Martin Sheen (Kit), Sissy
Spacek (Holly), Warren Oates (Father)
One of the best directorial debuts comes from Terrence
Malick, who only made a couple of films in the 1970's before a 20 year gap before directing his next feature (The Thin Red Line).
This is clearly inspired by Charles
Starkweather-Carole Fugate homicides, which took place across similar American regions in the late 1950's. Kit & Holly are two teenagers in love who go on a killing spree after Kit
kills Holly's abusive, violent father.
The movie amassed a cult following as a thriller, but
it's also a social commentary about aimless anger being the psychopathic killer's only way of means to connect with the world around them.
Badlands itself was clearly a huge inspiration to the
1994 movie Natural Born Killers (qv). Personally, I think this is better, but I'm a movie snob.
Did You Know:
The film's tag line ("In 1959 a lot of people were
killing time. Kit and Holly were killing people") inspired the Zodiac Killer (a serial murderer active in the late 1960's-early 1970's whose identity is still unknown), who had been lying
low for years, to write a letter to a newspaper denouncing their flippant attitude to violence in society by running such an ad.