Billie Joe Channels Manson

Band lends its voices to stop-motion movie

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong will provide the voice of Charles Manson in a bizarre new film called Live Freaky, Die Freaky. The movie, written and directed by John Roecker, will also feature fellow musicians Lars Fredrickson (Rancid), Benji and Joel Madden (Good Charlotte), Travis Barker (Blink-182), Davey Havok (A.F.I.) and Kelly Osbourne, as well as actors Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings) and Asia Argento (XXX).

Due out in spring, Live Freaky will be the first production from the new film division of Rancid leader Tim Armstrong's imprint, Hellcat. A soundtrack featuring original material from many of the rockers in the film is also in the works.

The fiendish fantasy uses stop-motion effects and puppetry similar to Seventies Christmas specials like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town. The story is set in the future with nods to the past, weaving the twisted tale of a young man who discovers an old copy of Helter Skelter (former Los Angeles district attorney Vincent Bugliosi's account of Charles Manson's killing spree) and decides to interpret it as a biblical tome. Mayhem ensues as the only humans left on earth (Osbourne plays "Sharon Hate") become the faithful followers of their own mad messiah, Charles Manson.

"Billie's Manson is astounding," Roecker says.

"I don't know where that voice came from," Armstrong adds. "It was like I was possessed by the character."

Despite the movie's outlandish premise, Roecker admits it has a deeper meaning. "It's really about how man misinterprets everything for his own needs, whether it be the Bible or the Constitution," he says. "I believe in the art of being absurd."

"If things don't go right," quips Armstrong, referencing another biblical movie, "pretty soon Mel Gibson and I might both be working at the Rite-Aid."