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… —IMDb
The son of immigrants fleeing the Nazis—his father was a Serbian painter and pianist and his mother was descended from a rich Jewish Austrian family—Peter Bogdanovich was conceived in Europe but born in America. He originally was an actor in the 1950s, studying his craft with legendary acting teacher Stella Adler and appearing on television and in summer stock. In the early 1960s he achieved notoriety for programming movies at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. An obsessive cinema-goer, sometimes seeing up to 400 movies a year in his youth, Bogdanovich prominently showcased the work of American directors such as John Ford, about whom he subsequently wrote a book based on the notes he had produced for the MOMA retrospective of the director, and the then-underappreciated Howard Hawks. Bogdanovich also brought attention to such forgotten pioneers of American cinema as Allan Dwan.
Bogdanovich was influenced by the French critics of the 1950s who wrote for Cahiers du Cinema… read more
Been wanting to see this for ages and it surpassed my expectations. I was not expecting it to be so tense and gripping, nor for it to be quite so prescient regarding gun control and how the media has created a society desensitized to violence. Karloff brings an old school style and class which reinforces the shooters emasculation and alienation. One of the greatest directorial debuts I have seen.
Surprisingly effective, effecient and compelling. It's low budget works in its favor. Very enjoyable and shockingly prescient.
"Targets" is important because it marks the point where the pathologies of serial killers became the new dreamscape of cinema horror. The film essentially acts as a metaphor for the death of Karloff's metier, perhaps because his brand of horror refused to step out of the screen.
Bogdanovich's directorial debut is his finest film, featuring Boris Karloff's greatest performance as a darkly comic retiring horror movie star juxtaposed with the existential exploration of scenes of suspenseful silent menace as a numb youth embarks on a brutal killing spree. This underrated gem is as taut and precise as the trajectory of a sniper's bullet. One of the best films of the '60s.
Targets opens as a Gothic horror, like any of a dozen Roger Corman B-movies, with Boris Karloff stalking around his 19th century mansion. Then the lights come up and Karloff is seen watching the film… read review