Blu-ray Review: MANDY

Acclaimed hallucinatory horror drama is now on Blu-ray

There’s a primal, animal power that propels director Panos Cosmatos’s acclaimed experimental horror head-trip MANDY. A kind of danger pulsing beneath its arcane imagery, bubbling-forth from its moaning electronic music and arch, hissing dialogue. The film just feels alien. It feels evil.  It courses with a sort of seething darkness and descends into such brain-swelling madness that you can almost smell it.

Since its early festival appearances, the picture has armed itself with a torrent of critical buzz and within weeks of its brief theatrical release has become an instant cult film. And it deserves its reputation and its fevered following. Certainly the presence of contemporary expressionist actor Nicolas Cage as its rage-riddled protagonist has provided the hook in which MANDY has mysteriously ingrained itself into the mainstream, with many scribes citing that Cosmatos (who previously gave us the bizarre and even harder to grasp BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW) had finally given Cage the psychedelic landscape in which his brand of bug-eyed, screaming method acting could thrive, or at least seem less glaringly misplaced. They’re half right. This is one of the most ideal cinematic landscapes for the performer to play in, but his work here is not merely camp, nor is- despite its over-the-edge nature – the film itself. MANDY is in fact a grand guignol phantasmagoria of the highest order, a living, breathing work of art and a bona fide nightmare blasted onto the parameters of the moving picture.

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