When his beloved wife Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) is murdered in front of him by a gang of ‘Jesus freak’ bikers on industrial strength LSD, Red Miller (Nicolas Cage) goes on a rage, booze and drug fuelled rampage of bloody revenge.
Just look at that summary. How cool does that sound? I should love this. I should be shouting from the rooftops that it’s a hallucinatory new exploitation classic that can stand with the best of the recent tributes to the excesses of 80s horror and fantasy cinema. I should be doing that. I wish I was doing that.
For its first
The imagery becomes even more impressive in the faster moving, and consequently better, second half of the film. Red crafts himself an iconic weapon – an awesome looking axe – which he wields in a series of attacks on the biker gang that are, in and of themselves, splattery fun. Best by far is a chainsaw fight, because it’s clearly practical, extravagantly bloody and, frankly, because no movie with a chainsaw fight is likely to have a sequence better than that. The other standout moment comes right at the start of the second half, as Red finally processes what has happened, downs most of a bottle of v
The problem is, that brief moment aside, I didn’t feel anything while watching Mandy. The relationship between Cage and Riseborough (besides looking odd thanks
It’s tough to entirely dismiss Mandy. It looks fantastic. Cosmatos is clearly an accomplished and individual stylist and if he finds a narrative and characters that connect emotionally, He’s undoubtedly got a great film in him. Thanks to Jóhann Jóhannsson’s score the film also sounds extraordinary. I just wish it added up to more for me. I wish it weren’t wildly inconsistent, with such a marked contrast in quality as well as tone between its two halves and I wish it weren’t as absurdly self-indulgently overlong at a full two hours. I see what people are getting from this film, and I wish I could say I had the same experience, but for
Mandy plays in LFF’s Cult programme on Thursday 11th, Friday 12th and Wednesday 17th of October