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Mandy (2018) - Movie Review

5 beers

If there is a great spiritual awakening in this country, it will be led by the one-two punch that is Mandy

Both visually and, thanks to the inclusion of King Crimson’s “Starless” and the late (and massively talented) Jóhann Jóhannsson’s highly creative score, sonically expressive, this motion picture runs circles around any other film released in the last couple of months.  It will leave you on bended knees, swearing devotion and absolute fealty to anything its writer and director, Panos Cosmatos (Beyond the Black Rainbow), releases.

Mandy is a cinematic experience unlike ANY I’ve sat through.  It is unapologetic in its psychedelia approach to demonic bikers, Jesus freaks, spattered violence, and arresting visuals.  You just might leave the theater screaming that you’ve just seen the face of God radiating throughout all of the bloodshed.  That is the mind-altering territory of Mandy

"Mandy is an unforgettable experience.  It is unique and visionary, suggesting that this fantastical journey is more than a descent into Hell."


Completely mad and structured in a three-part story, the film unfolds like an ethereal dream.  The movie is both primal and thoughtful in its old school construction.  This film will most certainly divide audiences.  All I can say is that it rewarded me plenty and earns, immediately, a cult film status. 

I feel drugged, as if I still see the phantasmal landscapes through the vibrancy of Cosmatos’ lens.  And I saw it three days ago.  God help me.  I want to go back and see the world that way again.  The planets.  The hue.  The pink.  The rich blues.  The crossbow named The Reaper.  And the Cage made battle-axe named Mandy.  I want it all. 

Released by RLJE Films, Mandy takes place deep in the Shadow Mountains.  In fact, you may never see a sunrise through the thick canopy of trees.  But that’s okay because Red Miller (Nicolas Cage) and Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough) prefer their life that way: secluded.  They live simply.  He’s a logger and she works at a convenience store at the base of the mountains.  Their love is a passionate one.  They talk of planets and art and of loving forever.

But that is all shattered by a passing van.  Inside it is a fanatical group of freaky Christ followers – read as Hill People – and their leader, Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache), who has his own folk/pop song and sees the world as a typical male-headed manifesto.  “What I want, I take because it is God’s will,” he spouts at one point.  They will do anything for Jeremiah.  They will even kidnap Mandy to make him happy.

And it does make him happy…until she laughs at his manhood and his offer to make her one of his disciplines.  Her ravaging laughter signs and seals her death warrant, yes, but the beauty in the moment reflects our current world.  If anything, Mandy is verification that the male ego is a fragile and VERY dangerous thing.  With Mandy’s fate sealed, the sky turns a sick putrid pink and all sorts of nasty things are planned.   

Red’s revenge, involving some messed-up looking demonic bikers, a satanic stone, and an abundance of cocaine, will dry ALL of your tears.  Red is on a head-on collision with vengeance on a starless night.  We might have never asked to see Cage go against the various members of GWAR with a battle-axe and a crossbow that can shoot arrows through bone, but damned if, once seen, we didn’t NEED it.  Mandy is a gonzo-themed revenge tale through the bowels of hell.  Yet, it feels so smartly done and so well-executed that you can’t simply dismiss it.  The passion here pulsates with purpose.

Mandy (2018) - Movie Review

Yes, a raging Cage is back!  Mandy is proof positive of why Nicolas Cage remains so important to the business of making movies: his characters are not easily forgotten.  That wild and unrestrained passion – and, yes, I am talking about the scene in the bathroom where he, in a bloodied baseball shirt and wearing only tighty whities, screams and splashes vodka on his blood-soaked wounds – paints pop culture portraits of characters that we don’t dare disregard.  His take on Red Miller is no different.

Mandy is an unforgettable experience.  It is unique and visionary, suggesting that this fantastical journey is more than a descent into Hell.  Full of animated sequences and enough gore to satisfy even the hungriest horror hounds out there, it is destined to be a blissfully championed cult classic. 

Perhaps Barry Manilow was right.  How happy you made me, oh Mandy!  The film is now playing in select theaters.


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Mandy (2018) - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
121 mins
: Panos Cosmatos
Panos Cosmatos, Aaron Stewart-Ahn
Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache
: Action | Thriller

Memorable Movie Quote: "You ripped my favourite shirt!"
Theatrical Distributor:
RLJE Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
September 14, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: Mandy is set in the primal wilderness of 1983 where Red Miller, a broken and haunted man hunts an unhinged religious sect who slaughtered the love of his life.


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Mandy (2018) - Movie Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: RLJE Films
Available on Blu-ray - October 30, 2018
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH; Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Wow. Wow. WOW.  RLJ Entertainment has a cult classic on their hands and they damn well know it.  With bright colors and groovy saturation levels, this 1080p transfer – with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio – is simply glorious and it will carry the film and its influence far.  The visual aesthetic here is strong and this transfer brings it all to light.  Black levels are strong and shadows are defined.  With great eye-popping details and a strong DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix, the 1980s are strong with this beautiful release.  Purchase this puppy.  You won’t be disappointed in the rich visuals.



• None

Special Features:

There is fly-on-the-wall behind the scenes mini-documentary which, as far as I am concerned, could have gone on for longer than the movie.  It is truly mesmerizing.  We then have a collection of deleted and extended scenes to complete the supplement part of the blu-ray release.

• Behind The Scenes of Mandy

• Deleted and Extended Scenes


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Mandy (2018) - Movie Review