Badlands is the motion picture as National Treasure. Its influence has been felt through the years in films like Monster, True Romance and the highly underrated Kalifornia. The first lines of Bruce Springsteen‘s Nebraska are awash with imagery of the first meeting between Kit and Holly.
I saw her standing
On her front lawn
Just a twirlin’
I and she went
For a ride, sir
And ten innocent people died…
Yes, the song is about Starkweather, but the imagery is all Terrence Malick and Badlands.
Finally, and it should go without saying, Badlands is the motion picture as a masterpiece. I’m just going to leave it at that.
The actor that originally had to play the man that rings at the rich man’s door did not show up, so Terrence Malick played it himself, although the intention was to use this part only temporarily.
Although Charlie Starkweather had been executed when the movie came up for production, Caril Fugate was still alive and facing parole, prompting the filmmakers to change the names of the principal characters to avoid a lawsuit.
Don Johnson auditioned for the part of Kit.
- The Skin I Live In, The Descendants and Badlands at The Strand through Jan. 12th (thevalleyvoice.org)
- My Top 10 Favorite Films Outside the Horror Genre (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Terrence Malick’s BADLANDS May Come to Criterion; Director Working on an Extended Cut of THE TREE OF LIFE (collider.com)
- 8 Actors Who Have Never Been Nominated For An Oscar (buzzfeed.com)
I graduated in 1980. I was a decent student; I got fair grades, and I had enough friends that I could put up with and whom would put up with me. I dated a few girls here and there. I never went to prom, however. Looking back, I wonder if Carrie had anything to do with that. In fact, looking back at the film in the thirty-six years since its release, one could view Brian De Palma’s adaptation of Stephen King’s first novel as the perfect anti-bullying propaganda film.
Sissy Spacek is phenomenal in the titular role of Carrie White, the young girl whose life sucks worse than Battlefield Earth (pointless L. Ron Hubbard jab and shameless John Travolta film reference). Not only does she put up with the day to day torment forced on her by her peers (PLUG IT UP!! PLUG IT UP!!), but she has to go home to an over-zealous religious freak of a mother who locks her in a closet with a hideous looking glow-in-the-dark figure of Jesus. Add getting dowsed in pig blood and it’s no wonder she goes the Psychic Friends Network version of sex-nuts and retard-strong (equally shameless Clerks 2 reference).
I’m not entirely sure if Carrie is Brian De Palma’s best film. I still need to re-watch Blow Out and Dressed to Kill before I make that call. I will say, however, that it is truly one of his most ambitious films and that after nearly forty years is still one of the best interpretations of a Stephen King novel ever put to celluloid.
Sissy Spacek wasn’t considered for the role of Carrie until her husband, art director Jack Fisk, convinced director Brian De Palma to allow her to audition. Until that, De Palma was wedded to the idea of Amy Irving playing Carrie; when Spacek got the part instead, De Palma gave Irving the smaller role of Sue.
- ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ Helmer Wanted To Direct ‘Carrie’ Reboot (screenrant.com)
- Kimberly Peirce to Direct New Carrie? (manodogs.blogspot.com)
- ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ Director Kimberly Peirce to Remake Stephen King’s ‘Carrie’ (slashfilm.com)
- Could your face fit Stephen King’s next novel? (guardian.co.uk)
This film holds a special place in my heart. I know that may sound corny coming from a 49 year-old man, but the reason is because it was the very first date between myself and the beautiful woman who is now my wife of almost 4 years. There were so many reasons why I was so excited to see this film. The aforementioned first date, of course, but also because this film had so much going for it. It had two of the finest actors of past, present or future in Sissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland in the lead roles of Lucy and John Bell. There was the performance of Rachel Hurd-Wood as Betsy Bell that, while not Oscar worthy, was able to hold her own against the likes of Sutherland and Spacek.
Then there is the story behind the film. The story of the Bell witch is the most documented haunting in American history. It is the only reported case in which a spirit has caused the death of a living human being. The first time I remember reading about the Bell witch was in the pages of Boris Karloff’s Tales of Mystery. I was enthralled with the story of this vengeful entity who made life a living hell for John and Betsy Bell. Can you see why I was so stoked to see this film?
The first part of the film moves along rather nicely. It grows a bit tedious in some places, but for the most part is a faithful adaptation of the events that took place on the Bell farm in Adams, Tennessee from 1817 to 1820. The scenes of the haunting and the torture of Betsy Bell by an unseen force are well filmed and well acted and Sutherland and Spacek are at the top of their game. I am enjoying the film and intend to recommend it to friends the first chance I get. That is until the ending causes all that came before it to come crashing down like a house of cards.
Throughout the entire course of this film director/co-writer Courtney Solomon leads us to believe that he believes in the legend of the Bell witch. The ending that is tacked on to this film is like a slap in the face. Why does there have to be a rational explanation for the Bell witch? Why were the filmmakers not satisfied with what could have been an intriguing adaptation of an amazing legend in American history? The supernatural is not a rational thing, so why treat it as such?
Thank you, Courtney Solomon, for ruining a legendary tale. At least you didn’t ruin my date.
Written and Directed by David Cronenberg
Marilyn Chambers as Rose
Frank Moore as Hart Read
Joe Silver as Murray Cypher
Howard Ryshpan as Dr. Dan Keloid
Rabid is a film directed by David Cronenberg (The Fly, The Dead Zone). It stars Marilyn Chambers (yes, the late adult film actress) as Rose. Frank Moore plays Hart Read, Roses’ boyfriend. The two of them are traveling on Hart’s motorcycle when they are involved in an accident. Hart suffers a dislocated shoulder. However Roses’ injuries require plastic surgery and she becomes the “guinea pig” of Dr. Dan Keloid. Dr. Keloid performs a new type of plastic surgery on her in which her intact tissue is grafted to the burned areas of her body on the hope that it will differentiate and replace the damaged area. The operation is a success…kind of. Rose heals, but she also develops a need for human blood. She doesn’t bite her victims in the way of the traditional vampire. Under her armpit is a new orifice that hides a phallic-like stinger that she injects into her victims to draw their blood. The ones that survive have no recollection of what happened to them and after a period of about 8 hours they show the symptoms of rabies (rage, foaming at the mouth). They attack others and pretty soon there is an epidemic going on and martial law is declared to keep things from getting too far out of hand. Throughout all this Rose continues to stack up victims of her unnatural thirst and seems to have no idea that she is the Patient Zero who started the epidemic. I’m not going to give away the ending. If you haven’t seen the film check it out and let me know what you think. If you have then let me know how I did summarizing it and point out any mistakes I may have made.
David Cronenberg is a director whose central theme in his films has always been the monster within us, not the monster without. He is known as the Director of Venereal Horror. Rabid is his second feature film and was preceded by Shivers aka They Came from Within.
- New Images: Robert Pattinson and Sarah Gadon in David Cronenberg’s ‘Cosmopolis’ (slashfilm.com)
- David Cronenberg’s son tackles celebrity, disease with debut feature (ctv.ca)
- First images from Cosmopolis to be released at Lisbon & Estoril Festival tomorrow (thinkingofrob.com)
- Eveningstar Cinema to Screen “A Dangerous Method” Through March 29, 2012 (thevalleyvoice.org)
- Cosmopolis Teaser Reviews (thinkingofrob.com)
- First Look At David Cronenberg’s ‘Cosmopolis:’ VIDEO (towleroad.com)
- David Cronenberg talks about Robert Pattinson with ‘Interview Magazine’ (thinkingofrob.com)
- ReFramed No. 21: David Cronenberg’s ‘The Brood’ (1979) (Short Ends and Leader) (popmatters.com)
- ‘The Flame Alphabet’ Brings to Mind David Cronenberg’s Early Films (Review) (popmatters.com)
- Read the hilarious audience notes from a 1980s screening of David Cronenberg’s Videodrome [Video] (io9.com)
- Robert Pattinson Teams Up With Cosmopolis’s David Cronenberg For Voice Work (popsugar.com)
- Rabid skunks attack US (go.theregister.com)
- David Cronenberg pulled structure from chaos in A Dangerous Method (arts.nationalpost.com)
- From Marilyn Manson To Axl Rose (dlisted.com)
- Crazy Red-Band Teaser Trailer for David Cronenberg’s COSMOSPOLIS (geektyrant.com)
- ‘Cosmopolis’ Trailer (screenphiles.com)