7.4/10
6,948
94 user 78 critic

Targets (1968)

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

Director:

Peter Bogdanovich

Writers:

Peter Bogdanovich (screenplay), Polly Platt (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Boris Karloff ... Byron Orlok
Tim O'Kelly ... Bobby Thompson
Nancy Hsueh ... Jenny
James Brown ... Robert Thompson Sr.
Sandy Baron ... Kip Larkin
Arthur Peterson ... Ed Loughlin
Mary Jackson ... Charlotte Thompson
Tanya Morgan Tanya Morgan ... Ilene Thompson
Monte Landis Monte Landis ... Marshall Smith (as Monty Landis)
Paul Condylis Paul Condylis ... Drive-In Manager
Mark Dennis Mark Dennis ... Salesman - 2nd Gunshop
Stafford Morgan ... Salesman - 1st Gunshop
Peter Bogdanovich ... Sammy Michaels
Daniel Ades Daniel Ades ... Chauffeur
Timothy Burns Timothy Burns ... Waiter (as Tim Burns)
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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 »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 August 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Before I Die See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$130,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Saticoy Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[last lines]
[to the police as he is being arrested]
Bobby Thompson: Hardly ever missed, did I?
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Way ahead of its time . . .
20 January 2001 | by austex23See all my reviews

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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