In Theaters Limited Release Also On demand | 2018 | Reviewer: Bill Braier
Cage Unleashes his Hellbent Angry Man to Sling an Axe through Crazy Evil
Out of the primordial sky of Director Writer Panos Cosmatos’ mind comes Mandy, a reinvention of the low budget 1980’s cult horror classics. Surreal cinematography and trippy powerful psychedelic music by Crimson King and Johann Johannsson help turn the dial up to eleven. Nicolas Cage was born to play the kill-them-all revenge bound, Red Miller, in this bloody arthouse thriller.
The beginning of movie starts slowly, floating over the beautiful serene forests of the Norwest, where Red Miller (Cage) a logger lives a quiet peaceful life until a weird demon like cult takes the love of his life, Mandy. With minimal dialog, the second half ramps up the energy as Cage goes from laid back logger to an enraged blood soak avenger, wielding a finely sharpened handmade axe and a powerful crossbow. Extreme gore, sex and drugs, cool 80’s animation, chainsaw battles, demon Hellraiser-like cenobites on motorcycles, trippy music makes this an unforgettable yet creepy film.
With pupils dilated and a facial scar, Mandy, played by Andrea Riseborough, (Cruise’s wife in Oblivion) brings a haunting angelic quality to the film. Linus Roche (Bruce Wayne's father in Batman Begins) is perfectly cast as the sex hungry psycho cult leader who wants Mandy at any cost.
Lately, I thought the aging pudgy Nicolas Cage was mailing it in for the paycheck. But in Mandy, with minimum dialog, Cage carries the movie showcasing mad man facial emotions and screams of anger that make it all believable.
The unique cinematography and music are as much a part of the movie as the actors. The late Icelandic composer, Johann Gunnar Johannsson, blends traditional orchestration with trippy contemporary electronics to powerfully drive this sci-fi horror. Psychedelic neon mood lighting and blurring red filters create a creepy strange look.
Reportedly, half the audience previewing Mandy at a recent film festival walked out but the other half that stayed were mesmerized and loved it. If you fall into the second group, you will love this crazy evil movie.