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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 <email@example.com>
Roger Corman told Peter Bogdanovich he could make any film he wanted to, with two conditions: he had to use stock footage from The Terror (1963), and he had to hire Boris Karloff for two days (Karloff was under contract and owed Corman those two days). Karloff was so impressed with the script that he refused pay for any shooting time over his contracted two days. He worked for a total of five days on the movie. See more »
(at around 11 mins) Exterior of Thompson home does not match layout of interior sets. When Bobby pulls up in front of house, front door is set flush in a wall that runs entire length of building; yet when he enters, there is windowed wall that runs along right side of entry hall that could not possibly coexist with exterior. See more »
Not a great film, but a very interesting one. I don't know of many movies that even attempt to talk about the relation between fictionalized film terror and real life horrors, but Targets tackles this difficult topic without overstating its point of view. Karloff as an aging horror actor gives one of the best performances of his career. It's also interesting to see a film with ambitions shot in "Corman time." Many of the shots appear to be single takes with actors slightly blowing their lines, camera cues almost accidental, and sets practically nil in their design. This adds to the sense of documentary that pervades the film. Use of sound is very effective and prefigures later films by people like Altman -- background voices and noise are used to great effect. PatheColor has never looked better -- its garish intensities add to the sense of a true 20th Century wasteland that can produce a casual killer like the film's smiling protagonist. Addressing issues that are more powerful today than when the film was made, Targets is a wildly ambitious take on modern life, a great coda to Karloff's career, and a vital interface between B movies and independent cinema.
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