The Manson Family on Film and Television

This in-depth study examines the case of the Manson Family, the murders they committed and the way they have been represented on screen. There have been a number of productions dealing with the facts of the case including the two versions of prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi's book Helter Skelter (1976 and 2004). Les mer
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This in-depth study examines the case of the Manson Family, the murders they committed and the way they have been represented on screen. There have been a number of productions dealing with the facts of the case including the two versions of prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi's book Helter Skelter (1976 and 2004). But there are also a startling amount of films which exploit, reference or bear the bloody paw-print of the case, from low-budget exploitation to British gothic horror, from prime-time TV drama to Claymation spoof and even hardcore porn.

The Family story is fascinating for myriad reasons including the horrendous, seemingly inexplicable violence, the glamorous Hollywood setting, Manson's strange charisma and his seeming willingness to embrace the role of evil icon. It also casts light on issues such as celebrity, race, youth in revolt and the dark glamor of random destruction, issues which are no less relevant today. Although the murders committed by the Family are almost 50 years old, our fascination has only grown stronger, raising questions such as what is the undying appeal of the case for film-makers and what does it say about the audience for these films. This study is an attempt to provide answers.

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