An ambitious reporter gets in way-over-his-head trouble while investigating a senator's assassination which leads to a vast conspiracy involving a multinational corporation behind every event in the worlds headlines.
Alan J. Pakula
The plot is about a guile young terrorist who is able to blackmail a series of companies by placing home-made radio controlled bombs within the central attraction of amusement parks; roller... See full summary »
Byron Orlok is an old horror-movie star who feels that he is an anachronism. Compared to real-life violence, his films are tame. Meanwhile, Bobby Thompson goes on a killing spree... Written by
Gary Couzens <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to Peter Bogdanovich's introduction to the film on the DVD, the scene in which Sammy wakes up with a hangover and is jolted when the first thing he sees is Byron Orlok originally called for him to laugh at himself, but he couldn't manage it. Boris Karloff suggested the bit that is actually used in the film - and ad-libbed Orlok's start when he unexpectedly confronts himself in a mirror, as well. See more »
As Bobby drags his mother's body to her bedroom, a camera shadow can be clearly seen moving up the wall and door to the left. See more »
Roger Corman explains in his autobiography that he handed this "spec" project to the up-and-coming Bogdanovich primarily because he could basically pay the kid peanuts. Bogdanovich understood Corman's economic sensibilities well, and cut as many corners as he could. He uses Cormans regular bit-players as well as plenty of Jack Nicholson footage from 1963's "The Terror" - another Corman B-movie. Corman's specifications for the film were simple: make a cheap film referring to the recent Charles Whitman shootings at the University of Texas, and make it fast. The script draws heavily from the real-life Whitman story; the all-American boy gone bad kills his wife and mother, and then proceeds on a killing spree, shooting anyone in his sights from a snipers nest. This story is intertwined with that of Byron Orlocks ageing horror legend nearing retirement; here Boris Karloff plays himself, for all intents and purposes. Bogdanovich plays a major role in the film himself, and there is obvious affection between the young director and Karloff in the scenes they share. Although Bogdanovich's wife Polly Platt takes a screenwriting credit, it is often said that her role was actually more of a partner in all Bogdanovich's early work, collaborating and counter-balancing his excesses. There is probably a lot of truth to this theory, as after the couple separated Bogdanovich's suffered a deep decline. I had read much of the history of `Targets' in Peter Biskind's `Easy Riders - Raging Bulls' and Corman's own `How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime', and have been lucky enough to catch it twice on cable in the last week. It really is a very competent debut, and Bogdanovich truly makes the most of what humble resources he had at his disposal. See it.
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