I love movies that take place during the ’80s… the clothes, hair, makeup, cars, and not to mention the references and the music. Oh, that magnificent ’80s music! There’s just something super extra fun about a movie taking place in the glorious ’80s that adds to the allure and excitement in watching the film. Pair that with candy-colored filters and beautiful scenery, plus the promise of blood and violence, and I’m utterly, and completely, in for the ride.
Mandy delivers on all of that. Panos Cosmatos’ follow up to Beyond the Black Rainbow, is an ultra violent revenge thriller set in the Pacific Northwest in 1983. It follows the simple lives of logger Red Miller (Nicolas Cage: Face/Off, Mom and Dad) and artist Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough: Black Mirror TV series), a couple who spend their time going to work, reading fantasy novels, and watching sci-fi together in their cabin in the woods.
That is, until their world is uprooted by the Children of the New Dawn leader, Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache: Vikings TV series), and his not-so-merry band of misfits. Once Sand notices Mandy on her daily walk to work, he has decided that she must be his, and enlists his worker bees to make this happen.
Sand performs a ritual that summons cenobites on motorcycles, unleashes them on the unsuspecting couple, catapulting them into the next series of events that cement this thriller into a revenge flick with no remorse… and rightfully so. What happens next rivals the Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and leaves no drop of blood unshed. Backdropped with heavy metal riffs composed by the late Jóhann Jóhannsson (Sicario 2015), Mandy is a drug-induced hallucinogenic kaleidoscope of color, dismemberment and Nicolas Cage finally breaking free of his stereotype. It’s a love story mixed with a satanic fantasy that will punch you in your gut and set you on fire.
Mandy was directed by Panos Cosmatos, and written by Cosmatos with the help of Aaron Stewart-Ahn. Produced by Elijah Wood’s SpectreVision in conjunction with Umedia, XYZ Films and Legion M (the world’s first entertainment studio that allows fans to invest in and be part of the creation of new movies), with distribution from RLJE Films, Mandy premiered to eager audiences and positive reviews at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. It currently holds a fresh 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, and opened for limited theatrical showings and VOD on September 13. It has been praised by Nick Allen of RogerEbert.com for “taking full advantage of Cage’s greatness…” And I agree.
I personally can’t remember a newer movie from Cage that has been so highly anticipated. I believe that this one, coupled with his recent venture, Mom and Dad, is a great comeback for the actor, and shows his actual artistic ability. It makes me eager to see what else he has in store for us.
Catch the film on its current limited, theater run and also on VOD here. Blu-ray is expected to drop October 31, 2018 and you can get it on Amazon below.