Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “Charles Manson

Marilyn Burns R.I.P.

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Incredibly sad news today, Marilyn Burns, one of the original “scream queens” who starred in Tobe Hooper’s original 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre, died Tuesday in Texas. She was 65 and was found dead in her home near Houston.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was her first lead role; in it she played teenager Sally Hardesty, who goes with her brother and friends to the cemetery where her grandfather is buried and ends up as the only survivor of an encounter with the insane family led by chainsaw-wielding Leatherface. Her iconic screaming throughout her prolonged capture and escape is horror legend.

Burns was born in Erie, Penn., raised in Texas and had small parts in films including Robert Altman’s Brewster McCloud while she was still in high school, and George Roy Hill’s The Great Waldo Pepper.

But she was most known for horror films including Hooper’s 1977 “Eaten Alive,” about an insane hotel proprietor who feeds his guests to his pet alligator. Among her other films were “Kiss Daddy Goodbye” and “Future-Kill.”

In 1976, she appeared in TV movie Helter Skelter as Charles Manson follower Linda Kasabian. She had a cameo in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation” and was seen in her original role in archival footage in “Texas Chainsaw 3D.”

She talked to Terror Trap in 2004 about her experience shooting the gruesome “Chainsaw”: “Afterwards, I was just so grateful it was over. I probably was the happiest girl alive. During it, I was 100% focused and I probably wasn’t a joy to be around. It was an interesting shoot for sure.”

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Aquarius – The Manson Family

david-duchovny_Aquarius_Manson-FamilyAs his Showtime dark comedy series Californication, comes to an end (7 seasons!), David Duchovny reunites with Bob Greenblatt for Aquarius, a gritty 1960’s cop drama at NBC about a cop who goes undercover to track Charles Manson and the Manson Family before their infamous murder spree. The project has received a 13-episode straight-to-series order.

Aquarius marks the return to broadcast TV of Duchovny, who starred in Fox’s hit The X-Files, in which Greenblatt also was involved while at Fox. The project stems from a script McNamara developed for FX a long time ago with Adelstein producing.

Manson-Family_Murders_Vincent-BugliosiSet in the late 1960’s, Aquarius stars Duchovny as a Los Angeles police sergeant with a complicated personal life who starts tracking a small-time criminal and budding cult leader seeking out vulnerable women to join his “cause.” The man’s name is Charles Manson. The twists and turns of a complicated undercover operation will lead Duchovny’s character and his young partner to the brink of Manson’s crimes that eventually will lead to the Tate-LaBianca murders in subsequent seasons. “Event series are a big priority for us, and the combination of a show that charts the lead-up to the Manson murders, along with a television star of the magnitude of David Duchovny, is the very definition of an event,” said NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. Added Greenblatt, “After being involved in the production of both The X-Files and Californication, it gives me great pleasure to work with David Duchovny for the third time on this compelling drama.”Aquarius joins another Charles Manson project, a limited series is in development at Fox with writer Bret Easton Ellis and director Rob Zombie.

It all sounds very similar to the 1976 move Helter Skelter which was based on the best selling book by Vincent Bugliosi who prosecuted the Manson Clan.


Manson Murders

Writer Bret Easton Ellis and director Rob Zombie have teamed with Alcon Television to develop a project for Fox that will revisit the people and events connected to the Manson Family murder spree in August 1969.

The project is envisioned as a limited series, but it is in the very early stages of development with Fox. Ellis is set to write the script and some additional materials. Zombie is on board to direct.

Zombie has long been fascinated by the Manson Family slayings, which left seven people dead in the Los Angeles area. Among the victims were actress Sharon Tate, who was eight and a half months pregnant at the time with the child of director Roman Polanski, and prominent Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring.

The killings were so gruesome, and the stories of Charles Manson’s level of control of his drug-addled young followers so disturbing, that Manson was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy charges even though he was never found to have committed a homicide himself.

Manson’s clutch of cult followers have been suspected of many other murders during that era. But it was sheer brutality and psychopathic theatricality of the killings (complete with messages written in blood at the crime scenes) unleashed on Aug. 8-9, 1969, that jolted the nation’s psyche.

The Ellis-Zombie collaboration aims to tell converging stories of people and events leading up to and after the murders, from shifting points of view. The project is envisioned as a multipart series, but it is one of many limited series projects in the works and is far away from receiving a greenlight.

The idea for the project began with Zombie and Adam Kolbrenner and Robyn Meisinger of Madhouse Entertainment. They developed the concept and brought it to Ellis and Alcon. To date, no source material has been optioned for the project, which plans to take an original approach to dramatizing stories drawn from the historical record.

Ellis, Zombie and the Madhouse principals will exec produce with Alcon’s Sharon Hall, Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson. Ben Roberts and Ryan Cunningham serve as co-producers.

“I have been obsessed with this insane story since I was a kid, so obviously I jumped at the chance to be involved in this incredible project. After speaking with Bret, I immediately realized that we shared the same vision for this epic madness,” Zombie said.

Manson was sentenced to death in 1971, but the sentence changed to life in prison when California abolished the death penalty the following year. He has been denied parole 12 times.

Ellis most recently penned the micro-budgeted Lindsay Lohan starrer “The Canyons,” released last year by IFC. Zombie’s last directorial effort was the 2013 indie “The Lords of Salem.”