The Many Ad Sheets of Manson – Toledo, June and August, 1976
In 1976, just when the case was on for Lynette Fromme’s attempted shooting of then-President Ford was all over the news, the infamous and actually very watchable Manson Documentary was re-issued and even played where the original release Distributed through AIP did not even touch (I think including Detroit!). During the case, it was Banned in California, a fact only partially explained in the hype while not mentioning the full reason. Filmed when the original Manson case was on, and before all of the Post-Family Rainbow stuff was happening, the film seriously captured a very sad time in 60’s history with interviews with members of the gang still not in prison yet, including “Squeaky” Fromme. It was her footage, wearing short shorts and playing around with a gun or a knife, that caused a lot of either controversy or (to those criminally minded or anti social) fascination. It played the Glass City in June, 1976.
The film by Robert Hendrickson and Producer Laurence Merrick (The Black Angels) is still a bold film that sets an example for Documentaries.
Around the time it played Detroit, it also played the Showcase Cinema on Secor in Toledo for a couple of weeks. Filled with fitting special effects of the Early 70’s, as well as the music talents and opinions of Paul Watkins (who I think turned into an anti-cult crusader), this was later released on Monterey Home video which turned into a masive rental item of the day.
On it’s second week in Toledo, the advertising returned to it’s original style, more visual and very striking with a few bits from the good reviews which possibly interested those who missed it out on the first week.
In August, 1976, it reached the Maumee and Miracle Mile Drive Ins with yet another ad sheet.
The second week for it’s Toledo play was like the second for the hardtop, highlighting the well deserved good reviews.
On Jan. 26, 1977, Merrick was gunned down, putting an end to the life of an acting teacher of Sharon Tate, who was murdered in the first night of slaughter back in 1969.