Targets ★★★★½

Targets is pretty much a film cut from the same cloth as other late 60’s exercises in anti illusionism like David Holzman’s Diary, Hi Mom or Medium Cool but filtered through Peter Bogdanovich very Hollywood sensibility. It delivers a lot of humor from both Karloff Bartebly like refusal to take part in Hollywood machinery and the very matter of fact way Bogdanovich shots the sniper material. Some of the meta jokes are too cute and less clever than Targets thinks. There is a raw bluntness to the violence here that has more to do with uncredited co screenwriter Samuel Fuller than Bogdanovich later work. The violence here is sudden and ugly, it has a shock that moves it way beyond exploitation while also dating it as belong to an era in which much of its content is a huge brake of decorum. Bogdanovich can’t get enough of the sight of Karloff in contemporary locations and he is right those images articulate a lot of his thematic points better than most of his rhetoric flourishes. “All the good films have already been made” Bogdanovich’s film director complains while watching a Hawks pre-code and even more than Karloff’s presence, Targets deliver its power from the old Hollywood romantic struggling with material he regards as pornographic but inevitable.

Filipe liked these reviews