Give Nick Cage a Break and Check Out Mandy

With the approaching release and rave reviews of “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” generations of movie watchers are finally reconsidering their harsh views on Nicolas Cage. I’m as guilty as anyone of using Nick Cage as the butt of a joke (especially in Cards Against Humanity) but I can say without a doubt that the actor has never given a boring performance. I mean, who doesn’t love a spontaneous Nick Cage outburst or self-referential joke thrown randomly in a drama, romcom, horror, or even sci-fi movie?

If you want to view one Cage’s most shocking movies in recent years, our collection has the perfect film for you: Mandy (2018). Written and directed by Panos Cosmatos, Mandy is a psychedelic action horror film starring Nick Cage, Andrea Riseborough, and Linus Roache. Set in the Pacific Northwest in 1983, the peaceful lives of Red Miller (Cage) and his girlfriend Mandy (Riseborough) are savagely shattered by a cult led by the sadistic Jeremiah Sand (Roache) and a group of motorcycle-riding demons. In response, Red brutally takes his revenge on all of those who wronged him. Immerse yourself in this phantasmagoric world, and expect the unexpected!

MANDY - Official Trailer - YouTube
Mandy (2018) Official Poster. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Z4OcDOwyIx8/movieposter.jpg.

Minor spoiler alert: if that description doesn’t pull you in, just know that there’s a chainsaw duel scene.

To be very clear, this movie is not for the faint of heart: it is for true horror, slasher, and occult movie fans. There is a significant amount of gore and brutality that made even a horror fan like myself squeamish. Between forging his own weapons and fighting different forms of evil, Cage embodies rage and revenge like no other. Even with limited dialogue, his performance showcases his ability to make an unsettling scene comedic in the best way.

Mandy (2018) [700 × 1000] by Graham Humphreys : r/MoviePosterPorn
Private commissions – Mandy (2018). Graham Humphreys. (2021, February 12). Retrieved April 6, 2022, from https://grahamhumphreys.com/gallery/private-commissions/

Along with the incredibly realistic practical effects and especially entertaining action sequences, the cinematography and editing of this movie really steal the show. The use of primary colors and contrasting hues filtered over the Panavision Primo anamorphic lenses gives a texture and graininess reminiscent of your classic 1970s and 1980s slashers. It creates an immersive experience for viewers that I highly recommend. This unique and gorgeous film gives standard-horror-movie fans like myself a new appreciation for experimental indie and art-house films.

The Last Thing I See: 'Mandy' (2018) Movie Review
McKnight, B. (1970, January 1). ‘mandy’ (2018) Movie Review. The Last Thing I See. Retrieved April 6, 2022, from https://www.thelastthingisee.com/2018/09/mandy-2018-movie-review.html

If horror is not your thing, I still implore you to give Nick Cage another shot. Let yourself be entertained with his unpredictable performances and his ability to never blend into the background of movies. All of his movies may not be Oscar-worthy, but hey, at least they’re entertaining! LS

Student blogger Liz Sheldon joined the Media Services staff in Fall 2021. She hails from Indianapolis and is in her junior year at IU. This is her first blog post for Media Beat.

Selected Nicholas Cage film holdings available via IU Media Services:

Birdy (2014)

World Trade Center (2007)

Windtalkers (2004)

Omnibus, Vinnie Goes To Hollywood (2000) (Nicholas Cage is one of a number of celebrity interviewees who speak about working with English soccer star turned film celebrity Vinnie Jones)

Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

Wild at Heart (1990)

Raising Arizona (1987)

Moonstruck (1987)

Rumble fish (1983)

How “It” Reinvigorates The Horror Genre

The horror genre is one that catches a lot of negativity for it’s inherently evil subject matter and it’s necessity to adhere to traditions that are often written off as clichés, but I’m here to discuss why horror movies are on the rise and how It (2017) may just reinvent the entire genre… Continue reading “How “It” Reinvigorates The Horror Genre”

My Bleeding Heart: Horror Announcements

Hello to everyone out there on the interwebs! As part of M/RS’s new blog, I’m going to be posting a series centering on the most bone-chilling (and sometimes hilarious) genres of all time: horror.

Over the tumblr_inline_mubd8hEtrZ1r409prpast six months, we have been working hard to build a horror collection to be proud of, and we’ve added approximately 150 new titles to our collection. These titles range from silly–Aaah! Zombies!! (2007)–to classic–The Blob (1958)–to disturbing–Last House on the Left (1972). We’ve added several television titles as well–True Blood: Season 1 (2008), Teen Wolf (2011), and American Horror Story (2011) to name a few. Best of all, these titles have been added to our browsing collection so our patrons can take them home for a longer amount of time and have easier access.

This new collection was created through the requests of our patrons, new curriculum here at the university, and the ever-growing presence of horror and horror elements in contemporary media. Not only are horror remakes as popular as ever, but now horror is becoming more prevalent in pieces that combine comedy, drama, suspense, etc. in ways that only promote horror’s progressional aspects all the more.

In this series, I’ll be addressing the evolution of the horror genre on film. The series will focus on identifying horror’s major subgenres and the influences behind these movements. I’ll also look at the original titles that started it all as well as more modern films that fit into these categories. If you’re interested in checking out some horror history a little bit sooner, here are two interesting documentaries to get you started–Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film (2006) and Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film (2009). Otherwise, stay tuned!