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Targets (1968)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 5,489 users  
Reviews: 96 user | 87 critic

An elderly horror-film star, while making a personal appearance at a drive-in theatre, confronts a psychotic Viet Nam War veteran who's turned into a mass-murdering sniper.

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Stars: Boris Karloff, Enrique Guzmán, Christa Linder
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim O'Kelly ...
Bobby Thompson
...
Byron Orlok
...
Ed Loughlin
Monte Landis ...
Marshall Smith (as Monty Landis)
Nancy Hsueh ...
Jenny
...
Sammy Michaels
Daniel Ades ...
Chauffeur
Stafford Morgan ...
Salesman - 1st Gunshop
...
Robert Thompson Sr.
Mary Jackson ...
Charlotte Thompson
Tanya Morgan ...
Ilene Thompson
Timothy Burns ...
Waiter (as Tim Burns)
Warren White ...
Grocery Boy
Mark Dennis ...
Salesman - 2nd Gunshop
Sandy Baron ...
Kip Larkin
Edit

Storyline

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 <gjcouzens@btinternet.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

TARGETS are people...and you could be one of them! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 August 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Before I Die  »

Box Office

Budget:

$130,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When film cameras, which run at 24 frames per second, film directly off the screen of US televisions, which run at 30 fps, the result is a dark or light bar across the image, rolling from top to bottom. To avoid this effect in the scene when Sammy and Orlok are watching The Criminal Code (1931), in most shots a film picture was matted in over the TV screen, giving a steady picture with no bar. However, according to Peter Bogdanovich's DVD commentary, they couldn't afford to use a matte for the establishing shot for the scene, which pans across the TV's screen, so the bar appears in that shot and only that shot (in Europe, where the TV frame rate is 25 fps, often they simply run the film camera at 25 fps also, for shots with a TV picture in them). See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 14 mins) When Orlock's car pulls up to the drive-in ticket booth...the clock says 9:10. After talking with the two fellows at the booth for a minute or so...the car pulls away and the clock says 9:00. See more »

Quotes

Byron Orlok: You know what they call my films today? Camp! High camp!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The last great film of Boris Karloff (?)
16 June 2005 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Peter Bogdanovich is a man that, to me, is too intelligent to make a film without anything to say. With that in mind, however; if Targets does have a point to it, it is masked well. The only thing resembling any kind of comment is that the film professes the differences between screen horror and real life horror, but even this idea is put forward in a muddled way. That being said, however; Targets is a world away from being a bad film. The film marks one of the last performances for the great Boris Karloff, and serves as a nice swansong to his career, especially as he's almost sending himself up in this film. The great man plays Byran Orlock; an aging horror film actor who has decided that he wants to retire. However, things are not as simple as that as, on the same day that Orlock is due to make his final public appearance at the screening of last movie (Roger Corman's 'The Terror'), there's a serial killer on the loose who's taking pot shots at people with a sniper rifle. As real life horror and screen horror icon clash...who will be the resulting victor?

Despite the point being rather muddled, Targets makes up for that with the exciting way that the plot plays out and the stream of tributes and comments on Karloff's (sorry, Orlock's) career. It's nice to see Karloff enjoying himself, and the introspective nature of the movie ensures that he gets the chance to do this. Peter Bogdanovich is well known for being a director who is also a fan of cinema, and this movie also gives him a chance to tribute the medium that he evidently loves. As a fan of cinema myself, it always makes me happy to see this sort of thing, and that marks another reason for my enjoyment of this movie. The way that the plot plays out makes the movie predictable, but in a way that adds to the idea of 'real horror', as we can see what's going to come; it's like a car crash - it's obvious what's going to happen, yet all we can do is just sit back and watch. On the whole, this is a classy thriller and while it never hammers home it's point enough to ensure that you know it's actually got a point, it works because of it's tension and well paced plot. This will also be a must see movie for fans of the great Boris Karloff.


33 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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