Manson Documentary and Unforgiven


I managed to get a hold of a 1972 documentary on Charles Manson and his family, which apparently won an Academy award at the time. Now, I didn’t know much at all about Charles Manson – in fact the only thing I really knew was that he was a cult leader and they commited some murders. And the only reason I knew this was because Trent Reznor saw fit to record The Downward Spiral (by the way – this has just been remixed and released in surround sound) there.

Now I looked through Amazon to see if they actually had this and it seems they don’t – but there are alot of other movies inspired by or reconstructing their murders. This documentary was surprisingly uncensored for such an old piece of media – I’m not particularly sure why I would have expected it to be though since I have no idea of what censorship was like then.

Anyhow, it basically goes through how Manson used the combination of drugs and sex to control the minds of young people high on free love. There is quite alot of interviewing of some of the kids that left before slaughter became blatent goal. They discuss all the things they did and how they thought of Charlie as a parent and as God, or at least the son of God.

They also had some clips of Manson speaking – and I’m not sure why, but I wasn’t really impressed at all. There was meant to be all this mystique around him and some powerful presence. He just seemed like somebody who had taken too many drugs and was full of shit. No great insights to life. Just someone exagerating the insights gained while intoxicated. I think he was actually weak. But maybe it’d be different in a different time, place, and climate.

The documentary was very insightful, and particularly the way that the media used the Manson murders to cover up all the other crap that was going on politically. Hmm. Maybe the U.S. government sponsored Charlie with drugs and told him to go on a rampage? Wouldn’t put it past them…

One question I had at the end was what had happened to all the children that came from the family. What are they doing now? These kids engaged in the orgies and drugs, so are they normal now, or just fucked up?


Unforgiven is western movie starring Clint Eastward, Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman and that’s all I know of. Now, this isn’t just your ordinary western movie, and it also supposedly won an Academy award.

The movie is quite slow, and quiet. Very contemplative. Long pauses as the wind blows across the savannah. Clint Eastward has alot to regret, his wife has passed away and she was the one who removed him from his life of drunken murder. Now in desperation as is kids and he try and cope with disease in their livestock, Clint is tempted to take the role of bounty hunter in order to earn some extra cash.

It is really difficult to find anyone in the movie who is good. Everyone is a little evil and prepared to kill, except for maybe the lead victim. Violence is brutal, and gunshots are enough to kill is they hit, which isn’t guaranteed as in alot of Hollywood movies.


#1   golden owl on 06.02.05 at 9:29 am


I like your posts, they’re interesting and wellwritten reviews. I’m a bit of an admirer, maybe we could meet up sometime? I’ve just set up a blog so I could make a comment here.


#2   Joel on 06.07.05 at 7:13 pm

Why thank you. I do my best – I still think they need a bit of work though. I’d love to meet up with you – maybe Sunday around 2:30pm? 😉

#3   golden owl on 06.09.05 at 6:15 pm

aha, I wondered if you’d noticed! Then I thought you might not get it was me, so I made it a greta kind of name 🙂

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