Combustible Celluloid
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With: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Ned Dennehy, Olwen Fouéré, Richard Brake, Bill Duke, Line Pillet, Clément Baronnet
Written by: Panos Cosmatos, Aaron Stewart-Ahn
Directed by: Panos Cosmatos
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 121
Date: 09/13/2018

Mandy (2018)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Hard 'Mandy'

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

From the son of the director of Rambo: First Blood Part II comes this unbelievably bizarre, disturbing revenge film, slowed down and stretched out like a fever dream. The film is often decorated with gauzy shimmers, scratches of light, that stretch across the screen as if we were indeed half asleep. The plot of Mandy is simple enough to describe. It's 1983, and lumberjack Red Miller (Nicolas Cage) and his beloved Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) live in a remote cabin in the woods. While Red works, Mandy loves to read paperback sci-fi novels and draw. One day, the leader of a sinister religious cult, Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache), spots Mandy and decides to take her. Red is tied up with barbed wire and forced to watch as she is tortured beyond belief. Then, he visits his pal Caruthers (Bill Duke), grabs his trusty crossbow, forges a kind of futuristic steel axelike weapon, and hits the road to find and kill every last one of the bastards. What's shocking is that director Panos Cosmatos doesn't milk any of this for thrills or tension. Paced a little like a David Lynch or Stanley Kubrick picture, it's all about creating a mood, a visualization of such darkness and evil that it can only recall the most disturbing movies of the grindhouse era (Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left comes to mind). The late Jóhann Jóhannsson provided the incredible score, one of his final works before his untimely death.

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