The conquest awaits all the horny males of a high school who converge upon a ranch summer party hoping they are the lucky guy to bed celebrated virgin Mandy Lane. She's like some sort of magnet for male libidos, all wanting a shot at dethroning the girl, winning her acceptance with a right of passage that no guy has been able to come close to achieving. Interesting enough, Mandy is an unassuming, relatively quiet and shy, and doesn't necessarily invite such guffaws and lusty looks. She doesn't seem conceited or self absorbed. She doesn't go out of her way to attract the boys, or seem desperate for attention. God, it's so refreshing, really. Mandy seems responsible and mature compared to those around her. She doesn't cry for the position so many have entitled her with. The girls and guys that accompany Lane to the ranch are the exact opposite. They worry about the image they represent, care about how they look, and their abilities of seduction. While Mandy doesn't seem as comfortable drinking liquor, snorting coke, or smoking pot, the others are. Those in attendance who occupy the same ranch area as Lane are rather crude and rather blunt about their feelings.
Mandy's virginity is like fucking buried treasure everyone covets, and the usual manipulative efforts and pick-up lines are used in abundance to "get with her." The way the movie treats her, there are times when she is shot in slow motion, such as when she reveals what she looks like in a two piece bikini as the others gawk in adoration, you'd think she was Helen of Troy, a goddess to erect a statue of stone for worship. By the same token, Garth the ranchhand is also an object of desire, for the ladies, including Mandy, and we can sense that if anybody will take her virginity on this trip it will be him. Director Jonathan Levine builds a mystery around him(those smart enough will recognize that he is too obvious a suspect), though, as evident by the music. I really credit director Levine for using a chilling, not too loud or obtrusive(except the sound of the shotgun which made me jump even when I knew it was coming), score which incorporates a feeling of forboding. And, we just feel like it's only a matter of time before violence enters the picture. Sex is such a topic of importance in the lives of the teenagers. The size of your dick or how your boobs look outside a shirt, who's a virgin and who's not, all that stuff is the subject brought out among these kids.
Many might recognize Luke Grimes from the cult film Deadgirl as Jake, a real prick who thinks highly of himself. Whitney Able is Chloe, insecure despite a facade of superiority regarding her looks. Melissa Price is Marlin, who competes with Chloe over guys and her "slight pudge"(which is ridiculous because Marlin isn't the fatty Chloe uses to her assault her self esteen; it's that Chloe herself must use ridicule as a weapon to mask her own vulnerablity)is often brought up against her. Aaron Himelstein is Red, his dad's ranch is the chief setting for the movie. Edwin Hodge is the "token black character", Bird, although he isn't obnoxious or anything as they are often portrayed. Anson Mount, a guy the gals would label "dreamy", is the ranch hand who make the girls swoon. Michael Welch is Emmet, the outcast everyone insults and despise. Emmet is Mandy's "friend."
You know, the director doesn't even attempt to conceal the identity of the killer. We get a feeling not long into the movie who could become(if he wasn't already due to his involvement in the accidental suicidal leap of a jock from a roof slamming his skull on the sidewalk near the pool he was supposed to be landing into, drunk at the methodical instruction of Mandy's victimized friend who convinces him she would love that kind of stunt)psychotic enough to systematically annihilate a group of teenagers in the name of his devotion to Mandy Lane.
Interesting enough, this doesn't follow the typical slasher mood because I think Columbine changed the dynamic of this genre. Teenage killers, those who were mistreated and ridiculed by their fellow students, wreaking vengeance on those they consider the root of their homicidal rage, have changed the landscape of the slasher movie. A movie I like, THE FINAL(part of the 2009 After Dark Horrorfest's 8 films to die for), is an example of this. While, MANDY LANE doesn't exactly follow this pattern directly, I think we get an idea at the beginning that, besides his total devotion and obsession with the titular girl, that being an object of intense ridicule led a path towards perhaps what transpires. It's not what one would consider a "fun' slasher in that respect because the characters aren't completely hate-worthy stereotypes although they resemble teenagers we've seen die in previous slasher movies. I think what ultimately plays a heavy role in the suspense of the film is that these kids are so far from any place where help can arrive in a short length of time. The killer takes advantage of the night to pick off some unsuspecting teenagers, cutting the phone lines and using a shotgun during the morning to plan to finish the job on the rest. The vastness of the estate is a playground for a certifiable lunatic to hunt and kill..you apply some music which hums dread with all that farmland and MANDY LANE is a slasher which can work it's spell.
The badabing of the movie is the twist. I have to say it opened my eyes and I don't think it was some kind of idea just pulled out of the ass of those behind the making of the film. What it does is cast Mandy in an intriguing light. I think it's the kind of zinger which resonates and has deeper meaning. It's fat to chew on, with some of the remains stuck in your teeth.
I was thinking to myself as I watched this movie..what goes through the mind of someone like Mandy Lane, so desired and such a topic of discussion not just by dudes that want to fuck her, but by girls as well. How does she feel about being such an objectified person whose beauty is the envy of other girls, her vagina sought tempestously by males. I've never been in this kind of position where girls go numb at the knees when I walk past. Chloe is in the weakened chick role where her psyche is in a stage of duress due to her non-stop worries about being the lesser attracted girl people alternate to when Mandy Lane isn't available. I think her inclusion in the film counters the hot bitch archetype one is used to seeing murdered at the roar of an applause. She's a wreck, pills and drugs her steady diet. There's a moment I had a lump in my throat where Mandy and Chloe are in the bathroom and seem to be on the verge of a kiss when a knock at the door intrudes upon such a moment. It makes a statement, this scene, that even Chloe yearns for Mandy's embrace. I will forever wonder, however, if Mandy herself swings both ways.