And here it is again on wikipedia. And finally, here is the trailer on youtube.
If you do remember it, too bad. It's really terrible and I don't recommend that anyone ever give up 91 minutes of their lives in order to watch it. But I did, and here is why:
John Kaye is the author of the novels Stars Screaming and The Dead Circus, which I enjoyed immensely and heartily do recommend to all, as I often have in the past. The latter book is supposed to be made into a film, entitled I Fought the Law, which I have posted about before here, I haven't heard anything about this of late, and even the teaser trailer on vimeo no longer works.
Mr. Kaye is also a screenwriter and one time film director. He wrote and directed Forever Lulu with Patrick Swayze and Melanie Griffith and also wrote Where the Buffalo Roam, which is, of course, a classic.
Mr. Kaye is also a contributor to the LA Review of Books and it is this contribution entitled 1972: Five Days in September which inspires this post. That article is really long, and so without any permission at all from anyone (that's how I roll) I shall copy and paste the relevant paragraphs:
"Driving home from the Goldenberg School, where once again Jesse rushed inside late, I pulled up to a red light on the corner of the Sunset and Crescent Heights. Distracted by the radio and my inner musings, I didn't notice the hippie girl with the expressionless eyes and unbrushed hair who had stepped off the curb and was now knocking on my passenger side window. She was wearing a white peasant dress and wire-rimmed glasses, and when she finally got my attention (by leaning over a little, so I could examine her cleavage) I asked her where she was going.
"I'm not going that far." I replied
"Then take us as far as you're going," she said.
Us? That's when the light turned green and I saw her motion to another, older girl with a sunburned face who was sitting on the bus bench, cradling an infant. Hearing her name called, she stubbed out the cigarette she was smoking, and, before I could decide what to do — by now the cars behind me were honking loudly — my door swung open and they both hopped into the front seat. Pulling away, I felt angry and impinged upon, my day thrown into uncertainty. Breakfast, preschool, home to write, or at least try to write: That was a schedule I adhered to as a debt of honor, one I would never allow to be compromised, especially by a couple of casually selfish teenyboppers.
Without asking my permission, the girl sitting beside me in the peasant dress reached for the radio, changed the dial from AM to FM, and fumbled around until she found a rock station in the high numbers at the end of the dial. The girl next to her — the mother holding the baby — giggled, and for some reason that mindless giggle, more than having my car invaded and my radio hijacked, detonated my indignation and anger.
I said, "What's so fucking funny?"
The girl with the baby muttered something I didn't understand, and when I said "What?" the girl next to me, the more aggressive of the pair, said, "She doesn't want you to swear around her baby." That's when I turned my head and saw what I had earlier overlooked: Each of them had the letter X carved into the center of their foreheads.
Although the Manson trial had ended and Charlie was now safely incarcerated in Folsom prison, one of the earliest and most loyal members of his family, Bruce Davis, had been recently convicted of two additional murders — musician Gary Hinman and Spahn Ranch caretaker Donald "Shorty" Shea — that Charlie had ordered. Davis had been housed in the Los Angeles County Jail waiting to be sentenced, which, serendipitously, came on the day I picked up these two unsavory and unpredictable hitchhikers.
"We're going down to the courthouse to say goodbye," said the girl next to me, while her girlfriend added, beaming brightly, "I want Bruce to see my baby. Her name's Rainbow."
"Isn't that a pretty name?" the girl next to me said, shifting her leg so her knee was touching mine. "Charlie gave it to her."
"Is it Charlie's baby?"
"It's everyone's baby," Rainbow's mother said. "Charlie said we're all Goddesses of Childbirth, and our babies are made to be shared."
The Charles Manson guide to childrearing: What utter bullshit! Naturally, I wanted to dump this loathsome duo as soon as I could, but, looking back, I realize what bothered me most was not their gullibility or stupidity. In 1972, the streets of Los Angeles were overflowing with grinning, clueless hippies spouting all sorts of ludicrous nonsense. No, it was the diabolical joy these two creatures seemed to derive from knowing that, just by showing the X on their faces, they could instill the cold finger of fear into anyone they encountered, including me.
A few moments later, when I reached the intersection of La Brea and Sunset, I told them the ride was over. "You have to get out. I need to run an errand."
They were quiet for a moment, mulling their options, but they didn't argue or seem at all surprised. They knew I was lying, of course, and in both their outwardly serene faces I detected a kind of concealed rage, a sleeping malice that made me flinch. Back on the sidewalk they flashed me the peace sign, told me to "have a nice day," and I drove off feeling as though I had avoided something dangerous."
Interesting for sure, at least for me, but Mr. Kaye's screenplay for the movie left out the Manson connection with the girls. I wonder who the two girls may have been? Also, the infant? In September of 1972, which of Charlie's girls would have had an infant? While this encounter is certainly much less than earth-shattering, it makes me wonder if meetings with various X engraved Family members was just part of the daily routine back in LA during that time?