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It's funny how this is being a TV movie, with also a typical made for TV look and feel to it but yet the movie manages to work out so extremely well that you really forgive the movie for its cheap look and typical TV movie performances.

What makes this movie especially great is the way it is getting told. It's basically a movie that is like a documentary, that got acted out by people. It has such a great narrative, in which in focuses on about every aspect surrounding the Tate/LaBianca murders, by the Manson family. The movie really goes into detail with everything and show things as they really happened, often with also the real spoken dialog. It's not a movie that is picking sides by for instance letting the Manson family members come across as murderous psychopaths and the jurisdictional system as something well organized and flawless and letting justice prevail. It also shows everything that went terribly wrong during the investigations and it doesn't necessarily condemn the Manson girls for following Charles Manson.

In a way you could say that this movie is being like an 3 hour long "Law & Order" episode. Half of it is set in the courtroom, while the other focuses on mostly the investigation of the murders. It still really feels like one movie though, which is I think also really thanks to the fact that it gets narrated by it's main character, even long before he himself actually appears in the movie.

It stars mostly TV actors and people without too much experience but yet everyone seems to have been cast really well. Most of the actors really look like the persons they are portraying.Steve Railsback is really perfect as Charles Manson and George DiCenzo also does a great job with his role and really starts carrying the movie toward its end.

In my opinion this movie is great way to learn about Charles Manson and the Manson family, as well as the murders they committed and how they got prosecuted for it. It's a very detailed movie that really feels like a documentary, that isn't holding back with anything.

9/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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