I thought the latest video from the Too Many Cooks guy would be the most phantasmagoric piece of pop art I’d witness this week. Then I watched the trailer for Mandy.
The creation of writer Aaron Stewart-Ahn and Panos Cosmatos, son of ‘80s action auteur George P. Cosmatos and director of the retro-slow-burn Beyond the Black Rainbow, Mandy stars Nicolas Cage as a lumberjack who goes on a blood-soaked rampage after a cult claims his wife Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) as its next victim. What follows involves demon bikers, chainsaw fights, muscle car chases, and the type of hallucinatory hellscapes generally reserved for bad LSD trips.
“Cosmatos’ unforgettable Mandy is a midnight movie that should never be seen at midnight,” Village Voice critic Bilge Ebiri wrote out of Sundance. “With its deliberately paced, mesmerizing and sensuous first half, Mandy grounds itself in the idea of desire and peace, and their subsequent loss and perversion. And it also suggests that the only thing keeping the world from turning into an unholy carnage fest is the power of love.”
The trailer above swirlies your head into Mandy’s viscous imagery. Colors and blood splash across the screen as Cage goes full-on apocalyptic warrior. I believe it’s now clear: all movies are better when Nicolas Cage bellows revenge-genre nonsense with the triple-vocal-chord power of Cerberus. Why does National Treasure not have a scene in which the actor forges his own Klingon bat’leth? The powers that be have almost made up for that oversight.
Mandy hits theaters on Sept. 14th.