Sunday, February 17, 2008


In Britain in the last century, it was quite acceptable for a gentleman to lose his virginity to one of London's many whore dogs. Dickens and Prince Albert both boasted of their experience.Teen horror is fairly objectionable stuff. Leery, misogynistic, and apart from my political objections, usually lazy and formulaic. So I spent most of ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE mildly pissed off. It was the usual crap. Teen girls prance around in various states of undress. Blokes ogle them. Unsurprisingly, three girls and three guys end up going to a farm-house in the middle of Bumblefuck where there's no phone reception and a brooding ranch-hand for company. Following the rules of the genre, the slapper gets chopped by the mysterious psycho first. The means of her death is particularly misogynistic although, I have to say, not hugely gory. Indeed, in general, this is not a particularly scary film. We then continue to eliminate teens in reverse slut order. The only thing maintaining our interest is some rather fine photography and editing and the sexual tension between Mandy (Amber Heard) and the brooding farm-hand (Anson Mount.)

Fans of the film point to a cunning plot twist to defend the movie as "smart" and "original". This is nonsense. The plot twist can be easily guessed at. What's more, it's not particularly convincing. Indeed, the only reason behind it is that the film-makers are not simply misogynistic but entirely misanthropic. But I don't want to waste ninety minutes hearing how all men are patsies, and all women are dumb, manipulative whores.

ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE played Toronto 2006 but has only just been released in the UK. It opens in the Netherlands in April 3rd and in the US on April 25th.

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