Friday, September 23, 2011

40 Days of Night(mares) Day 32: A Movie that Scared You as a Child

Well known nutbar
To me, nothing in a horror movie is very scary, even as a child. I've always been unsettled at the worst, except for one movie. I begged and begged to watch Helter Skelter. Yes, it's not a horror movie, but a reenactment of the investigation of and eventual capture/conviction of Charles Manson and his "Family", based on the book by Vincent Bugliosi, who was the prosecutor who led the trial.
It's an absolute chilling tale of a man with the charisma and control to convince the people who followed him to commit atrocious murders on his orders. It wasn't this that scared me. Even at an early age, I was aware of humanity's capacity for doing harm to one another. It wasn't the brutality and callousness of the people who committed the actual crime either, or the fact that they were willing to kill a pregnant woman during their rampage.
I don't remember specifically what age I was when I watched this, but I remember the part of the movie that scared me. In the closing seconds of the film, it explains that his death sentence was commuted when the death penalty was repealed. And then, it said that Charles Manson would be eligible for parole in the year 19XX. And whatever that XX was, was the year I watched it. I was convinced that they would have to let him go, and he would then continue his plans to create anarchy (helter skelter) by systematically destroying the "pigs" in our society.
I no longer fear this, of course, because thankfully, good old Charlie is out of his ever-loving gourd. Having watched a few of his parole hearings, I'm sure he'll never set foot outside a jail alive.

Cuckoo for Coco Puffs
But, I still remember that gut clenching fear I had upon seeing those words and knowing that, given the chance, he would never stop.

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