Photo: Mandy (RLJE Films)
“When I die, bury me deep, lay two speakers at my feet. Wrap some headphones around my head, and rock and roll me when I’m dead.”
This quote is your introduction into Nic Cage’s acid-laced revenge thriller, Mandy, which manifests its heavy metal-inspired tone in a visceral and bloody movie from Beyond the Black Rainbow writer and director Panos Cosmatos.
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The story is fairly straightforward: Mandy is set in the primal wilderness of 1983 where Red Miller (Cage), a broken and haunted man hunts an unhinged religious sect who are capable of summoning a demon biker gang who slaughtered the love of his life (Andrea Riseborough).
Mandy is a drug-induced melding of genres, playing as a revenge horror fantasy with touches of romance and dark comedy. It’s also a movie that only works as well as it does because of Nicolas Cage, who brings plenty of pain and rage as a heartbroken man seeking vengeance while struggling with fresh grief (though I disagree with others that it’s his best performance). It’s a vibrant, pulpy experience that is worth a second watch to make sure whether or not you even like it. You’ll need to sleep on it for a night and reexamine what the hell you just witnessed the next day.
The movie helms from a director inspired by grindhouse horror, heavy metal, the 80’s, and dark times in our history (Linus Roache’s Jeremiah Sand is similar to real-life cult leader Charles Manson, a failed musician who took it very personally when his music was insulted, used psychedelic drugs, and referred to his victims as pigs).
There are many elements that work well alongside Cage, such as the late Jóhann Jóhannsson’s excellent score, memorable visuals, originality, cameos from Richard Brake and Bill Duke, Riseborough’s grounding performance, and an intriguing two-part story structure, literally split between the first and second hour, where things escalate to a bloody and maniacal climax.
Mandy is ultimately an instant cult classic that is definitely not for everyone but is a must for horror fans. Read on to see some of the best comments on Twitter about the movie, and then do yourself a favor and check it out on VOD or in select theaters.
Imagine John Carpenter,Sam Raimi,and George Miller took a ton of acid,started a black metal band,made songs about Goblins and Cosmic Darkness that manifested visually into a blood soaked acid revenge thriller with the best of Nic Cage and you have a tiny idea of what #Mandy is.
— Room666 Film Reviews (@Room666Reviews) September 12, 2018
I had a blast asking Panos, Linus and Nic all about #Mandy! What a fever dream of a film! It goes beyond “Beyond the Black Rainbow”, if that’s possible. The two leads give career-highlight performances in one of the best films of 2018. Mindfuckingly next level filmmaking. https://t.co/GNnn4sfA6s
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) September 12, 2018
Me during #Mandy: I think I don’t like this?
Me at the end of Mandy: I think that was actually pretty interesting?
Me the day after Mandy: I think that might end up being one of the most significant movies of the decade?
— Ethan Warren (@ethanrawarren) September 15, 2018
— Joe Lynch (@TheJoeLynch) September 11, 2018
If Nicolas Cage and a mound of peyote had a baby and David Lynch filmed the birth the result might look a lot like #Mandy. A wild time; can’t say it calmed my nerves much…
— Eric Walkuski (@ericwalkuski) September 14, 2018
— mørk drøm ひ (@svartravenskog) September 17, 2018
Remember those airbrushed murals of satanic she-demons and wizards on the side of vans? Well, for those who do, #Mandy is the inside of those vans.
— Anthony Grieco (@SwimCharlieSwim) September 15, 2018
#Mandy has a very simple plot. Very straightforward. But the story is told through sound and light and emotion. It’s part arthouse film, horror, but mostly action revenge. The score is almost another character in the movie.
— Movie Thoughts w/ Nolan (@NolanOnFilm) September 14, 2018
#MandyMovie is a stunning, horrifying, & heartbreaking masterpiece. Panos Cosmatos has solidified himself as a true visionary director & Johansson composes a boldly beautiful posthumous score, but this film belongs to a iconic, Oscar-Worthy Nick Cage. We give it a perfect 10/10. pic.twitter.com/ylieFRqWlN
— DR Movie News (@DRMovieNews) September 14, 2018
— jordan (@jordpayn) September 14, 2018
MANDY is like Panos Cosmatos and Nicolas Cage went to a paint nite to do a Bob Ross painting and were like “THIS. NEEDS. MORE. HELLRAISERR.” 4 cheddar goblins out of 5.#horror #MandyMovie pic.twitter.com/EYPppFTQxt
— Kimberley Elizabeth (@kimmikillzombie) September 16, 2018
— Jon DeHaan (@JonOnAString) September 15, 2018
— ashley (@ashleychauntel) September 17, 2018
“So how’d you enjoy #MandyMovie starring Nic Cage?”
— Matthew (@leibtribe) September 17, 2018