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Cinema Dispatch: Mandy

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Mandy and all the images you see in this review are owned by RLJE Films

Directed by Panos Cosmatos

I had no idea this movie existed until about four days ago and I knew precisely two things about it; Nic Cage and chainsaws.  I don’t know about you, but you can usually get me to see a movie if you have one of those things, let alone both!  Nicolas Cage has had a REALLY rough go of it lately with mostly direct to video fare that even die-hard fans like myself find tedious, and while this isn’t really a BLOCKBUSTER or even a STUDIO film, the fact that he’s in theaters again and is in a movie that’s getting a lot of positive buzz makes more oh so very happy even if he’s STILL probably not gonna get that Superman role now that () is most likely stepping down.  The movie itself though, well I still have to SEE it before I can proclaim it to be as good as everyone says it is even if I want it to be the first step to the greatest coming story in Hollywood history!  Or at the very least the first step towards getting a Face/Off 2.

Back in the early eighties, a guy named Red (Nicolas Cage and a lady named Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) are living in a pretty nice house out in the woods, surviving off of odd jobs as a lumberjack for him and as a convenience store cashier for her, and generally enjoying the isolation from the rest of the world.  Both are into old school rock and roll (though I guess back then it wouldn’t have been THAT old) and so are the filmmakers because everything in the film’s aesthetic is pumped all the way up to eleven; form the color pallets to the visual tableaus, to that thing where we focus in really close on something while intense music plays.  Anyway, the two of them are just minding their own business when Mandy is spotted by a passing van full of drugged up killer hippies led by the “charismatic” leader Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roach)  who makes it their mission to recruit her for their cause.  Things spiral out of control from there which leads to Mandy being captured, OTHER stuff happening, and Red having more than enough reason to find these bastards and met out some woodland vengeance on them for what they’ve done.  Along the way he’ll meet old friends who help him on his journey, he’ll create the perfect weapon to exact his unholy and metal as heck revenge, and even fight some… interesting fellows who I’m not sure are supposed to be REAL or not, but in a movie like this that hardly matters.  Will Red find this roving gang of murders before they leave the forest for good and move on to their next victims?  Just how far will Red go to get what he’s after, and what will he give up along the way?  Is it just me, or is this a Ghost Rider movie that forgot to include Ghost Rider?

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“You think the rider is so tough?  THAT PUNK’S GOT NOTHING ON ME!!”

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