12 user 5 critic

The Other Side of Madness (1971)

X | | Crime, Drama | December 1971 (USA)
A mixture of documentary footage and re-enactment scenes, some filmed on the action locations, of the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders committed by the gang known as the Manson Family.


Frank Howard


J.J. Wilke Jr. (screenplay), Duke Howze (additional dialogue)


Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Klinknett Brian Klinknett ... Killer
Erica Bigelow Erica Bigelow ... Killer / Defendant
Paula Shannon Paula Shannon ... Killer / Defendant
Linda Van Compernolle Linda Van Compernolle ... Killer / Defendant
Debbie Duff Debbie Duff ... Victim / The Starlet
Phyllis Estes Phyllis Estes ... Victim
Gary Donovan Gary Donovan ... Victim
Richard Kaplan Richard Kaplan ... Victim
Ray Pitts Ray Pitts ... Victim
Leah Pringle Leah Pringle ... The Smug Witness / Rock Concert
Frank Burgess ... The Male Witness
Dottie Lane Dottie Lane ... The Actress Witness / Royalty
John Amaral John Amaral ... The Fourth Witness
Jeanne Switzer Jeanne Switzer ... Defendant
John David John David ... Defendant
Learn more

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A mixture of documentary footage and re-enactment scenes, some filmed on the action locations, of the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders committed by the gang known as the Manson Family.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The DOCUMENTED Re-enactment of the Horrifying BEVERLY HILLS MASS KILLINGS that Shocked the World! Murder...Without Reason...Without Mercy...Beyond Human Comprehension! See more »


Crime | Drama


X | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Group: [chanting together] Kill every white mother, every white pig.
See more »


Featured in The Cinema Snob: The Helter Skelter Murders (2012) See more »


Where Am I to Go?
by Sean Bonniwell (as Thomas Sean Bonniwell)
See more »

User Reviews

A patchy but nonetheless intriguing depiction of the August 8th Manson family murders
16 October 2012 | by RomanJamesHoffmanSee all my reviews

I first heard of 'The Helter Skelter Murders' (under its alternative title 'The Other Side of Madness') when reading about the 8/8/88 Satanic rally, organised by Zeena (daughter of Anton) LaVey and founder of the Werewolf Order Niclaus Schreck. During that rally, held on the anniversary of the Tate slayings, the movie was shown and when the depiction of the murders began the crowd actually cheered. Whilst certainly ghoulish, I was nonetheless intrigued and sought out the movie and soon saw why it was chosen: the film is a grimy, low-budget, quasi-documentary style exploitation movie shot mostly in black and white which gives it a creepy and authentic feel. The first half is a bizarre collection of scenes including a (pretty cool-looking) desert rock concert, life on Spahn ranch (where Manson and his family lived), court-room scenes, and, in the movie's only colour scene, a fairytale introduction to Sharon Tate. Actually, this first half is not particularly well-done as the aforementioned scenes don't gel together and, crucially, even though it was presumably made to cash-in on the notoriety of the Manson Murders, which were then very much in the news, apart from a few shots of vaguely Manson-looking guy and a recording of Manson's 'Mechanical Man' (not his best composition by a long shot) there is very little mention of Charlie and little-to-no development of the various members of his family who appear in the court-room scenes. However, it's with the shift to the second half that you really see the appeal to LaVey and Schreck as the whole remainder of the film is given over to a detailed, brutal, and drawn-out recollection of the Tate murders by one of the defendants. This section is quite well directed as it takes its time, building tension which is accentuated by the fact that we know what will happen but we don't know when the movie will show it (and how much it intends to show) and it certainly doesn't disappoint when it kicks off. It's unsettling to think that the scenes drew cheers from people and, for me, this knowledge added an uncomfortable post-script to an already uncomfortable viewing experience. All told, the movie is an interesting addition to the Manson mythology although just barely managing to raise itself above its limitations by the impact of the murder scene. Gruesome and sensationalist it may be, but then so were the murders it depicts.

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Release Date:

December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Helter Skelter Murders See more »

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