Mandao Returns (2020)

Two years ago, we watched Mandao of the Dead, a film that was a lot of fun. Now the sequel — which was almost called Mandao of the Damned — is here and the good news is that it picks up right where the first one ended.

This time around, Jay Mandao has astral projected back in time to save the life of a B-movie star. Assuredly, that seems like a noble endeavor. But the more Jay and his pals mess around with time, the deeper they go into conspiracy, death and a Hollywood cult. Oh yeah — it’s also Christmas.

Writer/director Scott Dunn returns as Jay Mandao, the titular character of this story, along with cousin Andy (Sean Lang, their driver Fez (Gian Gomez Dunn) and nephew Jackson O’Hare (Sean McBride).

This time around, Jay is feeling lost until he’s hired by Ted Williams (Jim O’Doherty), an agent to determine how an actress named Aura Garcia (Jenny Lorenzo) in his employ died. While Jay has only been able to communicate with his dead father before, now he learns way too much. He learns information that puts all of his friends in danger.

I get how Mandao feels. He just wants to escape into a world of cereal and slacking, but people keep pulling him into their schemes. I had a blast with this one, just like the original Mandao movie. The filmmakers know a wise fact that even big budget movies neglect: keep people wanting more. This clocks in at 70 minutes, which is the perfect running time for a movie.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime. I’m excited that it’s going to be a series soon!

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