Review: ‘Targets’

A good programmer, within low budget limitations, about a sniper and his innocent victims. A separate, concurrent sub-plot features Boris Karloff as a horror film star who feels he is washed up. Both plot lines converge in an exciting climax.

A good programmer, within low budget limitations, about a sniper and his innocent victims. A separate, concurrent sub-plot features Boris Karloff as a horror film star who feels he is washed up. Both plot lines converge in an exciting climax.

Peter Bogdanovich has made a film of much suspense and implicit violence. It opens with a typical horror pic finale, which in a neat switcheroo turns out to be just that, as producer Monte Landis, o.o.’s the film. Karloff declares he is through with films and exits. A sidewalk scene introduces Tim O’Kelly, all-American boy who has drawn a bead on Karloff from a nearby gun shop.

Plot then picks up O’Kelly, a gun-loving, disturbed youth who ‘had everything to live for’. One night, his mind snaps. He hides in the screen tower of a drive-in theatre, whence he terrorizes the audience. A press stunt has drawn Karloff to the ozoner for the climax.

As any newspaper or TV newsreel shows, mass murderers look just like anyone else. O’Kelly’s projection of blandness is most appropriate to the suspense.

Aware of the virtue of implied violence, Bogdanovich conveys moments of shock, terror, suspense and fear.

Targets

Production

Saticoy. Director Peter Bogdanovich; Producer Peter Bogdanovich; Screenplay Peter Bogdanovich; Camera Laszlo Kovacs; Editor [uncredited]; Art Director Polly Platt

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1968. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Boris Karloff Tim O'Kelly Nancy Hsueh James Brown Peter Bogdanovich

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