I feel like I’m going to sound woefully inadequate trying to describe Panos Cosmatos’s Mandy. This movie is a singular vision, a crazy drug trip of visuals that envelope and surround you. You enter its world and for the two hour runtime, you’re immersed.
Red (Nicolas Cage) is a logger, living near the Shadow Mountains with his girlfriend Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) in 1983. Their life seems idyllic and peaceful, though Red doesn’t like where they live. A cult led by the enigmatic Jeremiah (Linus Roache) abduct Mandy, with the help of some supernatural forced and demonic bikers. Red sets out for revenge.
I’m not going into plot specifics, mainly because it would give toon much away. Mandy is a film to be experienced, whether for better or worse. I’ve seen it described as an action horror revenge movie and while this is basically right, the movie is so much more. Mandy feels like a the missing link between David Lynch and John Carpenter. Maybe with a bit of Argento. The film is so colourful, lush and visual, my heavy handed mash up comparisons can’t really do it justice. It’s like a Heavy Metal comic come to life.
Linus Roache’s Jeremiah is a truly interesting antagonist, coming across like a Charles Manson meets David Koresh. Horrible and enigmatic, Jeremiah gives the movie a fully rounded villain.
Jóhan Jóhansson’s score really sets the film on a level apart from anything else too. The sound of the movie is huge, walls of sound, massive soundscapes just surround you. Jagged and sludgy guitars, slow drums and massive synths just invade your head space. It’s a film to see as loud as possible. It was Jóhansson’s last score before his death too, the film being dedicated to him. He was an incredible composer, Mandy being an amazing piece of work to leave us on.
Mandy, to me, was also reminiscent of 80’s and 90’s video games, the plot of a girl being taken by an evil group of bastards and you having to kill your way to get to them. Stuff like Splatterhouse, Final Fight and to a less violent extent, Super Mario.
I dug Mandy, a lot. It’s a movie that you feel, one that I can see myself returning to time and time again. A film full of rich imagery, stunning set pieces and iconic characters and I didn’t even mention the Cheddar Goblin.
An absolute must see, Mandy is available on DVD and Blu Ray now.
For Fans of:
Evil Dead (2013)
Prince of Darkness