Dec 31, 2013

Manson Family Movies




Undoubtedly, if Jim Van Bebber’s The Manson Family (2003) is the greatest, most aesthetically ambitious, and psychedelic-driven Manson-themed movie ever made, Manson Family Movies (1984) directed by self-proclaimed ‘aesthetic nihilist’ John Aes-Nihil (The Goddess Bunny Channels Shakespeare, The Drift) is the most obsessive, gritty, pathologically tasteless, and historically accurate (anti)tribute to the dirty derelict deeds of the hillbilly hobo antichrist and his fucked family of fallen bourgeois degenerates. Indeed, while occult guru Nikolas Schreck’s documentary Charles Manson Superstar (1989) probably provides the best and most objective look at Manson Christ and his crazy gals, Manson Family Movies is the most aggressively visceral and vicious look at the sordid story and thus makes for singular viewing (dis)pleasure that simultaneously manages to both trivialize the bloody beatnik events and aesthetically terrorize the viewer in an uncompromising fashion that one would expect from a mad man. Inspired by the supposed urban legend that Manson and his acidfreak pseudo-family had actually filmed their aberrant activities and even went so far as creating the murders for posterity, Manson Family Movies is an innately morally retarded no-budget piece of pathetically provocative celluloid shit that was shot on consumer grade 8mm film stock so as to give it an audaciously authentic essence as if one of the family members was sober enough to keep a camera rolling as the rest of the gang partied homicidally hard. Indeed, shot silently and featuring not a single line of audible dialogue, Manson Family Movies certainly feels like a home movie from hyper-hedonistic hippie hell and a work that seems like it was filmed by a spastic speed addict for his own aimless brain dead amusement. Described by cine-magician Kenneth Anger, who was once a mentor of sorts to Manson associate/killer Bobby Beausoleil (who starred in Anger’s Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969) and scored Lucifer Rising (1972) while in prison), with the highly flattering compliment that it, “Looks like the real thing,” Manson Family Movies is undoubtedly the delightfully dubious expression of a fellow with a rather foul Manson obsession. Probably the most ambitious and oddly obsessive cinematic attempt to recreate an infamous true crime case, Manson Family Movies was shot at the actual locations of the events leading up to, and including, the flower-power-exterminating Tate-LaBianca murders (including the very spot where the hippie killer dropped the bloody clothing of Sharon Tate and her fellow victims). A mischievously merry and wantonly witchy Mansonite jamboree movie, Manson Family Movies features gay negro drag queen maids reading Nietzsche, three different (non)actresses playing Susan Atkins aka Sadie Mae Glutz, degenerate hippie bastards in Nazi helmets sieg heiling the police, and a hip and happening neo-völkisch hillbilly folk soundtrack by Mr. Alpha-Anti-Hippie himself; Charles Manson. 



 As anti-aesthetic auteur John Aes-Nihil revealed in the audio commentary for the Cult Epics dvd release of Manson Family Movies, Charles Manson was played by a strange fellow (‘Rick the Precious Dove’) who had the dignified distinction of being an ex-Green Beret, five foot two, half Mexican/half German by ancestry, and apparently being “rather psychotic.” Interestingly, it is rumored that the real Charles Manson was the bastard son of a mulatto, but I digress because whatever the real racial stock of Mr. Manson, micro Mestizo-Kraut ‘Rick the Precious Dove’ certainly can pass for the crazed cult leader, even if he is a slight bit more swarthy than the real man. Opening with Manson strumming his guitar and subsequently carnally manhandling Sadie Mae Glutz, Manson Family Movies ultimately takes an abridged fragmented approach to cinematically telling the torrid tale of the life and times of the Manson Family. Hanging out at Spahn ranch, one of the mad Manson girls receives cunnlingus (Aes-Nihil claims this scene was totally unsimulated) from the rather voracious ranch owner George Spahn (played by ‘Palmo’) in a less than pretty quasi-pornographic scene. Of course, Lucifer-like Manson associate Bobby Beausoleil (‘Porn Michael’) and a couple of the gals pay a visit to hippie teacher/dope Gary Hinman and torture him for a couple days because he purportedly sold them bad acid. Being a deluded Zen Buddhist, homo hippie Hinman does not even put up a fight and even goes so far as peacefully handing a weapon to one of his deranged torturers. Manson also pays a visit to the Hinman home and cuts the drug dealer’s ear with a sword. After Beausoleil wastes Hinman, the Manson girls write “Political piggy” on the wall to make it seem like the Black Panthers committed the murder. Meanwhile, a black tranny maid (The Cosmic Ray) religiously reads from Friedrich Nietzsche’s posthumously released tome The Will to Power and carefully dusts a LP soundtrack for Valley of the Dolls (1967) starring Sharon Tate. Indeed, the black tranny is Tate’s maid and the shemale spade also force-reads excerpts of The Will to Power to the bimbo-like babe as if her life depends on it. Of course, the Manson family eventually pays an unexpected visit to the Tate-Polanski home and they slaughter all the inhabitants of the house, but not before making macabre jokes about the fact the actress is pregnant and her baby will die a violent death as well. In what is easily the most artful and transcendental scene of Manson Family Movies, Charlie is lovingly crucified by his family in a scene rivaling the campy crucifixion from The Devils (1971) directed by Ken Russell. In the final scene of Manson Family Movies in a sardonic scenario auteur Aes-Nihil proudly described as “a moment of devout cynicism,” three members of the family throw away the gigantic crucifix that Charlie was previously hanging from into a park trashcan. Quite fittingly, Manson Family Movies concludes with the 1970 Charlie quote, “It wasn’t my children who came at you with guns and knives, it was your children,” thus demonstrating Aes-Nihil's sheer and utter contempt for the American mainstream.



 Featuring nil dialogue, upwards of three amateur actors playing a single character (thus making it nearly impossible to discern who is who during various scenes), a horribly homely and overweight Sharon Tate smiling as she is violently stabbed in her fetus-filled stomach, unsexy unsimulated sex featuring elderly men on LSD, a sassy negro tranny with a nasty Nietzsche obsession, bargain bin blasphemy of the culture-less American sort, and happy-go-lucky ultra-violence of the totally unbelievable variety, Manson Family Movies is certainly a film that epitomizes the phrase “trash cinema,” so it should be so no surprise that the ‘Pope of Trash’ himself, John Waters, stated of the film: “Manson Family Movies is a primitive, obsessional, fetishistic tribute to mayhem, murder and madness. Enough to appall even the most jaded VCR junkie... The home movie effect really added to it. Attention to fetishy detail was really astounding—Abigail’s scarf, Tex's gun, plus Sadie, Tex and G. Spahn looked more like the originals than Helter Skelter. Very rude—all the rumors, MDA deal, Leno the bookie, Tate S&M... I liked the Valley of the Dolls and Nico touch. The most obscure was Leno's vacation—I had never even imagined those sights.” Indeed, for those with little knowledge and/or interest in the Manson Family and their macabre misadventures, Manson Family Movies will probably prove to be the most brazenly banal, badly directed, and patently pointless film ever made, but for the already initiated, Aes-Nihil’s Mansonite fetish flick is a tastelessly tasty treasure trove of serial killer-like pathological obsession and homicidal hillbilly aesthetic majesty. 



 For those familiar with Manson’s oftentimes dark and intensely idiosyncratic folk music, Manson Family Movies plays like a genuine Mansonite musical. Also featuring music by director Aes-Nihil’s band Beyond Joy and Evil, The Beatles (namely “Helter Skelter”), Patty Duke’s theme from Valley of the Dolls, Richard Wagner’s “Liebestod,” and a couple random punk tracks, Manson Family Movies—a whimsical work erratically synthesizing cultural ingredients from both high and low culture—is certainly a putrid piece of celluloid ‘aesthetic nihilism’ directed by an auteur who personifies being a ‘degenerate’ in the truest Nordau-esque meaning of the word. In addition to receiving critical acclaim from such great queer auteur filmmakers as Kenneth Anger and John Waters, Manson Family Movies also received perverse praise from unhinged underground filmmaker George Kuchar, who stated personally to director Aes-Nihil, “I remember your film very well and it looked SCARY! It had an authentic feel to it that made us squirm. Well, it looked gritty and homespun and made me NERVOUS. Keep up the original and disturbing atmosphere.” A sort of misbegotten movie marriage between Roger Watkin’s Manson-inspired flick The Last House on Dead End Street (1977) meets the audaciously amateurish art-trash of Harmony Korine’s Trash Humpers (2009), Manson Family Movies certainly makes for a great, if not one-sided, date with the celluloid gutter. For those that enjoyed Manson Family Movies, contemporary punk artist Raymond Pettibon’s somewhat inferior shot-on-VHS epic of lo-fi video-art-filth The Book of Manson (1989) also makes for mandatory viewing. A sub-cult classic of the crazed campy sort, Manson Family Movies—in its outstanding aesthetic ineptitude, innate immorality, and general narrative incoherence—is ultimately a reminder why there will probably never be a definitive Manson family movie as Hollywood will never touch the subject in a serious and sincere manner and those genuine underground auteur filmmakers that are willing to dive deep in the world of Helter Skelter lack the sanity, budget, and production values to execute it properly. 



-Ty E

15 comments:

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Charles Girl-daughter ! ! !.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Girl-datory veiwing.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Yeah, admittedly this kind of film probably wont appear over on that Reddit site that leads to YouTubes latest downloads but i still think its worth you visiting that site Ty E, there are a lot of good films available over there free of charge.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I watched a download of "American Hustle" on YouTube the other day (from Reddit), it really was an appallingly and laughably out-moded piece of garbage, like something from the 1970`s. Bale is a pathetic British tosser and Amy Adams is 39 but still expects everyone to think shes still only 26 ! ! ! (and the American public are falling for it), UNBELIEVABLE.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Ty E, i know you`re totally contemptuous of Hollywood (and understandably so) but it would be great to read your opinion on the 1976 TV movie version of the 'Girl-daughter-Helter-Skelter' story, (it premiered on April fools day `76 ! ! !), the original 3 hour and 14 minute uncut version is excellent and Steve Railsback is probably the most memorable Charles Girl-daughter ever put on Screen. I know you`re fascinated by this story and Girl-daughter Ty E so if you haven`t seen that version it might be a good idea to mo-girl-tarily put your hatred and contempt for Hollywood on the back burner and watch perhaps the greatest ever (and professionally made ! ! !) version of the Girl-daughter story, dont forget, the original 3 hour and 14 minute edit (on IMDB it says the DVD is missing 10 minutes for some reason), i really look forward to reading your reveiw of that at some time in the future.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Marilyn Burns is in it as well (from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre") so theres another added bonus and incentive for you to watch it my old mate ! ! !.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I wonder what Charles ------ would do if i walked up to him and said hello Mr. Girl-daughter, he`d probably think i was insulting him, so i`d then have explain to him that it was my murderous and all-consuming homo-phobia that made me change his name, i hope he`d understand ! ! !.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

The 2004 TV movie version with Clea Duvall playing Linda Kasabian (the same part Marilyn Burns played in the 1976 TV movie) is freely available on YouTube so maybe you could give your opinion on that one as well, once again its professionally made by professionals as opposed to the pathetically amateurish and silent piece of 8MM crap that watched last night ! ! !.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

One thing i always liked about Girl-daughter was that he much prefered Bing Crosby over The Beatles, i know Crosby was a worthless piece of garbage but at least he was American as opposed to pathetic British scum.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

And what about "The Other Side of Madness" (1970) ! ! !, why have you still not reveiwed that on this site ?, at least it was shot on 35MM although its probably not as good as the two TV movie versions that i girl-tioned.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I want to bugger Patty Duke (as the bird was in 1964 when the bird was 18, not as the bird is now obviously). Have you seen how pretty that bird was when she was a teenager...WOW.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I didn`t like the picture of the faggot reading the book, the bloody dirty queer bastard. Also, why did you have to girl-tion those faggots Kenneth Anger and John Waters (i`m not sure about George Kuchar, was he or wasn`t he a fairy) ?, reading the names of that faggot scum spoilt my enjoy-girl-t of the reveiw.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Ty E, another four words helped to spoil my enjoy-girl-t of the reveiw as well, can you guess what those four words were ?...thats right...you guessed them...first time..."KEN", "RUSSELL", "THE", and "DEVILS"...BLOODY BRITISH GARBAGE. Although i think Ken Russell was heterosexual for all of his 84 years so that does redeem him somewhat obviously.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

When you think about it Ty E this is quite an interesting choice for New Years Eve, because its like you`re saying: "Beware you 7 billion poor sad deluded pathetic bastards, for in 2014 Charles Girl-daughter will return to exact a quite hideous and horrifying revenge on the whole hu-girl race ! ! !".

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Ty E, the last 7 lines of your reveiw sums up exactly what i was talking about, Hollywood (for all its inate shittyness, lies, hypocrisy, and patheticness) HAS got the budget to execute it properly, thats why you should still bother to watch those two TV movie versions i was refering to ! ! !.