7 Deadly Things About the Psychedelic Fantasy Movie Mandy

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The following post (sort of) contains spoilers for the movie Mandy.

Mandy is like watching a fairytale

As well as being a ferocious fever-dream revenge story, Mandy has the simplicity of a tender love story slowly drawing you in to its dreamlike fairytale mood.

The story tells of star-crossed lovers Red Miller and his beloved Mandy, a princess taken from her knight, by evil forces that live in the hills and lurk in the forest.


The Goodies

Mandy is a love story between lumberjack Red, played by Nicolas Cage, and his shop-clerk girlfriend, Mandy, played by Andrea Riseborough.

Cage reminds us of the talent he possesses, in by far his finest work since his iguana-hallucinating turn in Bad Lieutenant or his Oscar-nominated role in Adaptation.

Birdman and Black Mirror actor Riseborough remains as stalwart as ever, gracing the screen in Mötley Crüe tees, reading fantasy novels in her magical world.


The Baddies

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The demonic Black Skulls biker gang, Mandy. RLJE Films.

Utopia gets destroyed when a deranged, Manson-esque hippy cult shows up known as the Children of the New Dawn.

They summon up a demonic biker gang called the Black Skulls who have a taste for human flesh and a highly potent form of liquid LSD.

Havoc ensues.


Axes and chainsaws and spears, oh my!

Poor ol Red is propelled into a spiraling nightmarish rampage of vengeance battling all the bad guys. It’s skull-crushing, axe-wielding, chainsaw-dueling, insane pulpy madness – and it’s bloody awesome!


Beautiful animated interludes

Throughout the movie – yes!

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Mandy (2018). RLJE Films.


The Cheddar Goblin

In an interview with Thrillist, Mandy director Panos Cosmatos said that after the most traumatic scene in the film, he “wanted it to be a moment where the horror and the absurdity of the universe slap Cage in the face at exactly the wrong time.”

And that it does.

Roll the “Cheddar Goblin” – a mac-and-cheese-puking green goblin and “It’s Gobblin’ Good.”


The Soundtrack by the late Jóhann Jóhannsson

Mandy would be nowhere near as powerful without that ominous score throbbing throughout the entire film, somber one minute, striking the next.

It’s one of the final scores written by Icelandic multi-Oscar nominated composer, Jóhann Jóhannsson, whose repertoire includes Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners, Sicario, and Arrival, — and Darren Aronofsky’s mother!

Sadly Jóhannsson passed away shortly after Mandy premiered at Sundance. The film is dedicated to him.


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