Former Manson Family Member Reviews Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Calls Surprise Ending "Fitting"

Warning: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Spoilers

Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, follows in the footsteps of his 2009 film, Inglourious Basterds. Both movies take the “revisionist history” approach, giving new endings to real and important moments from our past. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood takes the murder of actress Sharon Tate, who is played by Margot Robbie in the film, and flips it. Rather than seeing the Manson Family members murder Tate and her friends, they are taken down by a fictional actor and his stunt double, who are played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. Many people are fans of Tarantino’s unique approach, including former Manson follower, Dianne Lake.

Lake recently reviewed the film for The Daily Beast, saying: “I thought the ending was very clever.” Lake, who was nicknamed “Snake” back in the day, was the youngest member of the Manson Family, joining the group at age 14 in 1967. She ended up being the key witness in the trial that sent Charles Manson and some of his followers to prison. In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Sydney Sweeney portrays Lake in the scene that sees Pitt’s character bringing a hitchhiking Manson follower back to Spahn Ranch, where the family lived.

“You know, I loved those people. It’s hard,” Lake said of the members who committed the crime in real life. “But they did commit these horrific, brutal … They committed mayhem. It was only fitting that the mayhem ended up on them.”

While Lake appreciated the twist ending, she did have some thoughts on the real reasoning behind Manson’s attacks, which she says was fueled by his obsession with starting a race war.

“I know that there’s a lot of people out there that say that’s BS, but I was there. He had been talking about this race war for a long time,” she explained. “Then once The White Album came out, it was Helter Skelter. But it was still this race war, and we were preparing for it. And once it was over, ta-da! Charlie and family would rise from the ashes and, you know, repopulate the earth and fix everything. Charlie thought he was this Messiah. He thought he was Christ, coming again. It was just crazy.”


Once Upon a Time in Hollywood stars Margot Robbie, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Al Pacino, Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning, Kurt Russell, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Damian Lewis, Lena Dunham, Bruce Dern, and the late Luke Perry.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is now playing in theaters.

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