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The Manson Family (Unrated 2-Disc Special Edition)

3.1 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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(Apr 26, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

If you think you know the story of the Manson Family, you are dead wrong. Director Jim VanBebber (Deadbeat at Dawn) delivers an uncompromising snapshot of this cult of personality, hell- bent on executing the brutal vision of its leader, Charles Manson. On a ranch outside of LA the dream of the "Love Generation" is perverting into something evil. What was once an oasis of free love and acid trips has become ground zero for a madman’s paranoid visions. An average group of kids, the "Family", become engulfed in a delusional world where torment and slaughter is considered the path to righteousness. The Manson Family is a dizzying, rapid-fire vision of the sex and violence that unifies the misguided group, and at the direction of their leader, ends in a brutal spree leaving seven people dead in a 48 hours. You’ve seen the story through the eyes of the law. Now witness it through the eyes of THE MANSON FAMILY.

Special Features

  • The VanBebber Family: documentary featuring all-new interviews with cast and crew
  • In the Belly of the Beast: documentary from the FanTasia festival in Montreal featuring Jim VanBebber and other independent filmmakers
  • An interview with Charles Manson
  • Theatrical trailers
  • Still gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Maureen Allisse, Michelle Briggs, Tom Burns (III), Marita Clarke, Carl Day
  • Directors: Jim Van Bebber
  • Format: Color, Special Edition, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Dark Sky Films
  • DVD Release Date: April 26, 2005
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000784WS6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,601 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Manson Family (Unrated 2-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
While it took forever for this film to be finished, the question is if it was worth the wait. My answer is that it was. "The Manson Family" is a very interesting view of the events that preceded the infamous killings and how they culminated in the very murders themselves. Using a multiple time phase structure, the film moves back and forth between the past and present of the main characters involved in the murders. This results in a story that tries to show the killers as being "removed" from the actual crime, as if they were not really there and they comment on it in the third person. Essentially exactly what they do when going up for parole hearings. The film is very rough, scenes are filled with scratches and other defects that bring a documentary feel to the proceedings, as if the Manson Family themselves were behind the camera. The culmination of the film with the multiple murders presents them in a highly graphic and factual way which is to the benefit of the presentation. While all the talk and posturing was peace and love, to see the horrendous murders truly puts things in perspective. This is a great movie for people into true crime stories and for those looking for a realistic portrayal of the Manson story. The DVD also contains an excellent documentary concerning no budget, renegade filmmaking. This documentary interviews many directors of these types of film and is very insightful into the passions of these people. Other extras include a revealing interview with Manson himself which, if nothing else, indicates why he will die in prison. I would recommend this film to people who are fans of independent filmmakers and true crime stories.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The Manson Family is a film that was 16 years in the making and what a result! Van Bebber and company did a spectacular job in displaying what life might have been like within the Manson family community and as accurately as possible showing the how and why the crimes were committed. It plays out as a psychedelic pseudo docudrama with great acting and great script. The film also has a 70ish true grindhouse feel which helped as it took the viewer back to the days of free love and flower power of the late sixties. the print was a work in progress as the Director took the film to various film festivals until the director finally felt he had a good cut of the film. Well, good became great as this film has attained a cult following. Phil Anselmo (The voice of Satan)is featuring the film at the Housecore Horror film festival. I highly recommend a this film to those that are into true crime and horror. As with the Manson family, there Is very little held back ( with exception of the Tate murder which the Director purposely did) for the viewer to behold. Overall, a sold effort by a solid film maker, Highly Recommended!
Comment 7 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Jim Vanbebber proves once again, without a doubt, that he is the baddest mother(...)in indie horror. My Sweet Satan kicked (...), but it was short and it left viewers wanting more. The Manson Family is his greatest achievement to date. It's surely not for everyone, but those not afraid to look real horror in the eye will love this movie. In a time when the term, Underground, is as cliched as words like "alternative" or "hardcore", Vanbebber proves that minuscule budgeted films can be vital and be as effective as anything done on any budget. I watched the Unrated DVD (natch!) last night and I haven't been able to get it out of my head all day today. This movie is a masterpiece.
Comment 34 of 47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Jim Van Bebber crafted an unheralded classic with "Deadbeat at Dawn" back in the 80s, and here with "The Manson Family", he's nearly done it again. Beginning production towards the end of the 80s and shot sporadically throughout the years until 2003, "The Manson Family" is an uncompromising, graphic, and unforgettable take on the notorious Charles Manson and his group of followers. Shot in a pseudo-documentary style and reminiscent of a news program expose', and featuring a cast of mostly amateur actors (who are all close to perfect in their roles), "The Manson Family" is strangely magnetic nonetheless, and despite its otherwise off-putting content, you can't help but keep watching. I'm glad that Severin Films released this handsome Blu-ray set of the film, featuring a horde of special features including an insightful commentary from Van Bebber and an interview with Pantera and DOWN frontman Phil Anselmo (who helped provide music and is fittingly the voice of Satan in the film). "The Manson Family" definitely isn't for everyone, but if any of the above sounds like it's up your alley, check it out. You won't regret it.
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Format: DVD
I saw this film months ago on a east european release. The film has been trying to get distribution and finished for some time so I grabbed the opportunity to watch it. Van Bebber has done a stirling job in capturing the Manson phenomena and has created a unique,chilling and satisfying cinema experience. The film is influenced by 60's trip cinema, inevitable to reflect the times that these horrendous crimes were committed. The budget that Bebber was working to adds to the creativity of the flick and builds more atmosphere than a thousand big budget productions. The murders are presented graphically without compromise which further illustrates the extent these people had become removed from their earlier hippy pretensions to savage merciless murderers. Very well shot and edited the film will not appeal to everyone as it does not follow a traditional linear narrative. The documentary feel of the film works well which further replicates the heavy media association that the crimes originally had. The Manson trial was the end of the summer of love and I think Bebber illustrates this by the film at the end catching fire which is very similar to Two Lane Blacktop a film which also symbolised the end of the sixties. A truly original piece of cinema which will appeal to cinephiles with a wide ranging knowledge of films and the crimes themselves. Everybody has a right to an opinion but the reveiwer who gave this film one star is not saying anything in his reveiw but the fact that he needs to get back to his Troma films. This film is well worth a watch and you well get a lot out of it subtle references to Jim Jones, the celebrity status killers receive through the media. Highly recommended.
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