Review: MANDY (2018)

MANDY left me speechless.  When I put the film on, all I knew about it was that it stars Nic Cage. This second film by writer/director Panos Cosmatos is colorful, dreamlike, bloody, over-the-top, yet full of pathos.

Red Miller (Nicolas Cage) and Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough) live together lovingly in a secluded forest.  One day while on a walk, Mandy catches the eye of the nasty Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache), leader of a hippie Jesus Freak cult.  Red and Mandy are kidnapped and after Mandy is brutally murdered, Red is left for dead.  Instead, he escapes and goes on a murderous rampage, exacting revenge against every creep involved in the brutality.

Revenge movies are a dime a dozen.  There is even a reference to the grand-daddy of all revenge films when one of the baddies in the film asks Red “Do you have a death wish?”   What sets this movie a part from the rest in the sub-genre are surreal and psychedelic kills, coupled with an amazing soundtrack-with an original score by the late Johann Johannsson (this was his last score).  The plot in the movie is secondary, because what moves the audience through the movie is the breathtaking and suspenseful imagery.  It is a psychedelic roller coaster, with a couple good gross out scenes thrown in for good measure(a big weird bug comes to mind).

Nicolas Cage, though seething with emotion, gives a reserved-for-him performance.  Fans of his brand of overacting will not be disappointed, but if you are thinking about skipping this one because you don’t like him that much, don’t!  He gives the perfect amount.

What type of audience will dig this one?  Any fan of horror.  Any fan of watching disgusting individuals get what they deserve.  If you like revenge films, check this out.  If you like slasher films, check this out.  If you like avant-garde music video-type visually stunning or gory movies, check this out.

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