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The Manson Family (film)

The Manson Family
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jim Van Bebber
Produced by Carl Daft
David Gregory
Mike King
Jim Van Bebber
Written by Jim Van Bebber
Starring Marcelo Games
Marc Pitman
Leslie Orr
Music by Philip Anselmo
Ross Karpelman
Cinematography Mike King
Edited by Michael Capone
Jim Van Bebber
Mercury Films
Distributed by Dinsdale Releasing (Theatrical)
Dark Sky Films
MPI Home Video (DVD)
Release dates
  • August 23, 2003 (2003-08-23) (London)
  • October 22, 2004 (2004-10-22) (US)
Running time
95 minutes
84 minutes (R-rated cut)
Country United States
Language English
Box office $19,140

The Manson Family is a 2003 American crime drama film. The film covers the lives of Charles Manson and his "family" of followers.


The Manson Family is a cross between fictional story and documentary, overseeing the crimes of The Manson Family as led by Charlie Manson. The fictional story centers on a Crime Scene-esque TV series of the same name and its host, Jack Wilson (Carl Day). It is filmed in semi-experimental style and focuses on the early days of the Spahn Ranch including Manson's attempts to record a music album, and the Manson family crimes, with little emphasis on courtroom drama regarding the trial, although some scenes depict Manson's followers outside the courthouse.



The film had a long and troubled production history. Director Jim Van Bebber personally financed the production starting in 1988, and then continued to shoot it sporadically on weekends and off days.

Despite support from various people, including members of the band Skinny Puppy, who provided a musical score (in the form of Download's Charlie's Family album) that was released separately years before the film itself, the film remained incomplete. It screened on video as a work-in-progress at a number of film festivals during that time.

In 2004, Dark Sky Films stepped in with the funds to finish the film properly, and it has since been released theatrically and on home video.

Phil Anselmo of Pantera, Down, and Superjoint Ritual provided his voice as Satan.


Despite not being banned in any country in the world, it is classified harshly in almost all countries of the world due to its graphic violence and sexuality.

List of Classifications
Country Classification
United States R[a]
United Kingdom 18
Australia R18+
New Zealand R18
Norway 18


The Manson Family received mixed to positive reviews; the film currently holds a 68% 'Fresh' rating on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.[1]


  1. ^ An unrated version is available in the United States, running an extra 11 minutes (95 minutes) to the R-rated cut (84 minutes).


External links