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Targets (1968)

Boris Karloff , Tim O'Kelly , Peter Bogdanovich  |  R |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Boris Karloff, Tim O'Kelly, Arthur Peterson, Monte Landis, Nancy Hsueh
  • Directors: Peter Bogdanovich
  • Writers: Peter Bogdanovich, Polly Platt, Samuel Fuller
  • Producers: Peter Bogdanovich, Daniel Selznick, Roger Corman
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: August 12, 2003
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009RXKC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,991 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Targets" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

TARGETS is a thrilling horror film that follows the story of Byron Orlok (Karloff), an aging horror film star who is contemplating his retirement. Meanwhile, Bobby Thompson (O’Kelly) is a seemingly mild-mannered husband and son whose obsession with firearms is his way of coping with his otherwise mundane life. But, when Thompson suddenly snaps and his harmless hobby turns into a dangerous reality, Los Angeles doesn’t know what hit it as Thompson unleashes undeserved fury upon innocent drivers on the L.A. freeway. And if that weren’t tragedy enough, things take a bigger turn for the worse when Orlok and Thompson’s paths cross as Orlok makes a special appearance at a drive-in theater where Thompson happens to be waiting with his arsenal.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last, Bogdanovich's First! November 19, 2003
Format:DVD
In the early 1960s, celebrated director Peter Bogdanovich (1971's THE LAST PICTURE SHOW; 1972's WHAT'S UP, DOC?; 1973's PAPER MOON, et al.) was just starting his career in the motion-picture industry as an interviewer and critic. By the middle of the decade, he was working as a technical assistant for renowned low-budget producer/director Roger Corman, with whom he developed a good working relationship and a great mutual respect.
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.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit more information for you film buffs out there... October 21, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
The story of how this film was made is almost as interesting as the film itself. Bogondavich was assigned a ridiculously short period of time by Roger Corman and a very small budget to come up with a contractual-obligation last film quickie for Karloff, with the only condition being that he had to incorporate scenes from the last two AIP Karloff films, flops that the studio was hoping to reawaken interest in. In just a few days, working on a shoestring, first-timer Bogdonavich comes up with this great, self-reflexive, funny, and disturbing film about an aging horror film star who wants to retire, because he feels his old gentle style of scaring people can't compete with modern horrors such as serial killers. This means that the "showdown" at the end of the film, where the sniper fires FROM BEHIND THE SCREEN, is not only great plotting, but thematically relevant; throughout the film, we're asked to consider our desire to watch horror movies in the first place. Anyone who really likes THINKING about cinema should love this -- it belongs on the shelf with PEEPING TOM and REAR WINDOW. It also has one of the funniest things I've seen in cinema -- a scene where Karloff catches his reflection in the mirror in an off-moment and, associating the image with years of monster movies, jumps in fear, before realizing it is only himself he's looking at... A great little movie.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Is This What I Was Afraid Of?" August 26, 2003
By mackjay
Format:DVD
The DVD edition of TARGETS does more than justice to this terrific film that should be known by more viewers. Not for Karloff fans only, TARGETS is a uniquely suspensful film that combines a serial killer narrative with that of the final career stage of an aging king of horror films. What may be surprising is that it works. It works very well. Peter Bogdanovich demonstrates plenty of assurance and resourcefulness in this project that may have defeated a less adventurous director. There are no dull moments in TARGETS and the viewer continually marvels at the ingenuity of Bogdanovich, the cinematographer, and the sound technicians (this is one of the first studio-supported films that does not use a soundtrack, rather it uses source music only).
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cult Film Classic and a Fitting Farewell from Karloff October 16, 1998
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
When in 1968 Roger Corman had a few days' use of Boris Karloff and nothing on tap for him, he gave young screenwriter Peter Bogdanovich the chance to write a screenplay overnight and start directing it the next day. The unlikely, astonishing result was "Targets", a well-made film that is both a character study of aging, disillusioned horror-film star Byron Orlok (Karloff) and a cold documentary of a young man gone quietly insane who murders his family and holes up atop a petroleum storage tower by the highway and begins sniping drivers. Escaping after some time, he winds up hiding out at a drive-in theatre (remember them?) where, as it happens, Orlok is making his last appearance before retiring from acting. What happens then is what makes the two parallel themes of the film come together in a dramatic, satisfying way. Bogdanovich established his reputation with this film, which has attained deserved cult status. Boris Karloff, in his last American film role, delivers a warm, genuine, fully realized performance, almost playing himself, at his best when Orlok expresses his cynicism about the kind of work he does, when reciting the old folk tale "Death in Samarra", and in the film's last moments as he comes to a confrontation with the deranged young sniper. This is a marvelous film that in many significant ways outstripped the bigger-budget films released in the late 1960's, and is definitely worth viewing. END
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Boris
Great chance to see the San Fernando Valley in the past.
Published 2 months ago by Howard Sheldon
4.0 out of 5 stars Brondonovich knows what he's doing
This is an excellent and entertaining movie that has some wonderful allusions to previous great movies at the same time it shows a pittiless and modern villian, the nhilistic mass... Read more
Published 3 months ago by salemcat
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't participate. Be lethargic.
Targets (Peter Bogdanovich, 1968)

Peter Bogdanovich is one of those directors who, it always seemed to me, generally flew under the radar where the public was... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Robert Beveridge
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsettled and Unsettling Debut
Brilliant, it is not. Still, there's enough going on in Targets to warrant a viewing of Peter Bogdanovich's first film. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Matthew Gersuk
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultra-realistic and based on reality
Clearly inspired by Charles Whitman's 1966 shooting rampage at the University of Texas, "Targets" is an ultra-realistic view of mental instability, murder and human interaction... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Larry VanDeSande
5.0 out of 5 stars "Gonna Shoot Some Pigs!"...
Acting legend Byron Orlok (THE Boris Karloff!) is retiring from his storied career. He sets out w/ his assistant, checks into a hotel, and begins drinking heavily. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Bindy Sue Frřnkünschtein
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
A lot better then I thought!! Boris Karloff was really good in this movie. This is on of those movies I was surprised that hasn't been remade. Read more
Published 13 months ago by jj
4.0 out of 5 stars Mass shooting
In light of all that has happened in the last year I thought it would be interesting to see a 60's take on these things. Very good.
Published 17 months ago by rbcondon
5.0 out of 5 stars ILHM Reviews: Targets
"My kind of horror isn't horror anymore... No one's afraid of a painted monster."

With this, director Peter Bogdanovich makes a bold statement about the changing social... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Carl Manes
4.0 out of 5 stars Timely first movie for Bogdonovich
Bogdonovich got big start with this film. Corman let him pick the movie he wanted to make, but because of short term contract Corman had with Karloff, (A weeks work Karloff owed... Read more
Published 21 months ago by L. Eugene Pelfrey
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