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Targets (1968)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  15 August 1968 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 5,677 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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Title: Targets (1968)

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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:

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

The sequence with Bobby Thompson shooting people in cars driving on a freeway from the top of an oil storage tank was loosely inspired by the Highway 101 sniper attack where on April 25, 1965, a 16-year-old alienated youth, named Michael Andrew Clark, shot at motorists from a hilltop along Highway 101 just south of Orcutt, California, killing three and injuring 10 others before committing suicide. Prior to the shooting spree, Clark left behind a note vowing to make his parents "die a thousand times in court" for his actions, and he was right; a lawsuit was brought against Clark's parents by two of the victim's families for mistreating and not raising their son well, and negligence for allowing Clark access to the hunting rifle used for the shooting spree. See more »

Goofs

(at around 39 mins) 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 »

Quotes

Byron Orlok: Oh, Sammy, what's the use? Mr. Boogey Man, King of Blood they used to call me. Marx Brothers make you laugh, Garbo makes you weep, Orlok makes you scream.
See more »

Connections

Features The Terror (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

As close to "A" as a "B-Movie" can get.
7 August 2002 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

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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