Director Panos Cosmatos’ Mandy is a acid-trip of a film drenched in dreamscape colors and blood.
The film stars Nicolas Cage and Andrea Riseborough. It is one of the last films scored by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (The Arrival, Prisoners, Sicario.) The film is set in the year 1983. Red (Cage) and his girlfriend, Mandy (Riseborough), live in the isolated Shadow Mountains. When Mandy is taken by a hippie cult called Children of the New Dawn, Red is tied up and forced to watch the cult burn Mandy alive. Left for dead, after being stabbed by the cult leader Sand, Red embarks on a bloody mission of revenge.
The film is a very slow burn to start. If you can get past Cage mumbling, and the cult being weird and listening to folk music, you will be treated to some vintage Cage!
Cage has a particular moment in the bathroom after Mandy’s death where he downs a bottle of liquor and let’s out a visceral roar of anger and pain. When he forges his Reaper weapon (a chrome looking scythe that looks like something out of a 80’s metal album cover) he starts tracking down each member of the cult and brutally murders them. The kills are very bloody as Red earns his name by the end of the film.
One particular fight involving dueling chainsaws is the highlight of the film, the ending is somewhat anticlimactic. Red final confrontation with Sand is humorous but not the final fight we were hoping for all.
All in all, the film is a strange but beautiful bloody film of revenge and Nic Cage really seems to be finding a niche in the horror genre.
HipZOMJoint gives Mandy a 7 out of 10.