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John Waters inspired by Charles Manson -- yikes!

Baltimore film-maker John Waters has always created comedies with a dark, or at least shady, side. Remember Multiple Maniacs and Female Trouble? How about Serial Mom, (filmed in the Stoneleigh neighborhood), about a surburban housewife who carved up both roasts and people? But I never realized that one of the sources of Waters' inspiration was the Manson family, a dangerously warped group responsible for the gruesome 1969 murder of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and others.

On Huffington Post, an excerpt from Water's upcoming book Role Models, details his contact with some "family" members. The book, scheduled for publication in 2010, is described as "a self-portrait told through intimate literary profiles of his favorite personalities; some famous, some unknown, some criminal, some alarmingly middle of the road."

An excerpt from the excerpt: I needed to know more. How had these kids, from backgrounds so similar to mine, committed in real life the awful crimes against peace and love that we were acting out for comedy in our films? ...

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Sexy, scary, brain-dead, and dangerous, this gang of hippy lunatics gave new meaning to "folie à famille", group madness and insanity as long as the same people are together and united. It was an amazing thing to see in person. Heavily influenced, and actually jealous of their notoriety, I went back to Baltimore and made Pink Flamingos which I wrote, directed and dedicated to the "Manson girls", "Sadie, Katie and Les".

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