Day Eight – Badlands

You could sell a movie today if Terrence Malick directed it and Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek were the stars. That’s both a testament to their staying power and the fact that we’ve barely evolved in 40 years. I’m living proof. That said, Badlands is a classic. It has a classic legacy, a good bit of relevance to this day, and now we are educated that it has a batfuck poster from across the sea. The Polish have brought the world many things like potato or cheese perogies but their finest export by far has been their movie posters, bizarre and oftentimes jaw-dropping interpretations of films from all over the world. Sometimes literal examinations of their source but sometimes absolutely batshit pieces of art that almost take on a life of their own. Over the next fifteen weekdays I’ll be sharing some of the best examples of how these creative necromancers interpret American cinema. Badlands is a good example of America’s golden era of director-fueled filmmaking and a good example on how Poland got rocked in the 40’s and still hasn’t fully recovered.

Just like yesterday, the artist has a simple style and likes to take the concept of a film and create an image that is somehow adorable, horrifying, and even more adorable all at the same time. The girl is along for the ride and the man has a huge head hard on and he is blasting the daylights out of anything within sight of his complete absence of eyes. Amazing.

What would this movie be like?

Being John Malkovich vs. Plants vs. Zombies.

Who is the audience for this film?

Anyone who has ever been bullied, seen bullying by, or lives in fear of having their loved ones bullied by a man with a gun for a head. Me.

What the fucking fuck is fucking fucking?

It’s like body horror, except no one misses his head. I could imagine the NRA enjoying this film.

“If you want to take my gun you’re gonna have to pry it from my cold, dead neck!”

The domestic poster for Badlands:


Tagline vs. Tagline?

The American poster features a novella rather than a tagline. Seriously, the text on the poster for Badlands was nominated for an Edgar Award for short fiction. Jesus Christ, you put the word ‘fastidious’ on a poster in 2013 and some people are liable to think it’s the sequel to Eragorn. We’re so dumb now. It’s a phenomenal poster. Unfortunately for it, there’s a Polish one with with a gunhead on it so it loses. Plus, the Polish poster makes it seem like Terrence Malick is the star of the film. And he is.

There isn’t a tagline for the Polish poster but if there was one it’s be pretty easy:

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Nevermind, this guy is totally a gun.”

What other movies could effectively use this poster?

Heart Like a Wheel. Blue Steel. Bowling for Columbine. Point Blank. A Bullet to the Head. Enchanted.

Tomorrow: Kinda cool, but sells the movie AWFULLY.

Day OneDay TwoDay ThreeDay FourDay Five
Day SixDay SevenDay Eight – Day Nine – Day Ten
Day Eleven – Day Twelve – Day Thirteen – Day Fourteen – Day Fifteen

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Badlands (1973) 94 min

Based on the Starkweather-Fugate killing spree of the 1958, in which a fifteen-year-old girl and her twenty-five-year-old boyfriend slaughtered her entire family and several others in the Dakota badlands.

04.07.1975 (USA)
  • Terrence Malick
  • Terrence Malick
  • Martin Sheen
  • Sissy Spacek
  • Warren Oates
  • Ramon Bieri
  • Alan Vint
  • Crime
  • Drama
Watch or buy now

Badlands on IMDb