The first screening in the Sundance midnight strand took place at a packed Library Theatre last night as Panos Cosmatos (Beyond the Black Rainbow) debuted his delirious fever state of a Nicolas Cage revenge flick, Mandy, to an enormously appreciative crowd. “It’s like a very bad dream, y’know?” was its lead star’s pretty accurate summation. When Andrea Riseborough’s Mandy gets kidnapped by a desperately creepy sect of cultists led by Linus Roache’s twisted reverend, it’s up to Nicolas Cage’s Red to get his own back in bloody, brutal fashion.

Prior to the screening, the team stopped by Deadline’s Sundance Studio to talk me through Cosmatos’ wonderfully original epic, which takes tangents into realms of fantasy and the bizarre as Cage revels in his delirious drive for vengeance. It just might be the most distinct movie screening in this year’s festival.

“It’s a great luxury to work with a filmmaker who knows exactly what he wants,” Cage told me of his experience with Cosmatos. “You save a lot of time. It’s actually quite relaxing because you don’t have to play guessing games. It’s kind of like being in an armored car; you know you’re going to get shot at but you’re not going to get hit. I felt safe with Panos.”

For more from the cast and director, check out the video above.

The Deadline Studio at Sundance 2018 is presented by Hyundai. Special thanks to Calii Love.