Thursday, January 26, 2012

Harold Ramis' Manson Movie that Never Was

Laser Orgy Girls (unproduced, in development late ’70s)
After Matty Simmons and Ivan Reitman passed on Freshman Year, Harold Ramis began writing a script called Laser Orgy Girls with Lampoon writer, editor, and co-founder Doug Kenney. The script, which followed a teenaged Charles Manson's adventures as a suburban high school student who meets some extraterrestrials in the desert, was well-liked by Matty Simmons, Ivan Reitman, and John Landis, the eventual director of Animal House; but it was a little too bold and brash to be unleashed on the American public at that time. Here's Ramis on Laser Orgy Girls:

“Our story concerned Charles Manson in high school, a strangely seductive, demented loner living in the white bread world of a typical Midwestern suburb, corrupting the local youth and forming a depraved cult of flying saucer worshipping teenage zombies. We called it Laser Orgy Girls. The marketing slogan for the popular American Graffiti had been ‘Where were you in ’62?’ Ours was ‘Where was he in ’63?’ To Matty and Ivan’s credit, they actually liked it, but after a moment’s reflection suggested we go back to the idea of doing a college movie.”
As mentioned earlier, John Landis was a particularly big fan of the script, speaking its praises recently in a 2010 interview:

“Their first script was about Charles Manson in high school and, actually, it was really fucking good. There was a great opening gag in which you start out outside San Quentin. The camera goes in through the window, through the walls, through the chicken wire, down into the deepest bowels of the prison. There's Manson in a straitjacket, padded cell, swastika carved in his forehead, and he looks up and says, 'Is it hot in here, or am I crazy?'”

After Harold Ramis and the National Lampoon folks realized there was no way they were going to get the Manson movie made, Ramis and Doug Kenney teamed up with Lampoon writer Chris Miller. The trio combined their sensibilities to write Animal House, which would become the highest-grossing comedy ever at the time of its release.


Patty is Dead said...


Well, Patty thought it was cool...

Happy Friday, punks!

orwhut said...

It was cool. I, for one, just can't think of anything to say.

snooproose said...

Same here!