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Quint is told that ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE, but does he? SXSW review of the slasher flick here!!

Published at: March 11, 2007, 3:26 a.m. CST by quint

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with one more from SXSW, the local slasher ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE. I saw 3 more movies today than I reviewed, but they really blew and I don't want to kick an indie. What's the point? Good on them if their crap gets picked up. Then I'll review it. But I did want to talk about this film before catching some shut eye, which is going to be reduced by an hour thanks to daylight savings time. Thanks for the move, Congress. This is one of those movies that was hyped up to me as being a return to '80s slasher glory, which are words that set the bar pretty damn high for me. It shot just outside of Austin and I've heard little mumblings from friends that were on the production, but nothing specific. It was just one of those little Austin movies and the film community in Austin is pretty inbred. Everybody knows everybody. I was very excited to be able to see the flick. I was worried that I'd be out in Vegas when it played, but luckily the one screening fell in the half of the fest I am able to attend. This is a difficult one to write. It's a small movie, picked up by the Weinstein Co. for release later this year, but it's one of those small movies where the budget can't help but influence your opinion. If this movie had cost $5 million, I'd be a little harsher on it, but word around the campfire is it was well under $1 million. For a movie of that range, what they achieved is commendable and pretty damn jaw-dropping. The flick is about that one girl in high school who is unattainable, no matter if you're a jock, stoner, cool kid or geek. Of course, the titular Mandy Lane (the aptly cast beauty, Amber Heard) is such a girl and she is invited to join some of the popular kids to a weekend of fun and debauchery on the stoner's ranch. Of course, they aren't alone. The slasher isn't very iconic, but they don't really play up the iconic slasher and the identity isn't a mystery for very long. By going that route, they eliminate the need for a mask. Young filmmaker, Jonathan Levine, cast a great bunch of young actors and writer Jacob Forman's main talent was fleshing out some pretty standard archetypes (popular, bitchy slut, horny jock, nerdy stoner, brooding, but popular asshole, etc) into somewhat fresh characters. The cinematography is also outstanding, not to mention the title design. The opening logo is great, really sets the blood-splattered mood. I was a little distracted by the Vern trademarked "Avid Farts." I don't know why young horror filmmakers today think horror means washed-out colors, freeze-frames and jerky fast-forwards/rewinds. That is not scary and if I had it my way I'd remove all evidence of it before it sees the light of day. They shot it to look like an '80s slasher, feel like an '80s slasher... so why inject modern horror style, especially bad modern horror style? Gore-wise, the flick has some good moments. I won't spoil them here, but there's a particularly good one after some oral fun with the horny chick and brooding asshole characters. The end of the flick is also troublesome in a HAUTE TENSION way. There comes a point where everything that they worked so hard to slowly build up just kind of unravels. Like HAUTE TENSION, they do something that is interesting in theory, but in execution... didn't quite work. Everything considered, it is a valiant low-budget effort and one that definitely deserves to be seen on the big screen whenever the Weinsteins release, likely Fall. It's certainly better than the vast majority of the genre sequels/remakes that studios pump out by the dozen now. Flawed, a little slow to start, but it's an interesting original story, so it's fresh almost by default. -Quint quint@aintitcool.com



Readers Talkback

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  • March 11, 2007, 3:34 a.m. CST

    FIRST

    by Droogie Alex

    yah!

  • March 11, 2007, 3:35 a.m. CST

    STILL FIRST!

    by Droogie Alex

    Just in case

  • March 11, 2007, 5:26 a.m. CST

    sounds good...

    by billy_hitchcock

    ...and i love cool horror logos!

  • March 11, 2007, 5:55 a.m. CST

    I saw it in last year's SITGES FILM FESTIVAL and...

    by Bodenland Unbound

    I don't remember any "jerky fast-forwards/rewinds" in this movie. Either they have re-edited the film during the last 6 months or maybe I'm wrong. I saw it in a midnight screening (after seeing 5 films that day) and this could explain an evident lack of memory!

  • March 11, 2007, 10:30 a.m. CST

    All the drooling, mongoloid fanboys love "Mandy Lane"

    by Nate Champion

    That would be a great headline, if it were actually true. If you can't even get Quint on board, you know something's wrong!

  • March 11, 2007, 11:01 a.m. CST

    goddamn DST!

    by Billy Ho

    Forgot..looks like I missed Frownland...dammit! I'm curious which films "blew." So I don't waste my time going to see them...

  • March 11, 2007, 2:40 p.m. CST

    I hate bad movies

    by liljuniorbrown

    Dumb comment I know but I have not seen a "good" movie in a while. The last great movie I watched was The Departed, and I didn't get to see it in theaters which kind of ruins things. I guess where I was going with this is after reading this review I want to see a real throwback to 80's sleepover horror movies. I'm tired of the haunted house,Asian curse, torture porn genre that we're wallowing in right now. Movies like Hostel and Saw are not scary to me in any real sense of the word. The reason that the 80's style movies were good for a scare and still hold up today is that the premise was simple and there was no heavy handed sarcasm that kept reminding you how dumb the victims in those films were. We all know running up the stairs to get away from the killer is the wrong move,we don't need the main characters in the movie telling us that. Filmmakers (and writers) today are so scared they will be charged with "insulting our intelligence" that they don't even try anything new. My challenge to any filmmaker visiting this site is as follows ,Create a horror movie without focusing on todays hip,smart ass crowd. Cut loose and turn a new Leatherface,or Jason Vorhee's loose on the movie screen. We need to have our dates holding on to us in the dark theaters for dear life while we are secretly holding on to the bottoms of our chairs. Movies like Slither and Feast had the right idea we just got to move away from the over the top comedic aspects .

  • March 11, 2007, 3:18 p.m. CST

    liljuniorbrown

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    I think that the new 'Behind the Mask' movie coming out attempts to do what you describe. Haven't seen it yet, but heres hoping!! I'm with you 100%.

  • March 11, 2007, 4:01 p.m. CST

    These SXSW posts....

    by Mister Man

    are Talkback killers.

  • March 12, 2007, 12:13 a.m. CST

    TheEnderSmitesfoes, WHAT A HOMO!

    by jjn1268019

    First of all I love 80's slasher flicks, and this sounds like something to check out...but this homo who commented above me just spoiled the entire film for anyone who wanted to see this...KILL YOURSELF ENDER OF THE REAR QUEERS! and burn in hell.

  • March 12, 2007, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Isn't This About Some Bitch With A Hairy Navel?

    by Doctor_Sin

    And some deranged electrolysis tech chases her with a laser hair removal gun?