Targets (1968) – Missed the Mark!!

Summary (2.5 out of 5)

Summary: After watching a special on Peter Bogdanovich I was curious about this movie. “Targets” is basically his directorial debut, and overall the whole movie is a bit of a mess. Within the film there are a couple of great moments. Boris Karloff by himself salvages the film. It is unfortunate he was typecast in horror films. The other fascinating aspect was the portrayal of shooters from both California and Texas at the time. That must have been such a hard subject to portray at the time.

Unless you want to watch Boris Karloff, there really is no purpose in watching this film.

Plot: An aging actor, Byron (Boris Karloff) agrees to speak at a theater, but serial shooter Bobby (Tim O’Kelly) has other ideas for the evening.

Detail: There is one scene where Byron is preparing for his interview with the DJ hosting the interview. He breaks from script to tell a different tale. It was a Tarantino moment before there was such a thing. It was hypnotic. This scene and the scene as Bryon approaches the shooter were the shining moments of the movie.

The rest of the film, well it was that of a new director. The editing was choppy and forced. Some of the scenes didn’t have a relationship to one another. While only an hour and 30 minutes, there felt like there were wasted scenes. The relationship between the director and the secretary seemed like wasted time unless they were going to leverage that relationship more in the final shootout.

The shooter Bobby was the shooter. I basic character. I don’t think I understood his motivation. Now maybe that was the horror of the time, there wasn’t a clear motivation to the shootings. The scenes where he was shooting people were decent and entertained.

I had hoped for more for Peter Bogdanovich. But was impressed by Boris Karloff. Overall, pass on this movie unless you are a student of theater.