Graveyard Shift

THE MANSON FAMILY

Director Jim Van Bebber
Year 2003
Starring Marcelo Games, Marc Pitman, Leslie Orr
Rating R
Run Time 95min
Age Policy

18 and up; Children 6 and up will be allowed only with a parent guardian. No children under the age of 6 will be allowed.

More Info IMDb

The story behind Jim Van Bebber’s The Manson Family is a pretty fascinating one. Van Bebber, an Ohio filmmaker, spent over a decade sporadically filming the movie – a low-budget, often hallucinatory look at Charles Manson and the cult he amassed during his heyday. Filming whenever he could, Van Bebber would work until he ran out of money, screen a rough cut of the film at festivals to raise more money and then go back to work. The process began somewhere around 1988 but it wasn't until 2003 that the finished film was released.

The result is a gonzo journey through fact and fiction – an acid-trip look at Manson’s influence nestled in a gleefully gory bookend about a TV journalist attempting to finish a documentary about Manson’s followers. During the decades it took to create the movie, Van Bebber, who wrote, directed, starred and self-financed the film, created a sometimes dense, often morally reprehensible and only occasionally restrained movie that really is like few other films of its kind. The Manson Family is muck-encased, blood-caked modern exploitation that transcends its financial limitations to become something really fascinating – equally for its content and for its origin.

Charles Manson, the sometimes charismatic, always crazy cult leader, cast a dark shadow on the tail end of the 1960s. Leading his followers in a series of killings and mischief making, Manson believed himself to be a god. His family, former teachers, football players and students were his drug-loving acolytes, carrying out his word with bloody detail. Filmed in a combination of mock interviews and dramatizations, the film never focuses on the sex and drug-fueled misdeeds carried out by Manson's followers.

This screening will be accompanied by a new short film from Van Bebber.

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