Classic Movie of October

I am often tempted at the grocery counter to impulsively purchase a magazine, but ultimately I know that I probably won’t really read it; I’ll just skim through the pictures, read a paragraph here and there, and have probably learned nothing new. However, I always give myself permission when I know I’m going to be on an airplane, and to my delight I scored this one for last week’s trip to Kansas.

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If you’re curious about this one (because let me tell you it was goooooooood), I’m going to blog about it next week when I wrap up my Books of October.

What does this have to do with my classic movie of October? Well this baby was chocked full of serial killers I didn’t know much about, and right now I’m considering it a “jumping off” point for my next genre obsession. One of the profiled “serial killers” was a midwestern teen couple, Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate, who went on a seemingly random killing spree for a couple weeks back in the 50s. They murdered her family, and then a bunch of random people who must have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Starkweather ended up taking most of the blame, Fugate she still got a pretty heavy sentence (considering she was only 14) and was eventually paroled later on. Not so lucky, Starkweather was sentenced to the electric chair.

Charlie y Caril

When I saw Sissy Spacek was in the film that’s loosely based on the story, I knew I had a winner.

Badlands-707049238-largeBadlands (1973) – I say this film was loosely-based because after viewing it, I immediately went back and re-read the article about them (the woman next to me on the plane inched a little farther away from me when she saw my face buried in the mag). Clearly there were scenes that were absolutely connected to the real-life events, and then others that were not. While I was expecting a lot of emotion and suspense, Badlands employs a lot of distanciation that was characteristic of the 70s. There was no “Bonnie and Clyde” love story here, just a couple of detached kids acting almost like people were toys they got tired of. That being said, there were still a few moments where I physically jolted in my tiny plane seat.

Sissy Spacek continues to rock my world, and I forgot that Martin Sheen was actually a babe back in the day. The cinematography is super vibrant and it’s a good reminder that we don’t need all that damned CGI to have a beautiful movie. I definitely picked a good one this month, and if you’re looking for a classic killer movie for the Halloween holiday, Badlands is a smart alternative to the slasher stuff that normally gets all the play.

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