Saturday, May 30, 2020

Mandy (2018)

From horror movie fans, I've heard mostly good things about the Nic Cage movie Mandy. I've been planning to watch it for a while, and I wanted to go in blind. I knew he was in it and it was gory ~ that's it. After I saw his performance in Color Out of Space, I think he's cemented his place in the horror movie genre and let me just say Mandy is a 1980s-heavy metal-fantasy-nightmare-revenge-love story, so a little bit for everyone. No really, it is!


***SPOILER ALERT***

This movie is divided into three parts, the first is The Shadow Mountains 1983, where we see Red played by Nic Cage and his girlfriend Mandy played by a haunting Andrea Riseborough and their comfortable understanding relationship. They have a big cabin the the woods that's covered in widows so you're practically outside. It feels early 1980s with Regan on the radio, the woods, nature, and the remnants of the 1970s interest in the occult floating around in the air.

Mandy is a fantasy artist. She draws things you would see on heavy metal album covers or on the side of 1970s vans. She wears metal band T shirts, reads fantasy books, and has long black straight hair that gives off witchy vibes. She also has a scar on her face that's never quite explained, but we do know that her father liked to kill defenseless animals. (She talks about it, but thank goodness it's not shown in a flash back. Yikes.) Her character is mysterious and hypnotizing. She has an unspoken history that's captivating. Her interaction with Cage makes his acting seem wooden, almost bored, but don't worry he's showcased in the second and third parts of the movie. The next segment is called Children of the New Dawn.

We are then introduced to this cult when they drive by Mandy walking down the road. The leader, Jeremiah, can't stop thinking about her. He tells one of his cult members to kidnap her and bring her to him. Brother Swan uses the Horn of Abraxas (a sort of flute type thing) to summon a demon biker gang called the Black Skulls. The cult sacrifices one of their own to the biker gang so the gang will help kidnap Mandy. A "Blood for blood" deal. When we see the bikers about to home invade the cabin it's reminiscent of the killing scene from The Lost Boys. Already this movie is invading the soft space in my heart.


Mandy (2018)


The Lost Boys (1987)

Of course they successfully kidnap Mandy and they put drops in her eye and sting her with the biggest bug I've ever seen. (Gross.) She starts hallucinating. (Really drugging her is the only way they could ever get her to stay there.) Jeremiah says that she called out to him "silently" and he plays her his album. We find out the cult leader was a musician, but he wasn't successful in the way he wanted to be so he forms this cult instead. He thinks he can take anything he wants because the voice inside his head told him he could. Mandy laughs at the music and at him, humiliating him in front of his followers.

Meanwhile Red is tied up with barbed wire outside. The cult has Mandy in a sleeping bag, they hang her up and set her on fire for Red to watch. She's burned to ash and they stab Red and leave him tied up. Eventually he frees himself and vows to seek revenge on the bikers and the cult. Now it begins. He has an emotionally charged screaming session in the bathroom in his cabin and it's AMAZING. Just look!


Using this bathroom to prep in the morning for work would def keep me awake and raring to go!
I love it.

This is the Nic Cage I want to see in movies! The over-the-top psychotic rage acted out in his underwear in a day-glo bathroom. Scenes like this give me life! Now you know something big is going to happen.

Red goes to his old friend and picks up some weapons. You don't find out how they know each other or why his friend is storing his weapons or how he knows how to forge a scythe thingy, but that isn't the point ~ you don't care! You just want to see him use the stuff! We also find out from his friend that the bikers were once people and bad LSD caused them to turn into demons that like pain. Um ok. Hellraiser much? Again this movie comes for my heart.

In the final third part of the movie called Mandy, it's the action fight sequence that's been building up. Red finds the bikers, then offs them one at a time, he even takes one down single handedly! The one is so coked out watching porn it's hard to believe they can get their shit together to be called by the Horn of Abraxas. Anyway, Red is covered in blood, and reminds me of Ash from The Evil Dead  (1981) AND there's even a chainsaw fight! Now this movie really has me hooked.


Nic Cage covered in blood and being crazy. 
(This pic is a little fuzzy because I photographed it from my TV)


Bruce Campbell covered in blood and being Bruce Campbell.

After killing all the bikers, Red snorts some cocaine and finds the "real" drugs in a jar. He takes a tiny taste and it melts his face off....figuratively and visually. Then Red goes to the LSD maker to find the cult. It's a trippy scene ~ there's even a lion!

The cult members are holed up in a church that has underground tunnels. He kills some of the members, but not all. Does this mean there will be a sequel? He dramatically kills Jeremiah and says "I'm your God now", then walks away in slow motion as the church burns. Kinda epic.

There's a lot to unpack in this phantasmagorical movie. It's interspersed with cartoon dream sequences, a cheddar goblin, and psychedelic colors. Red truly becomes one of the characters in a fantasy novel that Mandy reads about. It's a wild ride. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 boxes of mac and cheese ~ only because I want more back story on the characters, Mandy was stupid for essentially telling the cult where she lives, and their cabin has bad feng shui with couches facing away from doors and windows. Anyho...

Here's the trailer...

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