Mandy, Mandy, Mandy. There is one film per year that becomes your gang of freaks’ “movie of the year.” Doesn’t matter if it’s a quality film, doesn’t matter the genre, the actors or the amount of swords and TITS included (usually prerequisites though…). It just has to have an effect on your group in a meaningful way, even if it’s arguing. Examples of this are Fury Road for 2015, the VVitch in 2016, Get Out for 2017, Hundra for 1983, etc. It’s only September, but I’m feeling like Mandy is already a strong, strong contender.
This film came to my attention when the trailer hit and moreso on account of strong rotten tomatoes score after Cannes. When the trailer hit, I watched it like 4-5 times the first day, then again the second day while whoring around the trailer to others whenever possible. This film pretty much aims straight at Appendix N people and it hits like a Sniper Elite NUTSHOT. If you like weird ass horror, HK cinema crime/revenge films and dig a bunch of stuff from Appendix N, you will cream your jeans on this film. If you grew up in the 80’s as well, this will be an enlightening experience as the film is like an extended music video from 1983 or so.
So go see it. The film will likely be out of theaters until award season at least as it’s likely going to be up for something and then get another stint in the theaters again. Stop here if you don’t want spoilers.
The Film and stuff I liked
- Mandy and Red’s bed in the porch room with the greasy windows surrounded by woods.
- The part where they were in the boat and then Red is looking across the fire at Mandy. A lot of people have said that these characters are ‘really in love’ but Red has a level of obsessed awe and confusion when he really looks at Mandy that Cage is able to pull off that is different from some Love Actually shit.
- The scene with Mandy being killed is very disturbing and they linger on it a long time. This is extremely effective BUT I feel like they did not linger on the deaths of the cult enough when their time came.
- The bathroom scene with Red in his tighty whities was amazing. There’s a lot to love about Nicolas Cage’s performance overall, but that scene takes the cake.
- I really enjoyed the fight in the shitty drug house with a coked up demon biker who was watching a porno on a small TV.
- You can’t argue with practical effects face melting. As a kid I accidentally watched this one movie where a woman gets too close to a volcano and her face melted.. then the next summer it was on again and I walked into the room just as that scene was playing so I saw it a second time!!
- Acid. Every single character is on LSD or something like it at some point in the film.
- The music
Stuff I didn’t like
- I couldn’t understand what Red was saying at the end of the movie! Too garbled up.
- I think the film should have given more of a feeling of time-span between when Red escapes and starts killing people, or spans in between the killings
- Some of the killing/fighting was a bit boring, granted most of the cultists were petrified non-combatants, but the demon bikers could have been a bit more interesting in the fight choreography /setting (think Freddy Vs Jason or Evil Dead 2/Army of Darkness witch fights type of shit). Red gets all fucked up, but you don’t FEEL it like you do when Ash does in Evil Dead.
- The film is slow in the beginning and then there is payoff. I was expecting some 2001 style psychedelic trip out at the very end of the film (there’s a small one, but not a huge freak out that I expected) to tonally shift it back to the first scenes of the film. It shows a surreal flashback of Mandy and Red at a party where Red is staring at Mandy with that obsessed confused look and she is smiling and crying and I would have cut the movie right there and not shown Red again driving in his car through the woods. His gift for going to hell for revenge is to be able to experience her memory uncluttered with all the ‘crazy evil’ and they should have left him with that.
Why didn’t Red kill the young whore-cultist girl? She was party to everything and didn’t help Red for shit at any point.
What was the double moons and alien landscape at the end of the film supposed to indicate?
Why didn’t they kill Red when they had the chance (twice!)
Where did they get that VAN? Where did they find that HOUSE?