Even if you don’t know much about this film, chances are you’ve seen the still of Nic Cage smiling maniacally in a burning car, covered in blood.
Well, that’s not even the half of it.
The basic sci-fi premise of this film is that a bad batch of LSD turns a group of hippies into a cannibalistic cult. The bad guys in this film are demonic, drug-crazed bikers, which sounds more like the plot of a self-published horror novel than a legitimate sci-fi blockbuster.
It all goes to pot after the cult murders a logger’s girlfriend by burning her alive and making him watch, all whilst he’s tied up and gagged with barbed wire. It’s very tasteful stuff.
Obviously the logger, known as Red, isn’t too happy about seeing his girlfriend chargrilled right in front of his eyes and he becomes hell-bent on hunting down the murderous hippies.
It is a classic revenge tale, and as with all clichés there was a chance it could come off as over-done and cringeworthy. Mandy, however, has escaped this fate. (Mandy the film, not the girlfriend - she, unfortunately, didn’t escape anything… )
We watch as Red tracks down and rips apart the gang with a crossbow and a custom-made battle axe, which I think is an underappreciated weapon that we don’t see enough of these days.
Much of the latter half of the film is clouded by Red’s intense hallucinations, which only adds to the trippy visuals of the film as a whole and solidifies it as a weirdly successful example of a sci-fi revenge flick.