The marketing team for “Prisoners of the Ghostland,” the latest film from director Sion Sono (“Love Exposure,” “Tokyo Vampire Hotel”), has wisely latched on to star Nicolas Cage’s own declaration that the movie might be “the wildest” project in his entire career. That’s saying something coming from a guy who’s done everything from “Vampire’s Kiss” to “Mandy,” and if you follow Cage because you want to see him in pure, unhinged, genre movie God-mode, “Prisoners of the Ghostland” looks like exactly the kind of film primed to deliver those particular goods.
But there’s more to Nicolas Cage than the amount of time he spends pulling face and wailing into the camera, and I’m not just talking about the incredible pairing that is Cage’s daring style and Sono’s knack for visuals. “Prisoners of the Ghostland” is arriving in the same year as “Pig,” a film that brilliantly showcases a more subdued, but no less intense, version of Cage, providing an important contrast that, in the end, heightens the impact of both films. Rich with visual dynamism, featuring bold supporting performances, and driven by the boiler room of Cage’s own voracious appetite for diving into roles, “Prisoners of the Ghostland” is an all-out cinematic onslaught that you’ll be recovering from for quite some time.