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Badlands

"a cornerstone in American cinema"

"based on Charles Starkweather and Caril-Ann Fugate's 1958 killing spree"

"this film has become a cult classic"

"an early cult classic"

Badlands by Terrence Malick with Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek

It's South Dakota 1959. A couple of youngsters, Kit and Holly, embark on a fantasy journey which results in violence and bloodshed.

Review

Terrence Malick's Badlands has become a cornerstone in American cinema. Its influence can be seen years later in the Tarantino-penned Natural Born Killers and True Romance among others, and it remains arguably one of the finest debuts by a director in Hollywood history. Astonishingly, Malick has only made two movies since: Days of Heaven (1979) and The Thin Red Line (1998).
Badlands also brought Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek to the notice of Hollywood for the first time. Shot on a low budget, the film portrays a loved-up couple on the run from the law who embark on a series of killings motivated by their need to survive.
Like Tarantino's later anti-heroes and heroines, Kit and Holly are killers without conscience. Holly's nave teenage mentality makes her passive attitude seem even more shocking, and her only comment that leads us to believe she has any grasp of the situation is when she mentions that Kit may be a little crazy. Yet there is also an innocent, "young love" side to the couple's actions which the audience cannot fail to feel pity for, greatly helped by the pairing of Sheen and Spacek as well as Malick's gift for drawing the finest and most sensitive performances from his actors.
On the DVD: Badlands is shown in a 1.85:1 widescreen print and 5.1 surround sound.

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