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The Beach Boys and the Satan (2008)

The Beach Boys , Christoph Dreher  |  NR |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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The Beach Boys and the Satan + Beach Boys - An American Band / Brian Wilson - I Just Wasn't Made for These Times
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Product Details

  • Actors: The Beach Boys
  • Directors: Christoph Dreher
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Zeit Media Limited
  • DVD Release Date: September 30, 2008
  • Run Time: 59 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,152 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

NTSC/Region 0. The Beach Boys and Satan is a documentary film made as part of the Pop Odyssee series and directed by music documentary specialist Christoph Dreher. This documentary, in addition to placing The Beach Boys rise to success into context with rarely seen footage of the band, exposes California's darker side and investigates the connections between some of the most controversial characters of that period (Anton La Vey, Kenneth Anger, and Brian Wilson) and their connection to the Manson Family. The film includes interviews with Kim Fowley, Don Was and the creative force behind the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson. There are also archive clips surrounding the trial of Charles Manson and various members of The Family The film which was originally released in 1997 has been unavailable for some time and this release on DVD will be highly anticipated. Voiceprint.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I have no idea why the director, German Christoph Dreher, decided to give this 57 minute documentary this title - or why the video company chose the packaging., but this is a hidden gem of a documentary on Brian Wilson and his music and a must for Wilson fans.

The film was made in 1997 - and so references to the "Smile" album never being released are a bit premature. All the titles and on screen descriptions are in GERMAN, but all the sound (interviews, songs etc) are in ENGLISH.

Starting out with the history of surf music, the film includes rare interviews with the Chantays, Don Was, and Dick Dale. Lots of rare promo films made by Capitol for the Beach Boys are also here. The film focuses on Brian Wilson's early years as well as his drug problem for about 45 minutes. About 2/3 through we get to the Psychedelic Years of music and see Janis Joplin perform at Monterey Pop Fest. Then an odd connection is made between Dennis Wilson being friends with Charles Manson and the film veers off to discuss the Manson murders. Then it's back to Brian, who has nothing at all to do with Manson.

Some of the real highlights are newly filmed (well, new in 1997) interviews with Brian at his home at the piano (where he plays "Love and Mercy").

A big problem with this release is that it is not "indexed" and it is ONE long 57-minute chapter, so you can't go back to a specific song or subject.

Again, this is a quirky - misleadingly packaged - DVD that all Beach Boy and Brian Wilson fans will want to check out. And the video quality is very good.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "Consider me mis-led by the title..." March 14, 2010
Last year, I noticed a copy of this DVD on the shelf at my local Fry's Electronics. I was intrigued by the title; I thought "ooooh... a dark and creepy look at the mid-sixties LA music scene & how good ol' Brian Wilson sold his soul the the Devil in exchange for his songwriting gifts. Sounds fascinating!". I knew that Manson (as a struggling musician with dubious talent) had played around the fringes of the aforementioned scene & that he had somewhat of a tangential tie to Dennis Wilson (via Terry Melcher).

As fate would have it, I didn't buy tBB&tS on that day, & I pretty much forgot about it.

Yesterday, I found myself in the very same store & as I passed the DVD rack, there it was. "I'm not going to pass it up this time" I told myself & I snapped it up.

I got it home... popped into the player... & now all I have to say is, "what a bloody disappointment!". Suffice if to say that my above mentioned assumptions were nothing more that wishful thinking & apart from a brief mention of Melcher's associations with Manson and Dennis Wilson, what you have here are two short documentaries, neither all that informative, that just happen to co-habitate the same disc.

If you are familiar with the story of the Beach Boys & you've read Helter Skelter, there's really nothing new for you here. True, there was an informative look at Brian & his particular form of eccentricity; & the claim that the Tate/Labianca hit might actually have been intended for Melcher and Mark Lindsey was a new one on me, but other than that... yuck.

As for me... I'm off to eBay to find a buyer for this & recoup at least SOME of my investment!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bad Title November 13, 2008
We all know of Dennis' direct and mostly indirect involvement with Manson. Why Dreher had to tarnish the name of the documentary is beyond me. The Beach Boys deserve better...especially Brian. Rare, new footage is always good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wow August 3, 2009
I actually give this ZERO stars. But had to give it a star due to Amazon's rules.
The title is slightly misleading as it is not all about Wilson's involvment with Manson. That's just a part of it. And warning, that part contains explicit material if anyone cares to know. I know Brian Wilson is the brains behind the Beach Boys, but this documentary was predominantly about Brian. This should have been titled: "Brian Wilson and the Satan (featuring the rest of them)".
I've seen other Beach Boys documentaries (even made for tv movies) that were better than this jumpy compilation. I felt like I was trying to watch a documentary put together by someone who had ADD.
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