All the Boys Love Mandy Lane


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

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 North America.

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 Amazon UK.)

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, thus making her enticing to all the cool guys. She resists at first and stays loyal to the geeky 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 who seems to have been goaded into a suicidal leap by her dorky best friend. After that incident, Mandy gravitates to the cool crowd and dumps the nerd.

... 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 the story is supposed to take place, but the characters conveniently lack the cell phones which would have saved their lives, so that element adds 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 kinda sorta unexpected 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 elements 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 Halloween line-up.


* North American Region 1 DVD not yet available as I write this. Various DVDs and Blu-Ray discs are available from Amazon UK


1 The Guardian (of 5 stars)
2 BBC  (of 5 stars)
55 Rotten Tomatoes  (% positive)
50 (of 100)








6.0 IMDB summary (of 10)







Box Office Mojo. It was budgeted at $47 million for production, and the distribution/advertising costs are estimated around $30 million. It did nine million in its first five days, in 2400 theaters. (On the average, the studios get about 55% of box office receipts, the theater owners 45%.)


  • Whitney Able appeared topless.







Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


Adequate genre fare.