Mandy (2018) – Black Skulls

Blood for blood.

The year is 1983 and somewhere in the Shadow Mountains, four hideous, leather-clad demons ride through the night. Summoned by a mystical horn, the post-human Black Skull gang are either the result of a bad acid trip or fiends summoned from the lowest pits of Hell. In the context of the 2018 film Mandy in which these bikers emerge, both origins seem entirely possible.

The lore around Panos Cosmatos‘ heavy-metal horror film that stars Nicolas Cage, is as gonzo as the movies psychedelic imagery. Woven seamlessly into this narrative is the mysterious Black Skulls, a gang of bikers whose minds are rumored to have been broken by a potent, liquid form of LSD.

The bikers arrive like beams of alien lights before revealing themselves to be black-suited sado-masocistic humanoids. While easily compared to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, especially considering they are effectively responsible for ending Nicolas Cage’s world, the mythological themes of the movie point towards the bikers being mere acolytes of the ancient Greek god Abraxas, the Guardian of the Universe. From a narrative standpoint, they certainly represent the death of Nicolas’ world, but when Cage’s character Red Miller murders them one-by-one, they serve to mark the awakening of his tiger psyche as well.

And from a role-play standpoint – they make some wicked Villains of Horror!

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References

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