Movie Review: MANDAO OF THE DEAD (2018)

Hello fellow creeps! I’m back with another review to peak your interest into the indie horror genre. This time were talking about MANDAO OF THE DEAD.

The unambitious Jay Mandao lives frugally off his late father’s cereal royalties. He wants nothing more than to live in solitude, but is duped into taking in his adult nephew-in-law, Jackson. As Halloween approaches, Jay begins having odd dreams, and comes to find that he has the ability of astral projection. Jay and Jackson are approached by a ghost who has a small window of opportunity to reverse his death at the hands of Jackson’s murderous ex-girlfriend.

The first thing I want you to know about this movie is that it’s definitely a horror comedy. It’s packed full of fun crude jokes, music that somehow appropriately fits each situation and light-hearted “spookiness”. Plus the movie is based around Halloween! What more could you ask for?

The film is focused around our three goofy main characters Jay, Jackson and Darth. Jay and Jackson live together despite Jay’s own personal struggle to deal with the world, let alone a roommate that he has to take care of. Darth is the astral projection of a man that was killed by Mave, Jackson’s ex girlfriend, on Halloween night. Each one of the characters all brought some sort of charm to the table throughout the run of the film. I think some of the scenes that really stuck out to me we’re the angry exchanges between Darth and Jackson.

There were parts of the movie that gave me slight Troma vibes but it appeared to have a less gritty production. It went off the rails like a lot of Troma films but maintained it’s plot structure through and through. I highly enjoyed the concept of the movie as I haven’t seen a lot of films that dive much into astral projection. aside from the Insidious franchise. What really felt incredibly unique to me was the idea of using astral projection to go back in time.

MANDAO OF THE DEAD honestly has a very light hearted vibe. The character development between Jackson and Jay is really kind of sweet. Considering Jay basically hates Jackson at the beginning of the film it actually ends with them working together and eventually getting along. I can definitely see this being something I throw into my October movie rotation.

I’d recommend MANDAO OF THE DEAD to basically any horror fan or fan of spooky things in general. With a runtime of only an hour and twelve minutes it’s definitely worth a watch. Like I mentioned before it’s fun, light-hearted and actually very funny! If you get the opportunity to check it out!

MANDAO OF THE DEAD is now available exclusively on Amazon Instant Video.


Devin March
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