Teenage Dirtbags

ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE

2.5 Stars  2006/18/87m

“Everyone is dying to be with her. Someone is killing for it.”

Director: Jonathan Levine / Writer: Jacob Forman / Cast: Amber Heard, Anson Mount, Whitney Able, Michael Welch, Edwin Hodge, Aaron Himelstein, Luke Grimes, Melissa Price.

Body Count: 7


The popular, not very nice kids at a high school invite Mandy Lane to a pool party because all the boys lust after her. She takes her friend Emmet with her and he is blamed when an asshole jock tries to impress Mandy by leaping into the pool from the roof of the house, fatally hitting his head on the concrete as he goes.

Nine months later, the popular, not very nice kids invite Mandy Lane away for a weekend at a remote ranch because all the boys still lust after her.

Emmet is no longer a friend so it’s just Mandy, a Barbie-wannabe and her limpet friend, Marlin, who Barbie keeps calling fat, and the boys: Jake, Bird, and rich boy Red. Stupid names for stupid, unlikeable teenagers. Let’s hope they all die.

What’s amusing is that, despite the boys’ lame ass attempts to impress Mandy, she only has eyes for grizzly farmhand Garth (Mount). So the kids pass the time in the usual ways, flirting, snorting coke, drinking loads before they begin splitting off for various reasons. Thankfully, the ostracised Emmet has followed the group to the ranch and answers our prayers by proceeding to kill, Kill, KILL the dreadful brats.

Come daybreak, the group’s attempts to escape are continually thwarted by shotgun-wielding Emmet, who shoots some, stabs others and forces one chick to perform a sort of blowjob on the barrel of the rifle.

With a reported budget south of a million dollars, All the Boys was a festival regular for awhile before being picked up for international distribution but only ever gained a limited release nearly two years after it was made. Reviews were mixed, strange considering the film’s resistance to entertain in favour of pretences of being some form of higher art, thanks largely to the grainy photography and ‘topical’ resolution once the requisite twist is tossed into the machinery, sucking thick cloud-cover over the motive thanks to the charades of said twist.

The plot may have been the stuff of the golden era of slasher film but the fun-time kids who populated those flicks are all but gone, replaced by nasty backstabbers and absolutely no one worth rooting for. Even Mandy is as hollow as an abandoned warehouse, existing only to swish around like a Geisha with nothing particularly interesting to say and while she’s not slutty like the other two girls (one of whom pads out her bra and uses big-ass scissors on her ‘delicate undercarriage’ area), it’s difficult to discern what it is “all the boys” see in her beyond general aesthetic blah.

I got to see All the Boys on the big screen but it’s almost definitely a DVD flick and not one you’d rent for a horrorthon party – it doesn’t want to be a slasher film, but it is, and the fact that it thinks above it’s station kinda makes it a bit like the clique of high school kids it destroys: they think they’re great but, y’know, not everyone shares that opinion.

Yay!

Blurb-of-interest: Anson Mount was in Urban Legends: Final Cut; Amber Heard was in The Stepfather remake.

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