Panos Cosmatos Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache
18 Now I need someone to kiss me and stop me from shaking. Mandy, starring Nicolas Cage, is a deathmetal horror about a guy seeking revenge for the murder of his girlfriend … named Mandy. There is some serious vexation here. The displeasure is brought on-stream. Granted, every YouTube consumer knows about “Cage rage”. But this time he really is as cross as two sticks.
The year is 1983 and Cage plays Red, a logging worker who is pretty handy with a chainsaw. (Uh, oh.) At the end of a tough temporary gig chopping down trees, Cage drives back to his cabin, where his partner Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) is to be found, a sensitive soul who whiles away the days drawing detailed comic-book-style figures. They are a blissfully happy couple, but the dread-filled electronic score from the late Jóhann Jóhannsson, like a gaunt church organ of doom, makes sure we realise no good can come of this. A Manson-esque hippy-weirdo gang turns up, led by one Jeremiah Sand, played by Linus Roache. Jeremiah and his goons tie them up and exact various horrific tortures on her, which, after their departure, are to send Red off on his eye-for-an-eye odyssey.
There are some extraordinary scenes. The druggily distended moment when Jeremiah leans in close to Mandy to tell her about his vision becomes very grisly in the firelight as his face morphs into hers. And then there are the Cage fireworks, most mind-boggling when at the apex of his fury he crashes into the bathroom and chugs a bottle of vodka after sloshing it on his wounds, screaming horribly all the while. It’s an uncompromising midnight movie. PB