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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>
The house in which Tim O'Kelly's clean-cut character lives with his happy family is given a fantasy look by the cartoonish colors of the walls in each room, and the strange lack of doorknobs on many interior doors. The sparse wall decorations and the smallness of the rooms gives the house a claustrophobic look. Director Peter Bogdanovich did all this to reflect the warped fairy-tale nature of the deranged young shooter's life. See more »
Byron Orlok (Boris Karloff) pours Sammy Michaels (Peter Bogdanovich) a drink - straight, no ice. Moments later, the drink in Sammy's tumbler has ice cubes in it, yet it's clear from the sequence that neither Orlok nor Sammy have changed position or moved at all. See more »
[Bobby Thompson cowers before Byron Orlok]
Is *that* what I was afraid of?
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Some prints begin with a caption about gun-control, added after Robert Kennedy's assassination. 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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