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Movies About Charles Manson

Updated on March 25, 2019
NessMovieReviews profile image

My passion is for films that scare the pants off you and I am always searching for movies that can do just that.

Why Are Horror Movies Based on Manson, So Darn Scary?

A lot of the movies in this article are either 'loosely' based on Charles Manson and his crimes or give off a Manson vibe. Some of these films are the same as true-life accounts of the Manson led killings.

If you are unaware of who Manson is, I urge you to google the guy. His name sparks debate due to his lengthy incarceration. Many of his fans believe Manson's followers committed the crimes, not him. They say he shouldn't have been jailed for life.

He died in 2017, aged 83 and whatever your thoughts on his jail time most agree he is an interesting case.

Perhaps watch some of these recommended movies or look at the list further down the page of movies written specifically about him and decide for yourself.

Was he guilty if he didn't commit the crime himself?

“I'm nobody
I'm a tramp, a bum, a hobo
I'm a boxcar and a jug of wine
And a straight razor ...if you get too close to me”
― Charles Manson

#WolvesattheDoor #Manson #Movies #Horror #Reviews
#WolvesattheDoor #Manson #Movies #Horror #Reviews | Source

Wolves at the Door (2016)

Set in 1969, some friends come together to hold a farewell party. All four are systematically stalked by people who seem to have randomly chosen them to torment.

Notable Cast Members

Kate Cassidy is the only one who presented with any filmography I had seen. She has appeared in TV series Harper's Island and Melrose Place and featured in Nightmare on Elm Street (2010,) Taken (2008) and Black Christmas (2006.)

Director and Screenplay

John R. Leonetti has smashed out the direction for this and for some other pretty cool movies like:

  • Insidious (2011).
  • The Butterfly Effect 2 (2006).
  • Both Annabelle Movies (one in 2014 and one released in 2017).

Gary Dauberman wrote the screenplay and has also penned some of the same things as Leonetti, having written for Annabelle – both editions, Crawlspace (2015) and It (2017) among a lengthy list of others.

Given both their ability in successful films, I think this movie is somewhat underrated.

Interesting Facts

This film is described as ‘loosely’ based around the murder of Sharon Tate by cult members led by Charles Manson. In Wolves at the Door, Sharon (played by Kate Cassidy) is pregnant.

Other characters are named exactly like the people murdered in the original true crime back in 1969. So not really loosely at all.

This film's depictions of the real events was thought to be distasteful exploitative by some critics. They say it shows no regard to the surviving family members of the victims. Some critics object to all films based on these terrible murders.

My Rating and Review

Wolves at the Door is brutal and so is the real story. Sometimes on other true-life crimes. The fact is, it's done all the time. I'd rather know than not know.

I thought it was a terrifying account of the fateful series of deaths that happened. Charles Manson was a monster and so are his followers. He epitomizes what horror is all about and this film captures that. The pace is on an even keel for most of the film. Through camera long shots featuring the killers in the background and other use of low angles, silhouettes, and menacing covered faces, it resulted in an intensity that lasted throughout the film.

The whole set-up is like a game of hide-and-seek except that only one group is really playing.

I often wonder what motivates people to do evil things to ordinary people. As seen in this film the killers pick the couples so randomly it sends a chill down your spine. The acting was particularly believable with Kate Cassidy's performance pinning it all together.

I gave 'The Wolves at the Door' 3.5 knife-wielding psycho's out of 5

#Strangers #LivTyler #ScottSpeedman #Movies #Reviews #Horror
#Strangers #LivTyler #ScottSpeedman #Movies #Reviews #Horror | Source

'The Strangers' (2008)

What's it About?

Kristen and James arrive at his family’s holiday house after being at a wedding. Due to the events we see in a flashback, they are not in the best of minds. Late in the night there is a knock at the door and a woman asks for Tamara and Kristen tells her she has the wrong house and the woman says;

“see you later.”

James leaves the house to buy smokes and while he is gone, events unfold that leave Kristin to believe someone has been in the house. They have. Not only that, the people want James and Kristin dead. It’s a game of survival from there on in.

Notable Cast Members

DollFace is surprisingly model Gemma Ward and Mike, played by Glenn Howerton was in Crank (2006.) Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman play the main roles.

Director and Screenplay

Written and directed by Bryan Bertino, although centered on the true crime story, Bertino said in an interview his true inspiration came from something that happened to him while staying in a remote location and Bryan quoted this story:

“As a kid, I lived in a house on a street in the middle of nowhere. One night, while our parents were out, somebody knocked on the front door and my little sister answered it. At the door were some people asking for somebody who didn't live there. We later found out that these people were knocking on doors on the area and, if no one was home, breaking into the houses"

My Rating and Review

This film is great, I mean it is truly scary. It’s 'terror in company' and resonates heavily with the concept that a group of people can terrorize random people for no reason just as Manson did with his followers.

This movie is disturbing at which I may point out – may make me a horror movie degenerate for having thought so highly of it. I have seen this movie multiple times. The stupid decisions made by the central characters is widely talked about in reviews of this film and sometimes I begin to doubt my intelligence. Then I remember the situational context. I made excuses for James nicking off mid-scene trying to play the hero. Their lack of ability to have a cell phone that works on hand is excused by the backstory of why they are at the remote cabin and gives them room for forgiveness.

I felt the casting was well-selected. Liv Tyler always exudes a certain innocence and Scott Speedman has that 'nice-guy' feel about him. It makes sense for him to try to fix the situation.

At times the intruders seem to have a purpose. As viewers we. want to know what that is. The sequel came out in March 2018, did you find out what their purpose was?

I give 'The Strangers' 4 dead cell phones out of 5.

#idrinkyourblood #mansonmovies
#idrinkyourblood #mansonmovies | Source

'I Drink Your Blood' (1970)

What's It About?

Pretending to not be about Manson when everything about it says it is, this film starts with a bunch of hippies. They cause havoc in a small town seriously injuring and tormenting many people. A young boy decides to get even with the group on a quest for revenge.

Notable Cast Members

Its main stars are Lyn Lowry (The Crazies), Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury (Ghar 1978), Jadin Wong (Little Fockers (2010), Rhonda Fultz (Stigma 1967), and Riley Mills (Family Affair 1967.)

Director and Screenplay

Written and directed by David E. Durston, who also starred in the film as Dr. Oakes, Durston is famous for Stigma from 1972.

My Review and Rating

For a '70s grindhouse film, this movie has some shocking elements that quickly turn ugly. I Drink Your Blood was actually the first film to receive an X rating and features some fairly heavy violence. It does, however, lack some practical effects that are very poorly executed.

It's almost a hybrid Charles Manson story infused with zombies and the performances within it are intense. That's not to say they are good performances though, and there are some really cringe-worthy moments. The story itself is quite nonsensical, but, for all intents and purposes quite creative. The grandson goes to great lengths to procure the rabies infected blood that causes all the trouble in the first place.

The more peculiar part for me during this film was that there were times I cracked a giggle. Although the premise is awful and the crimes and violence within it deplorable, there are some really dark comedic moments. First and foremost is a group of cult members eating meat pies in the first place.

I have a low tolerance for music used to grate the nerves, and here it's at an alarmingly high level. For a low budget '70s zombie flick, you really can't pass this up as anything less than memorable.

I give 'I Drink Your Blood' 3 dead rats out of 5.

#bradpitt #onceuponatimeinhollywood
#bradpitt #onceuponatimeinhollywood | Source

Manson Inspired Movies

The Strangers
Helter Skelter
Summer Dreams
Movie: It may seem odd that this is here however one member of the Beach Boys Dennis Wilson met Manson after running into two of his followers and became a fan of the group
House of Manson
The Manson Family
I Drink Your Blood
Movie: Pretended it wasn't about Manson.
The Helter Skelter Murders
The Manson Massacre
Manson Family Movies
Movie: Almost prequel to Wolves at the Door.
Manson, My Name is Evil
Hunting Charles Manson
Movie: Again a prequel to Wolves at the Door.
Manson Family Vacation
Movie: Not about the event as such but about touring the murder sites.
Manson's Lost Girls
The Wolves at the Door

Look Out For 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

Due for release in August 2019 and starring Margot Robbie, Leonardo Decaprio, and Brad Pitt. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is directed by the infamous Quentin Tarantino.

It byline doesn't give the game away but plenty articles explain that Margot Robbie plays the late Sharon Tate. The story centers on a television actor Rick Dalton and his stunt double Cliff Booth as they navigate a morphing film industry.

Manson Inspired Documentaries, TV and Cartoons

Helter Skelter
Made for TV Movie.
The Ben Stiller Show
A short-lived TV show where Ben Stiller dressed up as Manson and answered questions from ‘jail.’
TV Series.
Live Freaky! Die Freaky
Animation (movie but still a cartoon) - Set in the future where Helter Skelter is the name of the Bible and Manson is the messiah. It is a dark comedy musical.
The Manson Family
Documentary style movie: More a documentary than a movie.
South Park
Cartoon: A Christmas episode where Manson is said to be in need of some Christmas Spirit.
Is Rob Zombie a Manson Expert? In House of 1000 Corpses (2003) Rob Zombie references Pat Krenwinkel killing Abigail Folger. There is a sequence called "stab the bunny" which has a visual nod and script hints that refer back to Vincent Bugliosi and Cu

© 2019 Mother of Movies and Series Reviews


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