(London Film Festival, October 11th, 2018, Odeon Cinema, 20:45)
Pacific Northwest. 1983 AD. Outsiders Red Miller (Nicolas Cage) and Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough) lead a loving and peaceful existence. When their pine-scented haven is savagely destroyed by a cult led by the sadistic Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache), Red is catapulted into a phantasmagoric journey filled with bloody vengeance and laced with fire.
In a mountain-cabin idyll, lumberjack Red Miller lives in perfect harmony with his great love Mandy But the couple’s blissful utopia is cruelly shattered when a ragtag band of Satanic cultists invade their humble abode and claim Mandy for their own. And when this telekinetic bikie messiah Jeremiah tasks his dedicated followers with kidnapping Mandy, Red is spurred into frenzied action as he seeks retribution against 'Tthe Children Of The New Dawn'. Traumatised and distraught, Red is left with no option but to exact a bloody revenge.
In his remarkable follow-up to cult hit 'Beyond The Black Rainbow', Panos Cosmatos gleefully demonstrates an audacious command of tone and atmosphere, conjuring an ethereal treat for the senses that begs to be seen on the big screen. Anyone who saw Cosmatos extraordinary debut, will know that describing his work is no mean feat. With "Mandy", he has once again crafted a film so singular, perverse and beguiling, it’s almost impossible to define. Awash in a sea of gloriously unhinged performances, carnage, lumberjack skills, and general sights and sounds, Cosmatos grinds up beloved genre tropes into a fine pulp and sculpts them into something altogether otherworldly and unforgettable.
"Mandy" is a piece of naive art. A muscle memory evocation of revenge. The film deals with feelings of regret and guilt, with letting go of things we can never change. "Mandy" is about the feelings of rage and helplessness that followed. The film creates a very controlled and defined universe. If "Beyond The Black Rainbow" was an inhale, then "Mandy" is an exhale. Allows more of aesthetic fetishes and passions and personality to bloom more vividly within it's framework. Think of the most exquisitely nightmarish LSD trip imaginable, then multiply it by ten. That might give you some idea.