Menendez: Blood Brothers (2017 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
This film explores the inner lives and motivation behind the murders of entertainment executive Jose Menendez and his wife Kitty at the hands of their sons Lyle and Erik in 1989
Is Courtney Love in this movie? Why wasn’t that publicized more? She types on a typewriter for her son as he dictates. She is an alcoholic try trying to get through each day. Kitty and Jose Menendez are then gunned down in their bed in their Beverly Hills home by their sons.
August 5th, 1989, at a tennis march, Jose flirts with a woman shamelessly in front of his wife. Kitty ignores it but knows what is going on. Jose is not only a cheater. He rapes his sons, and she knows about that too.
Lyle (and his hairpiece.) comes home from college to visit. Erik wants to go to college and live in the dorms, but Jose wants his son to stay home, “to be close to his mother.” Erik and his brother play Atari, he opens up about still being molested. Lyle promises that Jose will never touch him again. Lyle stands up to his father and threatens to tell the horrors that have been inflicted on them.
The brothers bring in rifles into their parent’s room and shoot them multiple times. They throw the rifles in the Hollywood hills and come up with alibies. The story is: they went to the movies and came home and found their parents dead. Detectives are sympathetic, at first, and put the boys up in a hotel.
Erik and Lyle speak at their parent’s funeral and are appropriately emotional. They continue to live in their parents’ homes and enjoy the pool, treadmill, and tennis court. They plan on how to spend their inheritance. Lyle goes back to Prinston, and Erik plans on what he will do with his life. He wants to play tennis and continues therapy, which wasn’t helping before. The doctors give him medication to ease his anxiety.
The ghost of Kitty and Jose haunt Erik while he is alone in his home. Detectives stop by to question Erik and see if he has the movie tickets stubs. Lyle makes statements to the press that create suspicion. It all gets to him, and he admits to killing his parents in therapy. Lyle shows up to take care of things.
Lyle talks with the therapist and makes things worse by threatening him. The therapist records the conversation and has his assistant/girlfriend listen in. They plan on extorting the brothers for money; wait, is this real? The girlfriend calls the police at the first opportunity she gets.
The brothers jump into their blue jeep and head to Cheesecake Factory. The police arrive on the scene and arrest Lyle (22). Erik (19) was out of town for a tennis match. Ghost Courtney Love visits Erik and tells him not to go back to the USA. He doesn’t listen and goes back and turns himself into custody. (We see him get stripped searched, and the movie depicts the trauma he is experiencing well.)
The brothers are reunited in prison, and Lyle promises to take care of them. Erik hires Jill Lansing to work his case.
1992, things are not looking so good for Erik and Lyle’s case. In the prison yard, the brother’s workout shirtless and talk about revealing why they killed their parents. The press runs with the story and labels it “the abuse excuse.” (Which is terrible.) Family members testify and corroborate the abuse. It triggers memories for Erik of being abused by his brother as well. Lyle admits to it on the stand.
Erik’s grandmother, Jose’s mother, stands by the brother’s side. The trial is emotional and goes into disturbingly graphic detail. The defense makes it a GAY ISSUE?!?! What the hell. The men on the jury think that since Erik was 18 and the abuse was continuing, he somehow was complicit in it? The jury is deadlocked, and it is ruled as a mistrial.
The second trial throws out the “battered woman.” defense because they are men. Lyle writes a tell-all book and can’t testify in Erik’s case. The second jury finds Erik and Lyle guilty of first-degree murder. The brothers are given life sentences and moved to separate prisons. Erik regrets his choices and marries his lawyer, Tammi.
Minority Report: Jose, Police, Lawyer, Jury
Tough subject matter.
🔪🔪🔪 (3 Knives)
🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)
*Photo Credit: © 2017 Lifetime