THE OTHER SIDE OF MADNESS (Blu-ray Review)
From THE FILM DETECTIVE
Review by Fluffy the Fearless😼
If you thought recent films like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and The Haunting of Sharon Tate exploited the real-life Manson murders for the sake of entertainment, this unearthed relic might redefine the word for you.
What makes The Other Side of Madness such a historical oddity is that it was produced and released during the actual Charles Manson trial, going as far as to include some of his music in the soundtrack (producer Wade Williams even sought-out Manson’s permission). Profiting from the most infamous mass murder in American history - before the victims’ bodies are even cold - demonstrates a level of callousness unparalleled even in exploitation circles.
This micro-budget docudrama opens with a crawl stating that everything is lifted from news releases and articles, all of which was widely available to anyone who could read. Hence, there are no untold stories, no revelations, no new evidence. Director Frank Howard & producer Wade Williams appear content to simply re-enact sporadic events based on testimony and articles, including the Tate murders. But there’s little attempt to provide context or continuity, nor is there much dialogue beyond a few “characters” taking the stand during trial.
|One of the film's sentimental moments.
Since the movie itself is a shoddy slab of sleaze - and actually kind of boring - it’s the disc’s bonus features that might hold the most interest. In a couple of interviews, producer Wade Williams provides context his film doesn’t bother with, and the story behind it is admittedly fascinating. If nothing else, he answers the nagging question you’ll undoubtedly be asking: “Who the hell would make something like this?”
AUDIO INTERVIEWS - With producer Wade Williams, who pretty-much acknowledges his exploitative intentions.
CD - Two songs by Manson himself, both of which are featured in the film and packaged in a replica of the original promotional sleeve. One listen and you’ll understand why he never became a rock star.