Mandao (Man-Day-Oh) of the Dead is about an unambitious guy named Jay Mandao who 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.Written by
Gina Gomez and Scott Dunn
Living off his relative's inheritance, a man living with a loner slacker friend finds that his strange dreams are signaling the ability to astral projection, but by doing so he comes upon a ghost wanting him to perform certain actions with his powers that put them all in great danger.
For the most part, this was a rather enjoyable effort. One of it's better aspects is the rather strong and enjoyable atmosphere that creates a rather light, easy-going tone. The friendship between the two is a prime example, but the main starting point here is the revelation of his ability to astral project that provides this one with the most to like as it features some lighthearted comedic moments. With the main focus in the middle of the film coming specifically from this aspect of the film, there's a rather breezy tone that's established rather enjoyable to get through. This is mainly due to the projection sequences themselves being rather enjoyable. There's an otherworldly quality to these scenes of them interacting together in a different plane of existence, with the ethereal tone, voices and generally odd atmosphere showing them interacting with the different figures in his dreams. As these help the movie along with its main goal of helping the friend to overcome his affliction by recreating the events that killed them resulting in some madcap adventures to always right their wrongs, making for a lot to really like with this one. The film's main issue is the inability to connect with the best friend making it difficult to really sympathize with his situation. The idea of the lonely man-child in his mid-thirties who stays home, watches cartoons and does nothing all day is not funny in concept or execution, leaving the entire woe-is-me routine of the first half rather flat and lame. Thankfully, it's kept to a minimum that doesn't affect the film all that much in the end, but the idea of it still being a prominent part of how we're supposed to get on his side being a reliable friend. The other main issue here is a real lack of explanation for what's going on within the film. Not only is there no real reason for why he's suddenly able to perform this strange ability, but the idea of what it wants to do with him is also completely misguided from what the actual action is supposed to be. As well, the entire concept of suddenly being able to interact with the dead through this activity is never explained or given, leading to a real sense of confusion as for how they came into contact with each other and what he expects to occur based on their interaction with each other. These here are what hold it down somewhat.
Rated Unrated/R: Language and Violence.
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