Badland is an independently-produced film being discovered and watched by audiences who find themselves sheltered in place due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In short, it’s a movie that finds itself in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.
I spoke with the star and producer Kevin Makely about the making of the movie and its success with Netflix and its 167 million subscribers.
“I am beyond floored,” said Makely. “Best thing that ever happened to my film career.”
Makely’s love of movie westerns traces back to his childhood.
A child of the 80s, raised by a single mom, his male role models were his movie heroes.
Makely's number one movie western hero is Clint Eastwood and he readily admits that his character Matthias Breecher in Badland is homaging Clint Eastwood 100%.
“I make no bones about it. He is The Man With No Name, John Rambo and Luke Skywalker all rolled into one,” said Makely.
Speaking with Makely, you get the feeling that Badland was the realization of a lifelong fantasy to step into the boots of Eastwood and ride into the movie set of a western town.
Admittedly, Badland is an independent film, made on a limited budget, as independent films often are. However, Makely was able to bring aboard four people who were on his dream cast list.
They included Mira Sorvino, Bruce Dern, Trace Adkins and Wes Studi. I think it’s safe to surmise that part of the success of Badland can be attributed to these bankable, fan-pleasing stars.
“We made a movie from our hearts that people watched,” said Makely. “And, I thank every single person that watched.”