Friday, September 21, 2012

The Manson Family (2003)

Paradoxical in it's presentation, The Manson Family (formerly known as Charlies Family) somehow manages to largely fall flat on its face as a period piece set in the 60's yet comes out head and shoulders above the rest of the films currently aping older methods in the crusade to find the ever elusive and highly trendy 70's style of film making. A lot of it's success in that is obviously due to the fact that production on the film began WAY back in 1988 and for a variety of reasons didn't see the light of day in it's fully operational, ass thrashing glory until 2004.

The fact that it was probably intended to be released as a below low budget flick in the 80's explains it's failure to fully gel as a movie set 20 or so years earlier. That's not to say that the film is devoid of moments that do somehow capture the moment but the overall feeling is scrambled and comes out as a stew of eras . Some of the clothing worn by various characters throughout the film betray the year of production though it must be said that most people save the overly analytical and paranoid will not notice any of this shit nor give a fuck if they did. Hey, I saw a Jimi Hendrix poster in Oliver Stone's 'The Doors' that had on it a logo that was concocted for the early 90's re-issues of the Experience albums , so if Oliver Stone can get away with it then fuck it!

One of my favorite things about this film is the rapid fire editing. There is so much shit coming at you from the screen , so much eye candy , that I wouldn't doubt there's some sore ridden dope fiend out there that OD'd on the amount of visual narcotics this thing throws out and pumps into your brain. It may not come across as the most convincing 60's period piece but it sure as fuck holds high the tattered and vomit soaked flag of the 80's when films such as Street Trash, The Toxic Avenger, Evil dead 1&2 and Bad Taste were raising the bar so high that even today you'd think Hollywood aint shit but a bunch of  castrated midgets with a big nigger standing beside 'em screaming "jump Judy, jump !" ......Yeah, that's about the stretch of it.

Director Van Bebber is a fucking madman and the amount of blood and guts put into this film and thrown back out is a testament of a true "diamond in the rough" as his short films Deadbeat at Dawn, Roadkill: The Last Days of John Martin and My Sweet Satan only further prove. Everyone in this film puts so much of themselves into it that I'm taken aback and eventually filled to the brim with resentment and discouragement that the so called "stars" of Hollywood, the ones with the golden meal ticket, the ones who are making it suck so fucking bad are incessantly shoved down your throat year after year and people like Van Bebber and crew are barely scraping by, largely unnoticed and getting panned by clueless critics who choke on the long shriveled cocks of washed up has beens like Pacino, DeNiro and other empty Hollywood lames such as Julia Roberts. Fuck, even Michelle Rodriguez and her scowling puss somehow manage to stay employed. What the fuck is wrong with the world?

As far as facts go Van Bebber seems to kinda do his own thing (to an extent) which is fine by me as there have been a k'jillion TV movies, reenactments, books and rumors all giving their take throughout the years and assuredly a spin to go along with it. I have my own opinion on the Manson case and whatever I believe went down the one thing I'm sure of is that Manson should've been freed a long fuckin' time ago. Of course he'll never get out as the media and the overall powers that be have invested too much into the Manson mythos and surely couldn't afford to renege on earlier claims in the eyes of all the weak minded chumps , of which the number is staggering , that bought into the hoopla from the beginning. It's called saving face. Manson was a scapegoat in the war on American citizens as they began to question the government's foreign policy and many other things. They saw in him the perfect candidate with which to exploit and demonize the rebellious youth of that time. For the first time since the Civil War America was in danger of imploding and desperate times call for desperate measures.

Whatever your opinions are of the infamous Tate/LaBianca Murders, if you have any to begin with, they should have little or nothing to do with the impact of this groovy little indie. Van Bebber's Manson Family unquestionably ranks with the earlier works of Raimi, Peter Jackson, Tobe Hooper, Wes Craven and all of the other genre masters who have left their mark (only to later find that their wrists have mysteriously gone limp with no cure in sight!) and went on to become genre icons respectively.

Quite simply, The Manson Family fucking rules and deserves your "devoted" attention. Watch this movie, go start a cult in the desert or the woods somewhere, drop lots of acid and fuck like banshees in the wild and for God's sake, kill your fucking creators!


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