7.3/10
7,360
94 user 81 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 »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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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 »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

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

The "good movie" with quality that Sammy, played by Peter Bogdanovich, wanted Boris Karloff's semi-autobiographical character to do, in a sense, is this movie, Targets, as compared to the three lousy movies he had already done... which were the movies by Roger Corman, including The Terror, used throughout this movie, and that was supposedly directed by Sammy. The irony is that Bogdanovich is trying to talk Boris Karloff into acting in the movie we're watching: The one last quality picture that's not a b-horror picture. Also ironic, is that Karloff is merely intruding upon the real story of the spree-killer. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 28 mins) At the very end of the movie, the Drive-in is empty the next day, except for the killer's car. This is illogical: the victim's cars should be there too. See more »

Quotes

[Bobby Thompson cowers before Byron Orlok]
Byron Orlok: Is *that* what I was afraid of?
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some prints begin with a caption about gun-control, added after Robert Kennedy's assassination. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Fantasm Comes Again (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

As close to "A" as a "B-Movie" can get.
7 August 2002 | by cpetro1See all my reviews

Roger Corman explains in his autobiography that he handed this "spec" project to the up-and-coming Bogdanovich primarily because he could basically pay the kid peanuts. Bogdanovich understood Corman's economic sensibilities well, and cut as many corners as he could. He uses Cormans regular bit-players as well as plenty of Jack Nicholson footage from 1963's "The Terror" - another Corman B-movie. Corman's specifications for the film were simple: make a cheap film referring to the recent Charles Whitman shootings at the University of Texas, and make it fast. The script draws heavily from the real-life Whitman story; the all-American boy gone bad kills his wife and mother, and then proceeds on a killing spree, shooting anyone in his sights from a snipers nest. This story is intertwined with that of Byron Orlocks ageing horror legend nearing retirement; here Boris Karloff plays himself, for all intents and purposes. Bogdanovich plays a major role in the film himself, and there is obvious affection between the young director and Karloff in the scenes they share. Although Bogdanovich's wife Polly Platt takes a screenwriting credit, it is often said that her role was actually more of a partner in all Bogdanovich's early work, collaborating and counter-balancing his excesses. There is probably a lot of truth to this theory, as after the couple separated Bogdanovich's suffered a deep decline. I had read much of the history of `Targets' in Peter Biskind's `Easy Riders - Raging Bulls' and Corman's own `How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime', and have been lucky enough to catch it twice on cable in the last week. It really is a very competent debut, and Bogdanovich truly makes the most of what humble resources he had at his disposal. See it.


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