Nicolas Cage, without a shadow of a doubt, is a walking, talking, breathing coin flip, equally capable of bringing either a quiet gravitas or the essence of a coked-out lion to whatever role he finds himself in; from Pig‘s Rob Feld to Into the Spider-Verse‘s Spider-Man Noir, all the way to this year’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, which celebrated his range in the cheekiest way possible.
Cage reached for one end of the “Coppola extreme” with his turn in Mandy, summoning the coked-up lion side of the spectrum whilst adding a chainsaw and barbaric rage to the mix.
Mandy follows the harrowing, blood-splattered plight of Red Miller, a logger living in the wilderness with his girlfriend Mandy (Andrea Riseborough), who creates beautiful art. When she’s burned alive in front of his eyes by the Children of the New Dawn, a cannibalistic religious cult equipped with overly potent LSD, Red breaks into their hideout and goes on his own drug-infused rampage.
It was, and continues to be, one of Cage’s most beloved films to date, thanks to a team effort by fantastical imagery, violence that would make Tarantino jealous, and Cage’s ability to balance his character’s more insane side with touching humanity. And with the film’s fourth anniversary having passed earlier this month, r/horror has taken the time to revisit this gem.
Indeed, one might wonder if a good portion of the film’s cast and crew happened to get into any of that LSD when the film was being put together. Then again, a creative mind is very much its own psychedelic, and by putting so many in the same room, among them Nicolas Cage’s, you’re bound to end up with something shockingly beautiful, as Mandy was.