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This seriously gruesome docudrama about the Tate-LaBianca murders was begun in 1988, but director Jim Van Bebber couldn't get the financing to complete it until 2003. Any filmmaker digging up Charles Manson again owes viewers a new perspective, and the opening sequence, a “death of the 60s” montage of flowers under a rain of blood, isn't promising. To his credit, Van Bebber downplays Manson to focus on his drug-addled disciples, and Maureen Allisse contributes a bone-chilling performance as Susan “Sexy Sadie” Atkins. There's also a fictional frame, set in 1996, about a tabloid-TV producer making a documentary about the family and being targeted by a quartet of Manson-obsessed punks; the rebirth of Manson as a hipster icon is one element of the story that hasn't been explored, but Van Bebber can't do much with the phenomenon because his movie's part of it. 95 min.

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