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Impressed with Bogdanovich's creative and aesthetic contributions to the projects of others on his staff, Corman offered him the opportunity to write and direct a horror cheapie of his own, and of course, Bogdanovich jumped at the chance. But this would be a true test of Bogdanovich's mettle, Corman warned, because there would be three restrictions placed upon the project: Bogdanovich must keep the cost of making the film within its meager budget; the film must make prudent use of footage edited out of Corman's earlier cheapie, THE TERROR; and the film must feature actor Boris Karloff (yes, THE Boris Karloff, who was contractually indebted to Corman's production studio for one last film). The result? TARGETS, Bogdanovich's suspensful and intriguing two-pronged study of the effects of unrelenting ennui.
In the film, Karloff portrays Byron Orlok, an aged horror star of yesteryear who, despite opposition from his assistant and a director friend, wants to retire from filmmaking. The world has become so apathetic towards violence, he believes, that everyday events can sometimes be scarier than any of his fright flicks, and thereby his work has become passé.
Tim O'Kelly plays a dissatisfied young husband whose lack of genuine success is making it difficult for him to live in the shadow of his overbearing father.Read more ›
Karloff is in very good form here, delivering a subtle, humorous, self-deprecating portrayal that will not soon be forgotten by anyone who sees it. It is a worthy swan song for the great horror icon.
TARGETS looks downright incredible on DVD. Presented in widescreen, the nearly flawless image quality betrays almost nothing of the film's age. There is a short documentary on the making of the film, which includes portions of the trailer (which is itself not included as a supplement on the disc). The director makes many points that are repeated in the feature-length commentary. Bogdanovich's commentaries are among the better examples of their kind: he explains a lot about how shots were achieved, but he also gives plenty of credit for inspiration from older film makers--like Sam Fuller, Orson Welles, Hitchcock, John Ford, and Roger Corman--and he seems to have an endless collection of interesting anecdotes about the movie business.
Don't pass up this fantastic DVD.
Most recent customer reviews
corman wows here and reminds us that we really lost a very good director when he decided to devote all of his time to producing. Read morePublished on April 23 2004
Boris Karloff gave one of his finest performances in this film and proved that he didn't have to be the movie's monster to be the star. Read morePublished on Nov. 27 2003 by Orion
TARGETS was the directorial debut of Peter Bogdanovich and was one of the last films that Boris Karloff ever made. Read morePublished on Nov. 10 2003 by tvtv3
This is a great transfer of Peter Bogdanovich's first film as director. Tim O'Kelly is genuinely creepy as the random sniper and Boris Karloff puts in a fine performance in one of... Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2003
Peter Bogdanovich produced, directed, edited and wrote the screenplay to TARGETS. The film has a curious and dichotomous quality to it. Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2002 by gobirds2
When Hermoine Gingold told Jimmy Stewart to " Drink It"!! she wasnt kidding. This is a quirky violent tale of murder and mayhem in a drive in movie. Read morePublished on July 14 2001 by charles pope
This film is one of i-don't-know-how-many in all that clearly reveals ther existence of a great national resource that most people aren't even aware exists -- Roger Corman! Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2001 by Fairportfan