Were the demon bikers in Panos Cosmatos new horror movie Mandy lifted from the little known Greek short Ήγγικεν?
I have been reading and watching online reviews of this new art house hit movie Mandy by the Greek filmmaker Panos Cosmatos. Moronic Youtube film critics who are by their own admission otherwise entirely unfamiliar with Greek cinema and unwilling to familiarize themselves with it (like you would expect from these arrogant self-obsessed Youtubers assuming themselves serious film critics), insist that this horror movie is the most original horror movie they have seen all year (something these people also insisted about Under The Skin back in 2013, which turned out to be entirely underwhelming), claiming that it is even better than Hereditary and tell their audiences to “believe the hype”. Here the Mandy trailer:
The redness of everything in the Mandy trailer as well as the fact that the female lead wears spectacles reminds me of another Greek horror movie I suspect the maker might have lifted concepts from but I won’t go into that for now. Not having seen the movie myself yet, the following still of these motorcycle-riding demons stood out for me.
This immediately reminded me of something I had seen many years ago. There was a comedic short Greek movie back in 2000 that was being shared on the bootleg video-cassettes that every Greek living abroad regularly received in the mail from friends in the motherland before the age of Youtube. This short movie was Ήγγικεν by the Greek filmmaker Christos Theodorou, pronounced “EE-gee-ken”, which roughly translates as “It has nearly arrived/It is nigh”, a biblical phrase best known for its use in the New Testament in Matthew 3 verse 2.
The short movie Ήγγικεν, like Mandy, featured a biker gang that was a contemporary interpretation of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. These bikers had the names of demons like Astaroth printed on their black leather jackets. The female protagonist was the anti-christ sought after by the bikers, exactly like in Mandy where the bikers kidnap Mandy because they believe that she is the one they are looking for.
Having seen Ήγγικεν and knowing that Panos Cosmatos is Greek, I have to wonder whether Panos himself has seen the short and whether the idea for the bikers in Mandy was directly lifted from Ήγγικεν. I am throwing this out on the internet for all you cinephiles researching this movie assuming it’s completely original. You can still watch Ήγγικεν with English subtitles on Youtube here (tw, it is loaded with Greek sexist tropes and has a good ole fashioned Greek “woman relents to sex during a fight” rape scene, like almost every Greek movie then, before and since):
IMDB page for Ήγγικεν
Χρήστος Θεοδώρου, director of Ήγγικεν, on Vimeo
He has also uploaded a director’s reel with excerpts from Ήγγικεν