Helter Skelter is a remake of a 1976 TV movie and is based on the true story of the Tate-Labianca murders committed by The Manson Family.
I will make my opinion clear… this is a tacky, tacky movie. It does not even deserve the label of trash or cult. It is pure tack through and through. From the insane wigs to the over the top theatrical actor who plays Manson. Jeremy Davies was a convincing Manson, but went just a little too far in some places. He got the accent and the body movements down well, unlike the actor in The Manson Family who came off more like Jesus, to me.
I felt Davies performance although extreme in places was the only redeeming quality of the film. That and the 17 minute special feature of Jeremy’s rehearsal footage, walking around trying to emulate Manson.
The look of this movie is all over the place, one moment it looks very gritty, the next a famous face appears and trippy camera effects are used and used badly. The news segments of the movie are horribly filmed; the effect used is over the top in an attempt to make the footage look real / old; the shots are unconvincing for news footage and resemble a shot you would see on MTV’s Headbangers Ball, with the weird angles minus the zoom function. Whenever there is a killing scene in the movie the majority of it is shot in negative to dramatize the event, but it comes off totally conceited and seems as though they were too lazy to come up with their own experimental ideas.
The film is an forty five minutes too long. It runs for 2 hours and 10 minutes and is rather drawn out and pieced together badly. The murder scenes are a little more brutal than that of The Manson family in regards to sound effects and the dramatization of the scenes. Some people think this film is soooo bad its good, but it’s so bad its bad. Do yourself a favor and rent / buy The Manson Family instead. Meanwhile I am going to sit here and curse the fact that I paid $20 for this DVD.
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Rehearsal Footage
DIRECTOR(S): John Gray | COUNTRY: USA | YEAR 2004 | DISTRIBUTOR(S): Warner Home Video | RUNNING TIME: 137 minutes | ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1 | REGION: 1 | DISCS: 1