Crime Exploitation at the D – The Love Thrill Murders and Manson Double Bill in Detroit 2/18/77
Considering the interest that’s still surrounding the infamous Manson Family, this double bill should be of interest to those who are into finding out about the Exploitation movie history surrounding it.
The Love Thrill Murders was originally titled Sweet Savior and was one of the first films “based” on the story, following Wade Williams’ Other Side of Madness (aka The Helter Skelter Murders). Released in 1971, and at the time of this and picked up by Omni Films who got it the R Rating in Jan. 1976 before Troma picked it up for it’s famous VHS and DVD releases, Sweet Savior is one of the more interesting Crime Exploitation films as it stars Teen Idol Troy Donahue in the main Manson role as Moon with the setting changed from CA to NYC and co-starring Exploitation familiars including Talie Cochrane and Matt Greene. The Downtown NYC setting is perfect for the madness in the film and Donahue’s acting is seriously great for the role. Marquee watchers should spot a playing of the film Cold Turkey as Moon rides his motorcycle through the city as Jeff Barry’s “Sweet Savior” theme is playing.
The film was Directed by Bob Roberts.
Manson, of course, is the famed and acclaimed Documentary by Robert Hendrickson and Lawrence Merrick. Filmed while the trail was happening and including interviews with The Family, it was picked up for Distribution through AIP in 1973. Sadly, Merrick, who also ran an acting school that had Sharon Tate, the Actress wife of Director Roman Polanski who was murdered by the gang in 1969, as a pupil (Sanders, The Family, p. 477, revised edition), was murdered shortly before this double bill hit Detroit on Jan. 26, 1977 – his remaining film history including films like The Black Angels and Guess What Happened to Count Dracula.