Helter Skelter: An American Myth promises the ‘most definitive recounting’ of the infamous cult ever seen on screen
It’s been less than a year since Quentin Tarantino’s ninth feature film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, reimagined the infamous Manson Family murders. Now, it seems our grim fascination with the hippie cult isn’t subsiding, as US television network Epix has just dropped the trailer for its “definitive” documentary on Charles Manson and his crimes.
Helter Skelter: An American Myth is a six-part docuseries, offering never-before-accessed interviews with former family members and journalists. As well as real-life commentary, the series will feature archival footage, newly-unearthed images, and chilling recreations.
“I was definitely under Charlie’s spell,” a former family member says in the trailer, while another adds: “We wanted to not only be liked by Charlie; we wanted to be Charlie.”
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Epix said: “The legend of the Manson Family permeates our culture, our media, and our collective features. Why, after 50 years, does this ragtag group of hippies and their two-night murder spree still fascinate and purplex us?” The network goes on to describe Helter Skelter as “the most definitive recounting of the Manson Family story ever put on screen”, declaring it will “challenge everything viewers think they know about this bizarre chapter in American history”.
The Manson Family was a cult – with around 50 followers – led by Charles Manson that was active in California in the late 60s and early 70s. Although the group were responsible for a number of murders, assaults, and crimes, they rose to notoriety when three members killed actress Sharon Tate and four others in 1969.
The title of Epix’s documentary relates to a theory put forward by the lead prosecutor in the Tate murder trial. The prosecution alleged that Manson preached to his ‘family’ about ‘Helter Skelter’ in the months leading up to the murder, in which he envisioned an apocalyptic war arising from racial tensions between black and white people. The theory suggested that Manson and his followers committed the murders in order to trigger the ‘Helter Skelter’ race war, which was the basis for their eventual conviction for the Tate/La Bianca murders.
Helter Skelter is executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Eli Frankel, while Lesley Chilcott will direct and serve as an executive producer. Watch the trailer above.
Helter Skelter: An American Myth premieres on June 14