If you're an Oliver Stone movie fan, well, you've been waiting for this day to come ever since the assassination of John F. Kennedy was massacred by him in '91.
Sure, it's just Hollywood gossip – via Liz Smith – right now, but isn't that how Vivian Leigh finally got cast for Gone With The Wind?
If Hollywood gossip columnists say so, it MUST be true, or at least Vince may be forced into making it so.
Yeppers, if you haven't got my drift yet, I'm talking about the possibility of a silver screen remake of Vincent Bugliosi's best-selling book "Helter Skelter".
Charlie on the Big Screen and in Technicolor…just think how HUGE the Buck knives will look up there!!!
You just knew that eventually, at least, before he croaked, old Charlie would finally hit the Big Time that he so craved with Dennis and Terry way back when.
I wonder if old Charlie KNEW himself that this day would come, figuring if he can't strike it big in the "musak" biz, all he'd have to do is kill a few celebs, leave a pile of gore and wait 40 years and Hollywood would come begging for him!
What a goddamned Evil Genius Charlie is!
Back to Oliver…
I, like so many criminal/political history junkies, couldn't WAIT to line up to see Stone's take on the murder of a President. Hell, the word epic wouldn't be big enough to describe the splendour!
After a three hour line-up, I grabbed an overloaded stash of Gummy Bears, Nibs, a huge bucket of popcorn (with an extra pump of that oh, so slimy good "Butter Flavoured Topping") and two huge Cokes and lumbered my way to centre stage, picking just the right seat to grab the best Surround Sound experience.
This was gonna be HUGE. I almost bubbled over with excitement!
My late husband came along, well, he was more dragged along than voluntarily ventured. He couldn't see what all the fuss was about; it wasn't like it was October and we were seeing the latest Warren Miller ski season movie. But he loved me (the foolish dude!) and he knew that he was married to a chick who got off on all this docudrama crap, so he humoured me and got stuck in a seat, psychologically preparing himself for three hours of political torture, and for me, well, he did it with a smile on his face, Bless Him!
Three hours later, I was transfixed and transformed from a Lone Nut Oswaldian to a Conspiracy Theorist Garrisonite, all thanks to Oliver Stone and his oh, so believable movie "JFK"!
Yep, I became one of the many, now saying, "It WAS a conspiracy, Man! Oswald could NOT do the shooting! One pristine bullet – that dog don't hunt!"
Okay the last sentence was really Walter Matthau's, as he played Senator Russell Long of Louisiana in the movie, but hell, Walter and Oliver were right goddammit!
And over night, Richard Helms and not Lee Harvey Oswald became my Bogey Man!
All because of Oliver Stone.
Flash ahead 15 years, it's now 2006, and I'm now determined to read EVERY LAST PAGE of the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission, just like New Orleans then District Attorney, Jim Garrison supposedly did, and what do I find, NO evidence of a conspiracy at all, and to boot, in my research, I stumble upon a website called "JFK 100" , a site wholly dedicated to debunking the first 100 errors in Stone's epic!
The first hundred?!
Oliver betrayed me after all!
I wasn't furious or anything but I was sad that I had allowed Oliver's "version" of the murder of JFK to pervade my consciousness because I was so ignorant of the facts in the case.
My Father the cop would have been very disappointed in me, and in Oliver, for sure.
Back to Charlie, The Bug and Helter Skelter…
And now it's 2009, 18 years after the movie epic "JFK", and I'm back, holding my breath, urgently anticipating Stone's take on The Bug's book, naively thinking that THIS TIME, Oliver will not stray from the facts and that THIS TIME, his docudrama will accurately bring to life The Family, their exploits and those horrible spree murders from '69.
The Bug was and is a stickler for details and Oliver is a stickler for showmanship, so how would the twain meet?
TLB2 Guest Author, Mr. Poirot, gave me his take on the upcoming movie epic,
"I cant see Bug and Stone being able to work together. Bug would make a 20hr mini series and Stone would make Sharon Tate into a karate artist who nearly defeats the entire family in hand to hand [combat]."
Can anyone say it better?
Sure, hell, people would line up for blocks to see the pregnant Sharon kick the Buntline out of Tex's hand and nail him in the groin, who wouldn't?
Cheers would erupt when Jay and Sharon did duo kicks, letting the Buck knives fly out of Sadie and Katie's hands and then kicking them square in their noses, the girls yelling like Jan did on the Brady Bunch when Greg hit her with that football…
"My nose, my nose!"
But then, a whole new crop of people who allowed themselves to be taught history ala Oliver Stone, would wonder why they never see Sharon in movies anymore and why Jay isn't still flogging his Sebring hair care products on TV.
Yes, after my initial excitement at the prospect of Helter Skelter coming to the Big Screen, I then felt a shiver go down my spine at the thought of yet another North American historical event being bastardized and remoulded for unaware viewers.
If Liz Smith has got it right, and The Bug is busy again doing 100 hour weeks in front of his typewriter hacking out a screen play for Oliver Stone to chop and slice like so much celebrity flesh under a Buck knife, what will be the outcome and how will an unaware public now view Charlie Manson and The Family?
I WILL stand in line for three hours again.
I WILL stock up on Gummy Bears, Nibs, popcorn (with slimy sauce) and two Cokes.
And I will be as ebullient this time as I was the last time, at the thought of entering Charlie's world once more through Oliver Stone's eyes.
I wonder if afterwards, someone will start a website called "Helter Skelter 100"?