Entertainment Magazine

Retro Review: ‘Targets’

Posted on the 23 March 2017 by House Of Geekery @houseofgeekery

Retro Review: 'Targets'

In the 1960's many things in the world were changing as social unrest and violence became more commonplace. The changes society was experiencing were naturally reflected by the horror films of the era as a new generation of filmmakers held up a dark mirror to the culture they lived in to prey on the fears of their audiences. As a whole the horror genre was beginning to evolve; slowly but surely the old masters of horror such as; Roger Corman and William Castle found their style being pushed aside in favor of a new generation of horror maestros. With films like; Psycho, Rosemary's Baby and Night of the Living Dead terrifying audiences it was clear a shift was coming, as audiences sought more visceral and relatable horror films. Simply putting the name; Bela Lugosi or Vincent Price or Targets' own star Boris Karloffon a poster was no longer good enough to sell a horror film. This next step in the evolution of the horror was on display no greater than in Peter Bogdanovich's picture, Targets. The now legendary filmmaker did not mix any messages in this film wherein the horrors of real life dwarf any monster on the silver screen.

Targets revolves around the aging horror legend, Byron Orlok, appropriately played by the real life horror legend Boris Karloff in

Retro Review: ‘Targets’
one of the actor's finest performances. In a character thread which in no doubt mirrored Karloff's own feelings in some way, Orlok is beginning to feel his age and seeks retirement and solace. At the same time, a mysterious sniper is gunning down his victims in a manner far more terrifying than anything in Orlok's movies. Inevitably the two cross paths in a tense climax, wherein the killer lets the bullets fly at a screening of Orlok's film in a drive-in.

Appropriately, Bogdanovich opens this film, with a fictional Orlok picture which recreated the old gothic style horror film, that were being phased out in the next evolutionary step in the genre. This illusion is shattered by the reality that it is being screened at a Hollywood studio for a producer and his entourage, shattering the illusion for the audience and deconstructing the standard horror film. Shortly thereafter, we are introduced to the real monster of this film, Bobby Thompson. Needless to say he is diametrically opposed to Orlok in every way. In fact Bogdanovich wastes little time juxtaposing Orlok's brand of old Hollywood with the horrors represented by true monster of the film, the sniper, in a brilliant scene which sees the two of them in their respective vehicles. The comparison the director draws between the fictional monster and the real one carries on throughout the film beautifully. In a bold move the murderous Bobby Thompson is portrayed as a veteran of the Vietnam War, playing on a deeply held fear that the horrors of war changed those who experienced it.

The timing of the picture's release either did it a favor or crippled it's chances of success depending on who you asked. Following the tragic assassinations of Robert Kennedy and

Retro Review: ‘Targets’
Martin Luther King Jr. Bogdanovich recalled how half the studio executives were clamoring to get the movie out immediately while the other half were trying to keep it locked away. In the end, the closing credits prove to be a perfect summation of the film; no dramatic score or fun music, just stark silence and the visual of the drive-in following the deadly aftermath of Thompson's rampage. This somber conclusion serves to further drive home the realism of Targets, despite the defeat of the monster, the scars from his rampage remain. Targets served as the perfect bridge from the classic gothic horror to the more visceral and realistic horror which was to come. Many critics have pointed out they wish that this had been Boris Karloff's film as this would have been the perfect final salute for the thespian in the twilight of his career.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • The Downside of Being A Writer

    Downside Being Writer

    Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com While there are so many pluses to being a writer—namely that we have the privilege of passionately telling stories throug... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Steph's Scribe
    BOOKS, ENTERTAINMENT, SELF EXPRESSION
  • The Downside of Being A Writer

    Downside Being Writer

    Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com While there are so many pluses to being a writer—namely that we have the privilege of passionately telling stories throug... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Steph's Scribe
    BOOKS, DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Sukanya Basu Mallik Author of Shades Of Life #AuthorInterview @SukanyaMallik

    Before we start interacting with Sukanya Basu Mallik I want to share something with all that she shared with me over the email. Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Jaideep Khanduja
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Fairchild Republic A-10C Thunderbolt II

    Fairchild Republic A-10C Thunderbolt

    @ General William J. Fox Airfield, Lancaster, CA March 2018 This clean-looking Warthog suns its belly at the 2018 Los Angeles County Airshow. Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Htam
    PHOTOGRAPHY, SOCIETY
  • Pineapple Pie

    Pineapple

    How are you all surviving these dog days of summer? I have discovered a sweet that will cool everyone down. Pineapple Pie. You can make it with canned... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Kalamitykelli
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • 10 Reasons To Market Yourself More Than A Great Idea

    Reasons Market Yourself More Than Great Idea

    Too many entrepreneurs I know still believe that that their great idea will carry the startup, and they may even minimize their own value, especially if they... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Martin Zwilling
    BUSINESS, CAREER
  • Down Memory Lane to A Villa In Coimbatore

    Down Memory Lane Villa Coimbatore

    I was probably five years old when our joint family of 30+ members slowly started dispersing. Marriages, new jobs, job transfers-all the usual things. We lived... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Vidyasury
    DIARIES