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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As the film includes extracts from Roger Corman's film "The Terror", Corman suggested to Peter Bogdanovich that the little-known actor who appears opposite Boris Karloff in that film should also appear in this one, perhaps in the role of the killer. Bogdanovich turned down this idea. The young actor became world-famous shortly after "Targets" first appeared - it was Jack Nicholson. See more »
The mother's body temporarily disappears from entryway to room where she was shot when Bobby carries his wife's body into another room, but somehow reappears when he returns. 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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