Mandy

18 Blu-ray, DVD

Somewhat unbelievably, Nicolas Cage is fast approaching his one hundredth appearance on film. To put that in a little context, Tom Cruise, who is two years his junior, has starred in 46.

But as we all know, quantity does not equate to quality. And no-one knows that more than Nic Cage fans.

For a number of years now, Cage has had no problem in making really stinky flicks. Not only would you be a super fan, but probably more of a sadist, if you were to have watched them all.

But although Mandy is far from perfect, Cage is at his compelling best.

boom reviews Mandy
And this little piggy cried "wee, wee, wee", all the way home!

Living in the middle of nowhere are couple Red (Cage) and Mandy (Andrea Riseborough); he’s a tree feller and she looks after a shop. They live an off grid existence, and pretty much keep themselves to themselves.

Out walking one day, on her own, Mandy is spotted by a group in a van, as they pass her on the road. One of the passengers is Jeremiah (Linus Roache), the leader of this despicable hippie cult. In that moment, he immediately takes a shine to Mandy, and decides he must have her.

Before the night is out, Jeremiah’s plan to drug and abduct the couple has taken place. When Mandy doesn’t comply with Jeremiah’s demands, he strikes out viciously.

When he decides to leave their home, he makes one fatal mistake, allowing Red to live. With all that has taken place that night, Red has one thing on his mind: vengeance.

boom reviews Mandy
Alexa, play Billy Joel's Uptown Girl...

Italian-Canadian film director Panos Cosmatos doesn’t hold back with his second full—length feature. Mandy is a homage, visually and stylistically, to horrors of the late seventies, early eighties. His evil cult could easily have been neighbours to Leatherface and his family, even swapping recipes.

Watching it is akin to watching that crazy guy, standing on the street corner, wearing nothing but soiled underwear, with a pan on his head, spewing out pure venom to passers-by. You should probably call the authorities, but the more you watch, the more you become strangely fascinated by what is unfolding before your very eyes.

You can also imagine this to be cited as Spinal Tap’s favourite film, with the band so inspired by it they’d be keen on creating the staged musical version, to include the songs ‘Cult out of the Blue’ and ‘Blood-Splattered Princess’.

And Cage, with this kind of warped material, is as happy as a hooker on heroine. Remember that guy on the corner? Well, he is that guy. But covered in blood.

All in all it's creepy, trippy and disturbing, with a generous dollop of cheesiness.

With the horror genre starting to feel a tad limp, Mandy is a welcome rush of blood to the head that won’t fail to pique your curiosity.

we give this four out of five