sections deserve credit for showing (not showing, it‘s out of shot but you know what I mean) the multiple stabbings of the victims at the Polanski house, but also ruin it by showing Sharon running out to see the leaving car who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, not part of the story. The rest of the Family, Charlie is okay, nothing special, he shows his calm side putting the gun in his mouth but then there are black and white sequences where it falls to idiocy. Everyone else, aside from the mentioned BB looks like they came out of an MTV reality show, no feeling, all surface. trash.
Sharon is never coloured in, the actress seems like she is working in a factory, rather than being a pregnant in love Hollywood icon. Rubbish.
So yeah, it is like two films gelled together and neither is really worth your time. House Of Manson. Charlie Says. Charles Manson Superstar. Don‘t waste your time here, while those three exist.