50 years after the Tate-LaBianco murders and three years on from his death, Charles Manson is having a moment in the spotlight. Last year saw Quentin Tarantino’s excellent Once Upon a Time in Hollywood explore the crimes, with the somewhat less excellent recent movies The Haunting of Sharon Tate and Charlie Says covering the same territory. Now, Epix is getting in on the action with a six-part docuseries titled Helter Skelter.
Named after The Beatles song that the Manson killers daubed in blood on a wall, the series bills itself as a comprehensive look at the origins of Manson’s hippie cult, its key members, their philosophies and the crimes with which they terrorized Hollywood in the late 1960s. It comes courtesy of An Inconvenient Truth producer Lesley Chilcott, Berlanti Productions, Rogue Atlas Productions and Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.
Chilcott explained that:
“Helter Skelter set outs to illuminate new perspectives on one of the most legendary crimes of our time. The filmmaking team and I are grateful for the collaborations with Berlanti Productions, Rogue Atlas, Warner Horizon and Epix and the opportunity to tell this complete story.”
Meanwhile, Michael Wright at Epix said:
“Working with the brilliant Lesley Chilcott and the talented teams at Berlanti Productions, Rogue Atlas and Warner Horizon Unscripted has been a fantastic journey. Helter Skelter’s bone-chilling narrative is rooted in one of the most infamous and fascinating crimes of the past several decades, and we’re thrilled that this story is being so expertly told on Epix.”
And Brooke Karzen from Warner Horizon Unscripted Television chipped in with:
“Helter Skelter is an edge-of-your-seat thriller about a small-time con artist who spearheaded one of the most unspeakable murder tragedies in history. It explores the age-old question: are killers born or are they made?”
While there’s been a glut of Manson-related media of late, I was surprised by how many viewers weren’t familiar with Manson’s story and the Tate murders when reading reactions to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. This is a big event with some very strange personalities in it and some seriously bizarre happenings along the way – Manson’s life story alone is darkly fascinating. And with the similarly bonkers Tiger King picking up a huge audience, perhaps this will, too.