The enchanted lives of a couple in a secluded forest are brutally shattered by a nightmarish hippie cult and their demon-biker henchmen, propelling a man into a spiraling, surreal rampage of vengeance.
There are only two kinds of Nicolas Cage movies, really good ones, and really bad ones. In his lengthy, (and seriously prolific career), no one can ever accuse NC of giving us a boring performance. It’s been a long time since he won that best actor Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas but you have to give him credit where it’s due, he keeps plugging along pumping out a lot of movies every year. The strange part though about NC is that he’s the only actor out there who we hope and pray turns in one of his patented bad performances because they are truly a sight to behold. There’s a certain “Holy Expletive-ness” to his bad portrayals that can leave an audience in a state of mesmerized shock and disbelief. I really suspect that the stinkers that he does are the secret to his career longevity as well as his fan popularity. They’ve actually become a form of unintentional genius unto themselves like no actor before or since. He’s the kind of train wreck that ploughs along bereft of either restraint or regret and that’s a pretty cool quality for an artist to exhibit if we were being honest here. Nicolas Cage has become his own paradox. His performances are so bad that they’re great.
Someday he’s going to do a feel-good movie about a doctor delivering a baby in some war torn third world country and during that scene he’ll probably gnaw off the umbilical cord whilst laughing maniacally and hailing Satan as he then proceeds to dance spasmodically around the makeshift operating room as he holds the bloody/slimy newborn infant aloft like a gift for the Dark Lord, and we’ll be sitting there like horrified children who just can’t look away from this latest trainwreck performance of his because it’s just too riveting to ignore.
So yeah, on with the show as they say.
Elijah Wood is one of the producers of Mandy curiously enough, so I’ve decided to blame him for this movie. I guess when you have LOTR money falling out of your bumcrack you can do pretty much whatever you want if his reboot of Maniac is anything to go by. Our man Nic plays a lumberjack in 1983 who is shacked up with a new age hippie-type chick named Mandy, (think Sissy Spacek in 1983 pretending to be Lynette Fromme only less cute and a lot more socially awkward), and things proceed to get weird as they are wont to do in an NC movie.
If I got into the plot details and my opinion of those details at this point, this would be an extremely long, though quite funny film review, so instead let me just throw you a few bullet points. The film is set at Crystal Lake. You have Cenobites driving all-terrain vehicles because it just isn’t Hell if you can’t do some serious mudding on the regular.
You have some cult leader doing a terrible impersonation of Dennis Hopper. And finally, THE HORN OF ABRAXAS. Yeah, you heard that right.
The guy that directed this somehow got it into his head that he was Dario Argento’s heir apparent and whoever wrote this script must have done a lot of acid while reading nothing but Clive Barker. This film went overboard on everything so we cannot simply blame Mr. Cage for its god-awfulness. Even the cinematography was excessive, if you can believe that. I think Wood wanted to make a stoner horror flick for people who don’t do substances and frankly he accomplished the reverse, which is to say you’re going to need to be really, really baked to sit through this slab of excrement with all of its pretty coloured lighting in order to camouflage all of the poopiness contained within.
If you’re really high and you come across this film on Netflix, give it a shot. Otherwise watch it for no reason other than you love watching Nicolas Cage lose his mind, which he invariably does, which in turn is the only thing that somehow miraculously rescues this otherwise dismal waste of time.
This is CHAV, signing off.