Review: It’s Easy to See Why ‘All the Boys Love Mandy Lane’

Languishing in Distribution Purgatory for over 6 years, the back story of All the Boys Love Mandy Lane has almost as many twists as the film itself.  But don’t let that fact scare you from giving this 80’s slasher throwback a gander.  Even great films can get stuck on their way to a release date; Cabin in the Woods, for example, sat on a shelf for 3 years after it was completed.  And for a 6-year old film, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane feels surprisingly fresh—although the actors who play high school students are all probably in their 30’s now.

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Check out my review after the jump.

Synopsis:  A group of high schoolers invite Mandy Lane (Amber Heard), a good girl who became quite hot over the summer, to a weekend party on a secluded ranch. While the festivities rage on, the number of revelers begins to drop quite mysteriously.

For teenage heart-throb Mandy Lane, her best friend Emmitt, and the rest of her class at Rich Privileged High School USA, Junior year starts off with a bang (or more accurately, a SPLAT).

Fast Forward 9 months: No longer friends with Emmitt, the oft-obsessed-after Ms. Lane accepts a group invitation to a weekend ranch party to kick off Summer vacation.  Her companions are the most arrogant, heartless, selfish, shallow students in her class—aka The Cool Kids.

All the boys (and at least one of the girls) want to fuck Mandy Lane.  It’s no secret that her attention and her vagina are fiercely sought-after trophies, but she’s having none of it. It’s not a refusal on religious grounds, more like an innate prudishness that stems, perhaps, from the loss of her parents at a young age.  If Horror movies have taught us anything, it’s that kids without parents have loads of baggage.  Has fear of abandonment caused Mandy to build walls around herself or is there something else going on behind those dreamy eyes?

All the Boys differentiates itself from your typical teenage Horror fare in a few ways.  For one, there is no mystery about who the bad guy is.  When the first promiscuous slut gets whacked, I was like, “I bet the killer is…” and I was right!  But it really wasn’t a hard guess as his identity is only unknown for about 5 minutes.  In a genre film where the ID of the antagonist is given, we must expect a twist or two down the line—and Mandy Lane delivers.

To be fair, I already knew that Mandy Lane contained a “great twist” so I was looking for it.  Still, I was only able to half-guess the truth.  It’s a really great payoff that I won’t ruin for those yet to experience Mandy Lane for themselves, except to say it’s like a super-twist-double-cross with a final bang to boot.

So is a film about horny high school kiddies really worth the attention of discriminating aficionados?  Surprisingly, yes!  Instead of your cookie cutter batch of characters who attempt to illicit sympathy, those who inhabit the world of Mandy Lane are such extreme douche-bags that we’re glad to see them get popped (well, maybe everyone except Sensitive Guitar Player Boy).  It’s not high art, but a guilty pleasure, sure to satisfy newbies and hardcore gore-hounds alike.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is the kind of movie that will probably benefit from multiple viewings, so I am happy to have a copy in my personal collection.

3.5 out of 5 Skull-Heads

Trailer: HERE

Release Date (VOD/limited) September 6 2013
Studio Radius-TWC
Director Jonathan Levine
Writer(s) Jacob Forman
Starring Amber Heard, Anson Mount, Michael Welch, Aaron Himelstein, Edwin Hodge, Whitney Able, Luke Grimes, Melissa Price, Adam Powell

About Saucy Josh

I write a blog for intelligent Horror movie aficionados called Blood and Guts for Grown Ups: View all posts by Saucy Josh

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