HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
   
 
Newest Articles
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Badlands Rebels Without A CauseBuy this film here.
Year: 1972
Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates, Ramon Bieri, Alan Vint, Gary Littlejohn, John Carter, Bryan Montgomery, Gail Threlkeld, Charles Fitzpatrick, Howard Ragsdale, John Womack Jr, Dona Baldwin, Ben Bravo, Terrence Malick
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Holly (Sissy Spacek) was a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl in Eisenhower era America who had let life carry her along in its wake, never more content than when she was twirling her baton mindlessly. But then nineteen-year-old Kit (Martin Sheen) introduced himself, he had a job collecting garbage which he liked well enough since it offered him the opportunity to rifle through other people's bins and take his pick of anything interesting and potentially saleable that they may have thrown away. But one day he lost that job, which bothered him a little but he had met Holly then too, and he was immediately attracted to her, finding her different from other girls in a way that he liked, and the feeling was mutual - dangerously mutual.

Terrence Malick had been involved in the film industry for a short while, but was not keen on what it was doing to his scripts therefore decided to direct one himself. He actually only helmed two films in the nineteen-seventies, this and Days of Heaven before taking a long break from the screen; after that there was no stopping him and he churned out projects at what was for him breakneck speed, though his previous golden boy reputation from the critics began to fade when the consensus was he had blotted his copybook with too many substandard efforts. Better then, to return to his debut Badlands, for in many ways it might just have been the best film he was ever involved with, still bewitching with its deadpan malice decades later.

In case you had not noticed, Holly was a blank slate that nobody had so much as scrawled on, the epitome of youthful banality who defined herself by what fan magazines told her, hence her fan adoration of Kit who is only too happy to bask in that glow. This was less an indictment of fifties America as seen through the prism of its near future and more a scathing accusation of celebrity culture, where becoming famous was an end in itself, no matter how you went about it. Kit went about it in a way that had been practiced since time immemorial, he killed a bunch of people and made the public fear him, as if that would engender some respect; obviously going on reality television is a lot more acceptable a way to gain fame, but the chilling thing was Malick was pointing out celebrity is all pretty much the same.

In that it involves a strong degree of self-mythologising and inviting the masses to buy into that frame of mind, a two-way street that if Kit had been ignored then he would not have sought the notoriety even many of the major movie stars would have attained - not for nothing does he compare himself to James Dean, and it's the pinnacle of his unlovely career that someone tells him of that self-same resemblance unprompted. By the end Kit is as famed as the biggest stars in the country, nay, the world, and all he had to do was pull the trigger on a bunch of folks he couldn't care less about, starting with Holly's father who objects to their relationship. As essayed by Warren Oates, in a small handful of scenes he sums up the scepticism of the film as to the worth of Kit's outlaw glamour, for in the father's eyes this is just some young punk who by all rights should not amount to anything.

You can almost feel the frustration as Kit and Holly's renown grows and grows the more victims he claims, yet this was undercut by cruelly dark comedy in how the female half of the couple narrates, depicting their romance as one of the greatest of its era, and the golden visuals seem to be agreeing with her, only when it is interrupted by her boyfriend's violence it is quick, brutal and pointless, bringing us up short. Needless to say, this would have been a tricky proposition without two excellent performances at its heart, and Spacek and Sheen were quite superb as fan and idol, courting the excitement we feel from watching celebrities yet with a detectable irony that they were actually depicting idiots, and shame on the public (and us, by extension) for buying into their own deluded self-image. You could not even say it would never happen, as Malick based his tale on the real life crimes of Charles Starkweather and his partner Caril Ann Fugate, only toned down for their activities were if anything even worse. The conclusion was to embarrass us for lavishing attention on criminals: it only encourages them. George Tipton wrote the score, accompanied by some well-chosen extracts of other pieces now indelibly linked to this film.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1363 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: