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Badlands (1973) starring Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek
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Badlands (1973) starring Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek

Synopsis of Badlands

In Badlands, Kit Carruthers, a young garbage collector and his girlfriend Holly Sargis from Fort Dupree, South Dakota, are on the run after killing Holly’s father. Because the father disagreed with their relationship.

Buy from Amazon Badlands is a very different movie. It follows the murder spree of a very different villainous couple in the 1950’s. Kit (Martin Sheen) plays a 25-year-old garbage man, who tries to start a relationship with 15-year-old Holly (Sissy Spacek). Kit is a strange individual, almost unemotional – but not quite. He murders Holly’s father when the man tries to prevent Holly from running away with Kit. Holly is a strange match for Kit. After cold-bloodedly murdering her father in front of her eyes, she slaps Kit in the face. That’s her only reaction. And then decides to run away with him. And then the killings begin.

In a very real sense, this short-lived murder spree makes me think of the Joker and Harley Quinn. If it happened in the real world. You have two mentally ill individuals, murdering a variety of individuals, who think that they can outsmart the law. Except that they can’t. And they are caught in the Badlands of Montana.

Holly narrates throughout the film. She shows little remorse or regret until they’re caught. It’s an interesting film, loosely based on actual events in the late 1950’s. Unlike Bonnie and Clyde, the film doesn’t try to present them as heroes. The director simply presents them and lets the audience make their own decisions. I rate it 3 stars out of 5.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Cast of characters

  • Martin Sheen (Firestarter; Spawn) … Kit
  • Sissy Spacek (Carrie; Coal Miner’s Daughter) … Holly
  • Warren Oates (Stripes; The Wild Bunch) … Father
  • Ramon Bieri … Cato
  • Alan Vint … Deputy
  • Gary Littlejohn … Sheriff
  • John Carter (The Andromeda Strain) … Rich Man
  • Bryan Montgomery … Boy
  • Gail Threlkeld … Girl
  • Charles Fitzpatrick … Clerk
  • Howard Ragsdale … Boss
  • John Womack Jr. … Trooper
  • Dona Baldwin … Maid
  • Ben Bravo … Gas Attendant

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