Back in 2010, Panos Cosmatos released his directorial debut, Beyond the Black Rainbow. It was a fever dream of a film that made up for its threadbare plot about New Age experiments gone awry, a psychic girl, and a psychopathic scientist with striking visuals and a haunting soundtrack. All narrative shortcomings aside, it announced Cosmatos as a visual stylist to keep an eye on.
Eight years later, Cosmatos has returned with his sophomore film, Mandy, and based on this trailer, Beyond the Black Rainbow was just a warm-up act, because Mandy looks insane. Like Beyond the Black Rainbow, Mandy has another striking and lurid visual palette plus some Heavy Metal-esque animation, crazy costumes, and a whole lot more. Oh yeah, and Nicolas Cage, apparently delivering his greatest performance of all time.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Pacific Northwest. 1983 AD. Outsiders Red Miller and Mandy Bloom lead a loving and peaceful existence. When their pine-scented haven is savagely destroyed by a cult led by the sadistic Jeremiah Sand, Red is catapulted into a phantasmagoric journey filled with bloody vengeance and laced with fire.
Mandy premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, where it received considerable acclaim. ScreenAnarchy’s Noël Lawrence wrote “Under miasmic layers of 16mm and 35mm, the film plays out like a fever dream one might experience after passing out in an all-night grindhouse on the Deuce.” Elsewhere, RogerEbert.com’s Nick Allen praised Cage’s performance (“He creates a full journey for a nightmarish character who may not have worked being played by a less iconic genre fixture.”) and Birth.Movies.Death.‘s Evan Saathoff called it “a total heavy metal movie, filled with panel-van airbrush imagery, cultist weirdos, and a group of bikers that seem inspired by Cenobites in the best way possible.”
Mandy arrives in theaters September 14, 2018 and stars Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, and Linus Roache. (It was also one of the last films that Jóhann Jóhannsson scored before his untimely death earlier this year.)
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I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.