• James Rutherford

'Mandy': A Darkly Hallucinatory and Wonderfully Unhinged Fantasy Revenge-Thriller


Movie poster for the film Mandy starring Nicholas Cage and Andrea Riseborough

“Mandy” (2018) is a fierce and extravagant fantasy-horror-thriller set in 1983 and starring Nicholas Cage as Red Miller, a logger who lives in the remote Shadow Mountains of California with his artist wife, Mandy (Andrea Riseborough). Red and Mandy's reclusive and tranquil life is upended unexpectedly by the intrusion of the “Children of the New Dawn”, a deviant cult lead by the enigmatic “Jeremiah Sand” (Linus Roache), who takes an immediate liking to Mandy upon spotting her hiking one day.


Jeremiah soon summons a demonic horde of evil bikers known as “The Black Skulls” to abduct and restrain both Red and Mandy, pumping Mandy full of hallucinogenic drugs and attempting to convert her to his unique system of veneration and devotion—only to be unceremoniously rebuked for his efforts. In a moment of brutal vindictiveness, Sand lashes out at both Mandy and Red, leaving them for dead, never realizing that Red would soon be mounting a rousing and unholy campaign of retribution and destruction.


Written and directed by Greek-Canadian filmmaker Panos Cosmatos ("Beyond the Black Rainbow"), “Mandy” is a wildly irreverent and wonderfully unhinged orgy of sight and sound, highlighted by Cage’s perfectly eccentric screen persona, here delivered in the best possible manner. It’s all completely off-the-chain—replete with brutal, balls-to-the-wall violence—and comes together as an utterly bonkers modern masterpiece.

 

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