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film review

Nicolas Cage as Red in the film Mandy.Courtesy of Elevation Pictures

  • Mandy
  • Directed by Panos Cosmatos
  • Written by Panos Cosmatos and Aaron Stewart-Ahn
  • Starring Nicolas Cage
  • Classification 18A; 121 minutes

Rating:

3.5 out of 4 stars

Imagine, for a moment, that you left a copy of Heavy Metal magazine to rot in a vat of acid. After fishing it out and reading it while high on the drug of your choice, you decide to put King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King on the stereo, and turn your television to random scenes from Hellraiser. I have no earthly idea why you would want to do that, but perhaps you sought to approximate the experience of watching Mandy and had no access to a nearby screening. If that’s the case, go for it, although I highly recommend utilizing any means necessary to seek out the real deal, as Panos Cosmatos’s cult-movie bonanza is the most bewildering film-going experience of the year – and we didn’t even get to how it stars Nicolas Cage, king of the movie freaks. Here, Cage plays Red, a logger in 1983 who just wants to live in the woods with his beloved Mandy (Andrea Riseborough). But then, as I suppose happens, a cult of hippies and their demon-biker drug dealers come along and destroy everything Red holds dear. As Red extracts bloody revenge, Cosmatos displays a fervent love for all things extreme, culminating in a chainsaw battle for the ages. Mandy is, if it’s not clear yet, not for everyone. But for those who think nothing of staying up past midnight to devour the strange and fantastic, it hits the sweetest of spots.

Mandy opens across Canada on Sept. 14.