Targets

IN 1966, ROGER CORMAN MADE an offer to young assistant Peter Bogdanovich that the wannabe director couldn't refuse. Corman had two days left to run on a contract with Boris Karloff, and the challenge was this: use that time to film 20 minutes of new material with the veteran actor, edit in another 20 minutes of Karloff footage from Corman's The Terror, shoot another 40 minutes with other actors, then stitch the lot together. The result was Bogdanovich's first and, arguably, greatest movie.

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IN 1966, ROGER CORMAN MADE an offer to young assistant Peter Bogdanovich that the wannabe director couldn’t refuse. Corman had two days left to run on a contract with Boris Karloff, and the challenge was this: use that time to film 20 minutes of new material with the veteran actor, edit in another 20 minutes of Karloff footage from Corman’s The Terror, shoot another 40 minutes with other actors, then stitch the lot together. The result was Bogdanovich’s first and, arguably, greatest movie. A many-layered meditation on movies and American violence, Targets parallels the stories of Karloff?effectively playing himself, an ageing horror star about to quit in the face of real-life horrors?and Tim O’Kelly, a preppy daddy’s boy turned random sniper on a blank killing spree. The kind of drive-in where the incredible climax unfolds may have disappeared but, with startling pre-echoes of Columbine and recent American sniping crises, this could have been shot yesterday.

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