Watch Now: TARGETS
Quentin Tarantino gave high praise when speaking about Targets in 2002, saying that it was the best movie Roger Corman had ever produced and one of the most impressive directorial debuts in cinema history. The crime thriller introduces two separate storylines, which intersect at the film’s climax. The first storyline revolves around a retiring horror actor called Byron Orlock (Boris Karloff), who agrees to appear for one final speech in a drive-in theater, and the second one follows a young insurance agent and Vietnam war veteran by the name of Bobby Thompson (Tim O'Kelly). The deranged Bobby is a gun enthusiast who kills his wife and mother. He then continues his violent sniper spree across town, culminating in a showdown at the aforementioned drive-in theater.
Peter Bogdanovich co-wrote the script with the film’s production designer Polly Platt, and with a little help from director and novelist Samuel Fuller, but Bogdanovich's direction is what really stood the test of time, especially the thrilling and anxiety-inducing sniper scenes. The point he tried to make by juxtaposing the horror icon who used to send chills down the viewers’ spines, and the new wave of crime sprees that terrorize America, is brilliantly shown through the randomness and success of the sniper’s act of killing, thereby capturing the end of one era of fear, and the ushering of a new one.