Mandy

The Guardian - G2 - - Reviews Film -

★★★★☆

Dir

Panos Cos­matos Ni­co­las Cage, An­drea Rise­bor­ough, Li­nus Roache

Star­ring Length

122 mins

Cert

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

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