Starring Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache
Directed by Panos Cosmatos
Distributed by Image Entertainment
Those marvelous bouts of madness – how we sometimes need them in copious amounts in order to keep a level playing field. If not only in our lives, we also need them in our cinematic viewing as well, and dammit is it sure fun to partake in such mind-warping psychotic goodness! I truly hope you’ve all got your straight-jackets firmly cinched and your bite guards in place, because we’re going down to the end of the hall (under armed escort, of course) to the viewing room, and on the community TV will be Panos Cosmatos’ Mandy.
Jeez, where to begin with this one? Alright – I’ve got a lock on where I’m heading, and if you’ve ever been on one of these neato computer-thingys you’ve more than likely been inclined to check out reviews and trailers of this flick since its lightning-quick theatrical release earlier this year so I won’t bore you (too much) with all the plot minutiae. For those who’ve kept the hell away from the monitors, I’ll be more than happy to set this one up for ya, so here we go…
Red (Cage) is a lumberjack who lives deep in the woods with his lady, Mandy (Riseborough) – together their days and nights of loving bliss are the stuff of pure happiness. Turns out that their sedentary existences will be compromised when kookier-than-a-shithouse-rat cult leader named Jeremiah (Roache) enters the mix, slaughtering Mandy and sending Red over the edge in what could be loosely described as a full-out raging departure from a sane state. Who better to play someone that’s been pushed over the edge, resulting in a balls-to-the-wall, blood-soaked pursuit of those who’ve wronged him than Cage? For the selection alone I say, “Kudos, Mr. Cosmatos!”
The first half of the film itself is a bit on the slow end of things, setting up all of the necessary plot-work and giving us a view of a colorful world that these people live in before setting things ablaze and giving the audience a heaping helping of soul-crushing grief to contend with. Red’s marauding assault against this crazed band of satanic biker fruitcakes will keep your asses glued to your seats, and needless to say, the crimson will flow, splatter, seep and generally fly in every conceivable direction – I had to pause the film at one point just to make sure nothing had leaked from the screen onto my carpet. Cosmatos’ usage of kaleidoscope-coloration adds to the lunacy factor – if you want the regular tinge of blood against a drab-palette background, check out damn near every other horror film out there, but if it’s a true melding of the chromatic scale, then this is your ocular Olympic Games right here. Casting has its ups and downs, with Cage leading the positive vote here, and who could argue – the guy simply knows how to convey crazy, and the joy I get watching this guy do damage is utterly astral in comparison to some of his other roles.
Alongside some solid cameo performances from the likes of Richard Brake (31) and Bill Duke (Predator), we’re never truly left with a moment of lethargy, and outside of Roache’s rantings and ramblings, each word from a mouth on the screen has something to offer to the story. Overall, Mandy is exactly the trip you need to take if you’re fiending for some blistering revenge-driven brutality and visual artistry that contrasts nicely with a mournful love story. We’re nearing the year’s end, and I’m placing this one high on my “must-see” list for 2018. Don’t hesitate – check it out NOW!
- Behind the Scenes of Mandy
- Deleted & Extended Scenes