All the Boys Love Mandy Lane was bordering on horror movie legend. The indie slasher flick started making the festival rounds in late 2006 and was well received, but it is only now, seven years later, getting an official Stateside release.
The film stars Amber Heard as Mandy Lane, a pretty, virginal high school student who falls in with the fast crowd. She accompanies a quintet of friends out to a ranch in the middle of nowhere for an end-of-the-school-year weekend away. While the specter of date rape hangs over the proceedings, it never comes to fruition because the kids are murdered one by one. It’s a pretty straight-forward plot with a predictable twist ending, but what makes it stand out is beautiful cinematography and a strong cast.
So what happened with Mandy Lane? The Weinstein Company picked up the film for distribution in 2007. The general consensus is that Weinstein shelved it after their Quentin Tarantino / Robert Rodriguez double-feature Grindhouse bombed at the box office and they became a little gun-shy of genre properties. They sold the film to a company called Senator Entertainment US. From what I can tell, Senator opened up an American arm of their German distribution company. They folded quickly and Mandy Lane was lost in limbo for many years (not unlike the delays behind Cabin in the Woods). The film ended up back at The Weinstein Company, and is getting a VOD and limited theatrical release this fall.
I first read about Mandy Lane in 2007, in the British magazine Bizarre. It sounded interesting; I put it on my Netflix list, where it floundered in the “unavailable” column. Eventually, I ditched the DVD portion of Netflix and with it, my list of films that I wanted to watch one day. I was very excited when I was invited to a press screening, and RSVP’d immediately.
So does Mandy Lane live up to the hype? Well... I don’t know how much hype is left. I stopped hoping for Mandy Lane’s release years ago, so this was just a nice surprise. Did I like it? Yes. Did I love it? No. I think that, in this case, the longer wait may have helped it. If Mandy Lane came out, say, two or three years ago, I probably would have still been in that super-excited state, and would have been let down by a good but generic flick. With seven years in between, the hype has died down. Before I got the press release about the movie finally getting a release, I hadn’t thought about Mandy Lane in years. It was like the clock reset.