Zak Bagans is lifting the lid on his new documentary.
Bagans’ “Charles Manson: The Funeral” premieres at 7 p.m. Saturday on Reelz channel (the doc repeats at 6 p.m. April 19). Bagans co-produced the project, which shows exclusive, graphic footage of Manson’s open-casket funeral.
“It’s one of those films that’s so bizarre you cant stop watching,” Bagans said Saturday. “Manson’s followers and funeral attendees are quite the interesting bunch.”
The story follows Manson’s grandson Jason Freeman’s efforts to secure the infamous murderer’s remains, and also delves into Freeman’s struggles with coming to grips with his grandfather’s legacy and his interaction with Manson’s supporters.
“It’s been a long journey, not only for Manson’s grandson, but for our production as well, trying to make this happen,” Bagans said. “I don’t think any of us were expecting what would happen when it came time for the funeral.”
Bagans has accumulated several Manson artifacts for his Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum on East Charleston Boulevard, just east of Las Vegas Boulevard. The hospital gown Manson died in (which holds some of his bodily fluids), a portrait painted with Manson’s ashes in the eyes, and bone fragments from the cult leader’s body are among the items.
“Charles Manson was an evil man, and evil fascinates us,” Bagans said in an interview with Newsweek published this month. “This is why there are so many successful TV shows and movies in the true-crime genre.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.