Charlie Says ‘Who Needs Another Manson Movie?’


The new trailer for Charlie Says, the latest Hollywood attempt to explore the Charles Manson mythos, has just been released and what can we say? Former Doctor Who Matt Smith does not look as dreadful as we might have feared – in fact he possibly resembles Charlie more than most actors who have played him. The film looks a slickly produced, somewhat sanitised affair – perhaps it will be graphic as all hell in terms of nudity and violence, but we rather suspect that most will be rather glossed over in favour of following the popular Manson theories and the curious dichotomy of at once declaring his followers – well, his female followers at least – as brainwashed (or ‘groomed’, to use the modern parlance) while still declaring them entirely responsible for their actions. Manson looks to be presented here as instigator and controller, which is to be expected – I’m sure no one thought that Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner (the pair who stripped American Psycho of most of its intensity and biting satire to make a hipster slasher comedy) were about to posit some radical new interpretation of the Manson story. I imagine Helter Skelter and all that nonsense will be once again presented as fact, with a possible continuing whitewashing of Linda Kasabian’s involvement in the crimes. Will this be the worst Manson film? Probably not. Will it be a definitive study? Absolutely not.

An unfortunate title though, at least for British viewers of a certain age…