February 8, 2016

Lifetime Movie Network The Meltdown: Manson's Lost Girls

Last weekend, I received a comment from Caron Tschampion, the writer of Lifetime's Online Abduction. I suppose I do not share this with my readers often, but in the past, I have been contacted by writers, directors and even actors of these films I recap. All of them have been extremely nice and have a great sense of humor about my recaps. If nothing else ever comes of my blog, it is really an honor to be able to "connect" with the entertainment industry in some way or another. 

Thinking of all Lifetime has done/is doing for me had me feeling some kind of way. Thus, I wrote a little song to commemorate #thefeels:

**Please sing along to the tune of 80s hair band Firehouse's classic song Love Of A Lifetime:

I guess the Lifetime recaps are here to stay.
I'll just keep losing brain cells every Saturday.
Perhaps the scripts will improve; I'll put it in my prayer.
Yeah that shit will never come true
Because Lifetime isn't fair.

I finally found my LOVE FOR THE LIFETIME!
A love that causes me to drink more booze.
I finally found my LOVE FOR THE LIFETIME!
Like a forever lingering rancid fart.
I finally found my LOVE FOR THE LIFETIME.

Yep, I need therapy. Le Sigh.

Lifetime's Movie O'Week was all about Manson. No, not Marilyn Manson. Charles Manson, charismatic 60s commune leader and infamous criminal:

A face that could launch 1,000 shits.
Like for real tho, why did women flock to him?

In all honesty, the movie was NOT terrible and was a decent account of the events that occurred on Spahn's Movie Ranch in the late 1960s.

No, my television does not need cleaning.
Lifetime was going for that "grainy" OG effect. #theysofancy #youalreadyknow

The film opens with a newsreel of the murder of actress Sharon Tate. Linda Kasabian, the narrator of the movie and one of Charles Manson's followers, is attempting to escape the ranch with her daughter.

Linda was the key witness in the prosecution of Manson for the Tate-LaBianca murders.

We then flashback to Linda leaving for California at age 16 (she hated her stepfather so much Manson seemed promising). She met a man named Bob, got married and had a daughter, Tanya. When Bob ditches her to go to South America, Linda meets Susan Atkins, one of Manson's followers/harem, in a diner. Susan Atkins is played by Josh Brolin's daughter, Eden and looks like this:

And the real Susan Atkins looked like this:

Susan played an instrumental role in the Tate murders.
She died in prison in 2009.

Susan takes Linda to Spahn's Ranch and there she meets Leslie Van Houten (who is played by Kelsey Grammer's daughter Greer) and Squeaky Fromme. A few days before yours truly was born, Squeaky took a shot at then president Gerald Ford.

She claimed it was a statement against environmental pollution.
Or she was crazy OR a dipshit. Go with the latter, folks.

Also living at the ranch is Charles Watson, known by Manson as "Tex" because of his southern drawl. He is played by Christian Madsen.

Son of Michael Madsen.
And he eerily looks like his dad at a young age.

Linda, like the other women at the ranch, was instantly charmed by Manson. Ranch life meant lots of drugs, orgies and a thrilling initiation ceremony where you pass the hot dog link between the sheets with Manson (PUKE). The girls also partied at Dennis Wilson's, as in Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys, house. Yes, even he had a connection to Manson back in the 60s. Oh and of course, someone had to pay the bills at this "den of pleasure" Manson created and guess who that was? The girls! They "hustled" as they called it for money, by robbing people and stealing cars. And Manson used the girls as prostitutes to service various men he needed things from.

Gosh, Manson seemed like such a great guy.

But, BUT, Surprise! Things were always not so fun at the ranch. Manson had a plan that he called "helter skelter." He was preparing for a revolution, some sort of race war, which basically amounted to heinous killings.

Linda noted that many people visited the ranch while she was there, including a man named Gary Hinman. Gary was supposed to help Manson pitch his album with the help of Dennis Wilson. Manson actually wrote a few songs that went on to be covered by bands, including The Beach Boys and Guns N Roses.

Never Learn Not To Love written by Charles Manson:

Look At Your Game Girl written by Charles Manson:

However, Manson's dreams of becoming an artist were crushed when Dennis Wilson told him that the record deal was a no-go. Manson threatened Wilson off his property in anger. He told his followers that he would make his own record. Besides, who cared because it was time to prepare for Helter Skelter. As time goes on, they run out of money at the ranch and Linda steals $5,000 from her ex Bob to help Manson. Manson is thrilled with Linda and chases Bob off the ranch with a gun when he shows up threatening them with the police.

SO many bongs, so little time.

Meanwhile, things become worse at the ranch. Gary Hinman arrives and Manson is furious with him. He believes Hinman owes him money and property.

The real Gary Hinman.

Manson leaves and orders Susan and Bobby Beausoleil, another one of Manson's followers, to kill Hinman. They plan to blame the killing on the Black Panthers, a militant minority group well known in the 1960s. However, Bobby is found sleeping in Gary's car on the side of the road and is arrested. The knife he and Susan used to kill Gary is also in the car.

Robert Beausoleil is currently serving a life sentence.

The girls at the ranch tell Manson they have a plan to save Bobby. They will commit other murders and make it look like the same type of killing. Manson thinks it is a wonderful idea and proclaims "Helter Skelter starts tonight!" Tonight, incidentally, is August 9, 1969. Linda drove the getaway car  (she was the only one with a driver's license) and Tex, Susan and Patricia Krenwinkel traveled to a home in Beverly Hills, 10050 Cielo Drive to be precise, to rob and murder the inhabitants. Manson tells Susan to make sure to leave a sign at the crime - "something witchy." They do so, and five people are brutally murdered including actress Sharon Tate, movie director Roman Polanski's wife. She was 26 years old and nine months pregnant.

The beautiful Sharon Tate.

Once they return home, the news reports go wild. Manson is furious because there are no suspects in the murders and this will not help Bobby. Thus, he decides to send the group out again to commit another murder. On August 10, 1969, they travel to the home of supermarket executive Leno LaBianca. They kill him and his wife, and Linda again is the lookout and driver. The next day, the LAPD reports that these murders were not related. Susan gleefully makes a list of famous people they should murder next. However, before long, the ranch is raided and Manson and his followers are arrested. Linda makes a deal with the prosecution that she will testify against Manson for her immunity.

And there is this creepy scene at the courthouse of Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten:

Thrilled to be going to jail for their MAN-son.

By the way, Van Houten and Krenwinkel are still serving a life sentence in prison and are now the longest incarcerated female inmates in the California penal system. The old "just following orders" defense did not work for these ladies either.

Anyhoo, as I stated, the movie was not terrible. But, BUT, what a pleasant way to spend a Saturday evening - watching the Manson family at work. Thanks, Lifetime.

Did you watch Manson's Lost Girls? Do you remember the Tate-LaBianca murders? Do you even know who Charles Manson is (young people, Le Sigh)? Let me know in the comments below!

I am under Lifetime's spell because I am,


  1. So cool that people from Lifetime keep contacting you. At least they have a sense of humor :)! I should probably watch this one. Although I do know who Charles Manson is, I don't really know the whole story.

    1. Isn't it though? It makes me feel like a tiny TINY part of the entertainment industry. Like a little cog in the wheel...although I think I discourage instead of encourage you to watch Lifetime. LOL.
      Yes, you should! It is a part of our history. Not mine, but my parents. Although it is crazy to think that Gerald Ford's assassination attempt happened the same year I was born. Do kids even know he was president?? LOL.

  2. Maybe Lifetime will ask you to write a script...! :P Yeah, this movie seemed ok, fascinating...!

    1. Lol! I know nothing about script writing. But maybe I will look into it one day! Sounds interesting!!

  3. I believe Manson is Satan's son! He's the epitome of crazy. And it boggles my mind how Manson, of all people, has "followers". I haven't watched this film but think the whole history of it is fascinating.

  4. Isn't it scary how much one person can control and influence so many others...mmmm....now there's a thought, I wonders how many peeps I can influence to give me TREATS.....just off to do a bit of research!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  5. It's so cool that they actually contacted you, but sheesh these people are not only creepy but downright scar for sure. Blah.... have a great day! :)

  6. I must admit the older I get and the more horrors I see in the news on a daily basis the less inclined I am to sit a watch a film or series based on real life horrors

  7. Oh yes I remember the lunatic Charles Manson and his band of crazy broads. We live nightmare for sure. Sharon Tate was certainly a beautiful young woman. I did not watch the movie...kind of lived it since it was all over the newspapers.
    I think it is most complimentary that your great reviews are being noticed!! congrats
    Hugs Madi and mom

    1. That must have been crazy! There were so many wild events back then. I feel like after the 50s, the innocence of our country was really lost.

  8. So much creepiness. What did anyone see in him.

  9. Manson is so bug eyed, why would any women fall for the ugly. He was born in my Nati City, not a great claim for my city. You wonder what drugs and alcohol does to a fetus!
    You really should write for Lifetime and get paid .
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot

    1. Oh that would be nice! Getting paid.
      And geez...he was horrible right?

  10. For so long the media kept feeding into Manson's ego by interviewing him on TV and letting him spew his evil. Now it seems he is being ignored for the most part.

    1. I remember that! He loved flapping his gums on tv even in the 80s!

  11. Mom liked it but fell asleep
    Lily & Edward

  12. I never heard about that with Ford, he was lucky

    1. Oh yes! There is a famous picture of him ducking behind a car and secret service guys are all around him. I believe the gun used is on display.

  13. I can't believe they are still making movies about Manson's antics. I was 8 when all this happened and it seems like every 10 years, someone does another Manson flick....I really wish they wouldn't give him the attention.

    On the upside, kudos that you are being recognized! Now....time to get Marvel to notice your awesome recaps!

    1. Oh I know. It gives him what he wants- notoriety!
      Omg I wish! Marvel over here! Haha

  14. I wanted to see this! I'll catch it on a repeat. Charles Manson has always creeped me out.

    1. It wasn't too bad! Definitely check it out!!

  15. Thiiiiiiiiis kind of stuff scares me. Like, legitimately scares me. You never know who the crazies are. Yikes!

    And congrats on the Lifetime recognition! That's neat!!!!!

  16. Aw man, I need to see this! I wrote my profiling thesis on Manson in college!


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