All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
This is a case where the story behind the film is more interesting than
the film itself. First question: "Why the multiple dates?" This variation
on the teen slasher genre was first screened at Toronto in 2006, where it
was bought by the Weinsteins, who had fairly big plans for it. Shit
happens. Those plans changed and the Weinsteins re-sold the film to
Senator Entertainment. Except for some tiny theatrical runs in Europe,
Senator has basically just been sitting on the film since they acquired
it, and it now appears to be headed to DVD without a theatrical release in
Maybe. Assuming it ever gets to DVD in the USA.
A DVD release was supposed to happen in October of 2007, but that was
postponed, and there is now no definite date available, so this flick just
seems to be in limbo in every North American respect. (It is available in
Region 2 on DVD and Blu-Ray from
The film itself is sort of a hybrid between a teen angst film and a
conventional slasher pic. Mandy Lane is the pure girl who suddenly becomes
gorgeous one summer in high school, enticing all the cool guys to start
chasing her. She resists at first and stays loyal to the nerdy boy who has
been her best friend since childhood, but she seems to change when a
bizarre accident results in the death of an obnoxious jock. The athlete
seems to have been goaded into a suicidal leap by the nerdy best friend.
After that incident, Mandy gravitates to the cool crowd and dumps the
... at which time the prologue ends and the real story begins.
Mandy agrees to go off to an isolated ranch with three sleazy guys and
two slutty girls. Nobody else is on the property except a mysterious
caretaker who is supposed to have some mental problems resulting from his
service in the Gulf War. As the first night progresses, the cool kids
start dying one by one.
You should already have figured out the basic solution to the mystery,
even though I've only described the first ten minutes of the film.
Obviously, the ranch hand is a red herring. He has no motivation to kill
anyone, so the killer must be someone else. There are two questions you
should ask at this point:
1) Why did the script bother to show the prologue, which introduced and
dropped the character of the nerdy boyfriend? Wouldn't the film have
worked exactly the same if they started with the trip to the ranch. If
not, why not?
2) Why would sweet, virginal Mandy agree to go on a drunken road orgy
with three sleazebags who obviously wanted her there only to mount an
assault on the fortress between her legs?
To each question there is only one possible reasonable answer to the
question, and those answers supply the film's "surprise" resolution.
Despite the telegraphed solution, the film does rise above the teen
slasher genre for three reasons:
The interaction between the teens makes it a fairly interesting teen
drama before the actual slashing begins. The character development is not
especially deep, but the script does pay some attention to it and makes an
effort to make it realistic, which allows the film to reach a wider
audience than just slasher aficionados.
The style of the film, including a grainy kind of look, harkens back to
the genre classics. If you did not recognize any of these actors and a
friend told you this movie was made in the seventies, I doubt that you
would question him. I'm not sure when it is supposed to take place, but
the characters conveniently lack the cell phones which would have saved
their lives, so that element added to the seventies vibe. Since every
human being on the planet now has a cell phone, I guess we are to assume
that the story took place some time in the past.
Although the film goes through the normal motions of a slasher film
until about five minutes before the end, there are then several
consecutive plot twists, some of which are more unexpected than others.
The last five minutes of the film are genuinely nutty, with a bizarre
showdown between the main characters and various plot twists so improbable
as to verge on satire. Notice that I'm listing that as a positive. Your
mileage may vary, but I like the over-the-top finale, which injects a
little craziness into a film which had earlier seemed more like a soap
opera than a slasher film. All sense of logic disappears in a couple of
the film's worst moments, and two of the plot twists are completely
predictable, given the questions I asked above, but the ending does offer
some surprises and a couple of original, unusual set pieces.
All in all, not a bad little film. Is it good enough to have been
released theatrically? Well, it seems more like a STV film to me, but
there have been many worse films to receive theatrical releases in the
past two years, so this might have made for a decent addition to the usual
Heard (sexy, but no real nudity)