MANSON, MY NAME IS EVIL
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
Perry, a sheltered chemical engineer, falls in love with Leslie, a former homecoming princess, when he becomes a jury member at her hippie death cult murder trial.
Is it good movie?
Well, I'd like to get something out of the way to begin with. This flick isn't really about Charles Manson, but rather Leslie, one of his brainwashed disciples. The whole film is a like a character compare and contrast, as Perry the young juror is brought up in the traditional manner gets a typical job while Leslie becomes a flower child who falls prey to Manson's mind.
If you know anything about the Manson era, then you will find something to get invested in here as the film is providing context to what was going on at the time. It is context through imaginary characters, but draws a lot of attention to the massacre in Vietnam and the truth about what Manson was doing. It feels like the point of the film is to tell a more three dimensional story to actually get people thinking about what happened instead of painting the picture black and white. The film is a little glossier than you might expect, and doesn't seek to turn Manson into Satan (although you may find references to Dracula and Jesus within).
The film isn't really a horror film, but more of a retrospective filled with a ton of imagery and retrospective music videos. The idea here is to get a full view of a real character who was involved with the Manson trial. And if you're thinking this is a stern, finger wagging film- it isn't. At times, it borders on being completely surreal (the courtroom can get pretty bizarre) and the film sometimes feels like an old grindhouse movie. There's a fair amount of strange dark humor thrown in as well and this makes for some really odd shifts in tone throughout the movie.
The film is really well acted, with everyone towing their weight. I like that Manson's character (played well by Ryan Robbins) is actually not the most important one in the film. It isn't a potboiler of a film but it moves at a relatively good pace. There isn't a lot of mayhem to be found here but instead you can chew on some food for thought and maybe gain a bit of perspective.
Video / Audio
This is a different sort of movie and although it isn't a Hollywood Blockbuster, I thought it was subversive and interesting enough to warrant a watch. Recommended.