It’s a shame really that All the Boys Love Mandy Lane has such a convoluted release history, meaning that it never received even a DVD release in the USA. Here in the UK however we’re slightly luckier, the film being released straight to DVD and getting semi-regular showings on television. If Mandy Lane was a bad film then I couldn’t care less that even today a lot of people still haven’t seen it, the problem is though, it isn’t a bad film it’s actually pretty good. Sometimes slasher movies bore me, I find the routine of a scene Teenagers having sex/doing drugs for ten minutes and then a kill scene and then another scene of Teenagers having sex/doing drugs mind numbingly boring if it is not done well. Mandy Lane however is actually pretty inventive with an interesting use of music, camera work and a plot twist that actually surprised me.
I’ll keep my explanation of the plot brief so as not to ruin anything that comes later on, if your intending to watch ATBLML though I suggest staying away from this review until afterwards.. Mandy Lane is a popular outsider, the girl all the guys want but she always throws off their advances. After falling in with a new crowd Mandy is invited to spend the weekend at a ranch with them as each of the guys attempts to be the one to “get” her. However someone else is at the ranch, someone who wants Mandy also and is prepared to kill for her. Is everything what it appears to be however? Or is there something much bigger going on...
It sounds like pretty much standard stuff and most of the time it is but there’s a few things about Mandy Lane that place it up above many in the endless stream of post 2000 slasher films. To begin with the cast really are superb, the teenagers are pretty much your standard cast of slasher movie teens but I have to give special mention to Michael Welch as Emmitt. Welch’s performance is so utterly deranged and sadistic but we also see his obsessivness and love for Mandy come through. He’s a twisted killer, yet we know why he’s doing it and the film is made so that in a way, the viewer can see his logic no matter how messed up it may be. Welch delivers some incredibly disturbing lines for example my personal favourite of “what’d she taste like?” which has to be one of the creepiest lines deliveries in a modern slasher film. We also see Emmitt doing some of the kills pretty early on so instead of the usual guess who, we get to go beneath his skin so to speak. This makes the film much more entertaining and allows the reader to absorb themselves more into the plot, making the twist at the end all the more shocking. Ah the twist. The twist comes right at the tail end of the movie just when the viewer thinks that they know exactly what is going on, this makes the reveal all the more surprising. It’s an ingenious little trick that some may guess way beforehand but fortunately the rest of the plot disperses any doubts so that when it happens, even the most intelligent of viewers is surprised.
I mentioned earlier the use of inventive camera work, music, editing etc. In one or two places this gave the film an almost blackly comic feel. For example a scene in which Emmitt is singing and then proceeds to hit someone before the screen slides away to the left to reveal the next scene. In another scene we have a girl being chased by a car across a field, a typical horror movie scene; we then cut to the inside of the car and Emmitt dancing to hip-hop music. At the start of the movie we also have several slow- motion shots of Mandy walking through the corridors at school without sound and with music. All of these scenes are short but their addition helps to make the film overall more visually interesting.
Of course there are bad points. The twist is perhaps not explained well enough, leaving one or two small but significant plot holes that may irritate some viewers. The teens in places are annoying, coming across as rude and in one or two places un-likeable (for example a scene where they steal a barrel of beer off of a local who up until that point had been helping them with directions). The fact that the kids are a bit up themselves can help the plot to a certain extent, ATBLML shows that kids are cruel. Everyone wants to know Mandy not to be her friend, but just to shag her. In the film’s opening sequence we are shown that the kids are cruel to Emmitt, not wanting to know him at all, only having anything to do with him due to his connection with Mandy. In the end though the lack of likeable characters only leads to the audience being unable to identify with anyone and feel genuinely sad or disheartened when a character is killed. A problem not limited to just Mandy Lane but many slasher movies.
All The Boys Love Mandy Lane is a film I have to urge any readers of this site to at least give a chance. It’s not to everyone’s cup of tea it must be said and no doubt some readers would rather stick to classic 80’s slashers that they know are going to be good than take a risk with yet another post Scream one. I can only say that personally I find it a shame that ALTBLM has not been released more widely, it deserves that at least.
Welcome one and all- Please leave sanity at the door
A Teenage boy with a passion for all things nerdy! Expect a lot of Doctor Who, Cult/Horror Movies, Literature and Novels, History, Comic Books and random thoughts. Posts published weekly on a Friday evening. DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the items reviewed on this site and i also do not own of the pictures (unless stated so). If you own one of the photos and wish for it to be removed contact me at this adress: Super.firstname.lastname@example.org. However all of the written work is my own and is protected under copyright law.