Jana B. here,
Rob Zombie and Bret Easton Ellis are teaming up with Alcon Television to develop a project for Fox that takes us back to the morbid and attention grabbing incidents surrounding the Manson Family and the murder spree that ensued in August of 1969. Some of us may not have been alive during that time, but if you pay any attention at all to current events you have probably seen the different appeals and hearings for release some of the members have gone through since then. I know the history inside and out but it’s just because I’m a little different than normal people. I am fascinated by serial killers and have read everything on the subject I can get my hands on. At one point, I wanted to be a Psychiatrist that specialized in serial killer tracking…just like Alex Cross from the James Patterson novels. I didn’t end up doing that, but I still read or watch everything on the subject. Some nights I sleep with a baseball bat under the bed , each night I’m grateful for the shotgun that is less than 5 feet from me.
You may recognize writer Bret Easton Ellis‘ name as being the author of ‘American Psycho‘, while he didn’t write the screenplay, that schlockfest came directly from his brain. Christian Bale chasing a chick in stark white tennis shoes with a chainsaw is one of the more memory-inducing images from the movie.
Rob Zombie is a name known far and wide as a bad-ass rocker and master of the horror movie. However his last film, ‘Lords of Salem‘ did nothing but disappoint me. I know others that thought it was great. I’m more into his ‘House of 1000 Corpses‘, ‘The Devil’s Rejects‘ and his ‘Halloween‘ remakes. The latter are some remakes I totally prefer to the original. Maybe it’s just because there’s a better soundtrack, but I loved them.
Ellis is set to write the script and Zombie is on board to direct. It’s in really early development so more information will come later and probably, many changes to what’s proposed now. The project is to tell multiple stories of people and the events that lead up to and points after the murders from different points of view. One thing to remember is this all just in development and hasn’t received a green light yet. Ellis, Zombie and the Madhouse principals will exec produce with Alcon’s Sharon Hall, Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson. Ben Roberts and Ryan Cunningham serve as co-producers.
Zombie, like me, has been fascinated by the Manson Family slayings, which left seven people dead in the LA area. The victims include actress Sharon Tate who was 8 1/2 months pregnant with the child of filmmaker Roman Polanski, Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring, and Abigail Folger of the Folger’s coffee empire.
The killings were so gruesome, and the stories of Charles Manson’s level of control of his drug-addled young followers so disturbing, that Manson was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy charges even though he was never found to have committed a homicide himself. Even though he did kill someone in his early teenage years, he was never convicted.
Manson’s cult followers have been suspected of a good many murders in the LA Area and Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth, California. The killings were made all the much more notorious by the absolute brutality and theatrical staging of the killings, particularly writing messages in blood at the crime scenes that sent America into a collective shock.
The idea for the project began with Zombie and Adam Kolbrenner and Robyn Meisinger of Madhouse Entertainment. They developed the project and brought it to Ellis and Alcon for collaboration. No source material has been optioned for the project, yet.
“I have been obsessed with this insane story since I was a kid, so obviously I jumped at the chance to be involved in this incredible project. After speaking with Bret, I immediately realized that we shared the same vision for this epic madness,” Zombie said.
Manson was sentenced to death in 1971, but the sentence changed to life in prison when the U.S. Supreme Court deemed the death penalty unconstitutional the following year (the court later reversed itself, and California reinstated the death penalty, but Manson’s life-in-prisonment sentence was left standing). He has been denied parole 12 times. Manson is someone that has left a mark of crazy on the country that can’t be erased. I was checking out some websites with new info on Manson recently and have been left completely gobsmacked by the amount of people from states, very close to me, pledging allegiance to the swastika-marked leader and willing to murder anyone in his name, should he ask.
This should leave us all with a feeling of unease. While the aforementioned project is going to be hella interesting, it will only further the madness prevalent in others. The prosecuting attorney Vincent Bugliosi and his wife ended up adopting one of the children born into the Manson Family madness.