Few things are more frightening than real life, as evidenced by unsolved mysteries and the exceptionally gross way we treat each other. One of the most upsetting and mind-boggling real events to provoke decades of curiosity and obsession is the existence of Charles Manson and his murder cult. Though it has been nearly 50 years since the infamous murder of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and her friends, every attempt to make a movie about Manson and his followers seems too soon for viewer comfort.
Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood features Manson and some of his most recognizable disciples in supporting roles, but still feels very intrusive and disrespectful to those who lost their lives to the cult. Tarantino isn’t known for keeping his history accurate and his particular style of filmmaking isn’t exactly subtle or light-handed in how it deals with topics like homicide or enigmatic leaders who use their power of persuasion for mass executions. It doesn’t strike most people as the most appropriate way to cater to the inquiring minds of audiences interested in the Manson Family cult.
However, an upcoming documentary, Inside the Manson Cult: The Lost Tapes, feels less morally reprehensible than a work of fiction hovering around the edges of a real tragedy. In using real footage and not attempting to put words into the mouths of the participants, another documentary on the macabre subject allows viewers to crane their necks at the tragedy that rocked the late ’60s while still feeling okay about satisfying their own curiosity.
That said, the trailer for Fox’s collection of Manson Family followers being interviewed is possibly the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen and I will be watching it.
The documentary will premiere September 17th on Fox and features narration by Liev Schrieber.
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