One of the Best Horror Movies of 2006, 'All the Boys Love Mandy Lane,' Finally Arrives in Theaters
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One of the Best Horror Movies of 2006, 'All the Boys Love Mandy Lane,' Finally Arrives in Theaters

By Dustin Rowles | Film Reviews | October 11, 2013 | Comments ()


All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, which has been sitting on a shelf since 2006 — during which time Jonathan Levine has made the heartbreakingThe Wackness, the brilliant 50/50, and the subversively sweet Warm Bodies — is finally seeing the inside of a movie theater this weekend. From what I understand, we can blame Quentin Tarantino indirectly for part of the delay — the Weinsteins, after the box-office failure of Grindhouse, decided not to release Mandy Lane back in 2006. They sold the distribution rights, and the movie has drifted around aimlessly until now (though, it has been easy to find, if you know where to look).

With Mandy Lane, Levine takes the slasher-film blueprint and, without necessarily doing anything original with it, has created a dead-teenager movie that you can appreciate not for its campy gloriousness, its machete gore, its body count, or even the T & A. In fact, he’s done something I’d never even considered before: He’s crossed Friday the 13th with … Heathers. Actually, the film’s scribe, Jacob Forman, should get credit for the ’80s mash-up, but it’s Levine that sells it. And, my dearest cockswallows, does he ever sell it. Mandy Lane is the tits.

The film opens at a high-school pool party, featuring a cadre of beer-swilling, twatwafflian douchesters of the popped-collar variety. One particularly odious jock has his eye on the sumptuous Mandy Lane (Amber Heard) and tries to break the face of Emmet (Michael Welch), Mandy’s Ducky (so to speak), after Emmet steps in on his date-rapey advances. A few minutes later, the drunken jackaass follows Emmet to the roof of the house, and Emmet convinces him that the only way to Mandy’s heart is by taking a header off the roof and into the pool. The result: One of the most unpleasant sounds I’ve ever heard in my life followed by a gallon of blood and one dead doucherag.

Nine months later, Mandy Lane has taken her rightful position among the high school’s Mean Girls and their pea-brained boyfolk. She’s also cast aside Emmet, apparently unsettled by his manipulation of the dead douche. Meanwhile, that weekend, quiet, lovely Mandy Lane and her new asshole friends decide to have a little drunk-n-fuck get together at an isolated ranch. Booze, drugs, and blowjobs are exchanged.

It isn’t until one-third of the way through the movie that you actually realize what Mandy Lane is: An almost by-the-numbers salasā fēlam. But there’s a big difference between Mandy Lane and your run-of-the-mill Friday the 13th knock-offs. Here, the killer’s identity is revealed fairly early on, and the motivation is seemingly apparent. But what’s impressive and so unusual about Mandy Lane is that the heroine isn’t a whiny, insufferable damsel, and the supporting players are never asked to play sacrifice-yourself-for-the-virgin. They’re self-absorbed pindicks and drunk assholes without an ounce of hero credibility. And yet, Levine creates so much tension that you squirm painfully when you see the same loathsome horny teenagers you’d be glad to see picked off in another slasher film and taken to the woodshed of afterlife.

It all culminates in an impressive twist that I never saw coming, and ultimately, demonstrates the potential of Amber Heard. It’s been seven years and a lot of trashy movies since Mandy Lane, but Heard has never been better.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Sean

    So weird, as it has been on the internet for all of those 7 years. Why would someone waste the money to release it now? Most of the target audience have seen it sometime in those many years.

  • ViciousTrollop

    I watched it on VOD a few days ago. It was beautifully filmed. I really liked the use of Sealed With a Kiss at the end.

  • ryallen

    Thanks for telling us half the movie...

  • Mrs. Julien

    Dustin is such a jerkface!

  • kushiro -

    I got ahold of this, um, somehow, about six years ago and I've probably seen it a half dozen times (not counting a handful of drunkwatches when I fell asleep halfway through). Not only is it a pretty good horror flick, and Amber Heard is mesmerizing, but it's also beautifully shot. It's set on this huge piece of farmland and the cinematography takes good advantage of the wide open spaces. And there's a great sequence where the characters are goofing around some train tracks with a terrific cover of Sister Golden Hair on the soundtrack and it is just gorgeous.

    I always find a way to be out of the room for about 20 seconds during that opening pool scene though.

  • Marco?

    I hate when I'm told that there is "a twist you'll never see coming." Well, I'm a lot more likely to see it coming if I'm told at the start that there is going to be a twist, because then I start trying to figure it out. Even if I don't figure it out before it happens, I'm still expecting something to happen. The best twists are always the ones no one even mentions, so they are completely unexpected in all regards.

  • Xander

    Amber Heard was really impressive in this. She always had this wild unrestrained beauty but here she doesn't just rely on her look but instead gives a great performance as well

  • marya

    "An almost by-the-numbers salasā fēlam."

    Yeah, I tell you what. If you've seen one salasā fēlam, you've seen 'em all.

  • TrickyHD

    Downloaded in 2 minutes (2 Gb version) with Fios :)
    Thanks, will watch late tonight.

  • zeke_the_pig

    I'm not usually one to go after blondes but Jesus H Christ, Amber Heard is so incredibly hot she makes the blood in my veins do the cocaine conga .

  • Sean

    EXACTLY how I feel. Blondes don't do anything for me. But Amber Heard...goddamn. I watch truly awful movies just because she is in them.

  • Mrs. Julien

    EXACTLY how I feel... about Daniel Craig.

  • Mrs. Julien

    In the [cough] genre fiction I read, one author has referred to the character's blood turning to "honey" in the face of a particularly overwhelming sensual onslaught. "Cocaine conga" certainly gets the idea across, as well.

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