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Targets (1968)

R  |   |  Thriller  |  15 August 1968 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 5,687 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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(screenplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: Targets (1968)

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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:

"I just killed my wife and my mother. I know they'll get me. But before that, many more will die..." See more »

Genres:

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

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 »

Goofs

(at around 46 mins) After Bobby took his dead wife very close in his arms, his hand is full of blood from her back, but his shirt stays clean, even with the large blood stain she has in front. See more »

Quotes

Byron Orlok: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I'd like to leave you with a little story to think about as you drive home... through the darkness... Once upon a time, many, many years ago, a rich merchant in Baghdad sent his servant to the marketplace to buy provisions... and after a while the servant came back, white-faced and trembling, and said, 'Master, when I was in the marketplace, I was jostled by a woman in the crowd, and I turned to look, and I saw that it was Death that jostled me. And she ...
See more »

Connections

References Erostratus (1958) 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.


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