Title – Mandy (2018)
Director – Panos Cosmatos (Beyond the Black Rainbow)
Cast – Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Ned Dennehy, Bill Duke
Plot – Set in the wilderness of America in 1983, lumberjack Red Miller (Cage) is set on a path of violent revenge when a group of religious cultists and drug addled bikers murder his girlfriend Mandy Bloom (Riseborough).
“So, what you huntin’?”
Review by Eddie on 11/10/2018
Crying out for more Crazy Cage in your life, then Mandy is here to save the day!
One of the year’s most talked about oddities and a film that is destined for a healthy life amongst the cult film circuit, Mandy is a fever dream like horror (comedy?) that further establishes the oddball charm of its leading man when given the right material for his sensibilities and also its director Panos Cosmatos, who follows up the trippy and much talked about Beyond the Black Rainbow with this 70’s like throwback.
Infused with a metal tinged heart that is championed by an ear drum smashing and memorable score from the late Jóhann Jóhannsson, Mandy is a bizarre journey into an otherworldly like version of Earth that see’s Cage lumberjack turned revenge seeker/sword wielding Red Miller take on a band of religious cultists and drug crazed bikies that were responsible for the death of his beloved partner Mandy Bloom, played by Andrea Riseborough.
In many ways it’s a familiar story and the foundation for countless other revenge themed and exploitation horror’s but thanks to Cosmatos and Cage’s wide eyed and committed turn, Mandy never once feels like anything we’ve seen before, even if it never becomes a film that engages in a satisfactory manner outside of its bizarre and unforgettable eccentricities.
Often coloured in a red hellish glow and broken up into specific chapters, Cosmatos blood filled and gore soaked experience takes its time getting anywhere, which will frustrate those viewers looking to get into the real crazy cage territory that doesn’t kick into till around the half way mark and it is a problem for the film in many instances with scenes and seemingly unnecessarily long takes often becoming a little long in the tooth, even if an extended scene of Cage crying in a bathroom in his underwear will go down as one of the year’s best.
When things really ramp up in the final 30 or so minutes however, you begin to understand why Mandy has become one of the year’s most talked about events, as Cage forges his weapon of choice and heads on a suicide like mission of revenge that features (I kid you not) a chainsaw duel that is worth the price of admission alone and truly inhabits its wild foundations that will ensure its place in the actors most memorable works (both good and bad).
Final Say –
Filled with some outstanding imagery, a speaker shattering soundtrack and a crazy fun Crazy Cage, Mandy is not for everyone and has its fair share of flaws but when things click into gear, this is a movie experience wholly unique and unforgettable, ensuring its status as a cult favourite for year’s yet to come.
3 chainsaw duels out of 5