DVD - 2003
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In seemingly unrelated events, aging horror film star Orlok announces his retirement, and an apparently average young man accumulates an arsenal of rifles and handguns. As the pace quickens, the young man turns into a murderous sniper, showing up at a drive-in theater where Orlok is making his final personal appearance.
Publisher: Hollywood, Calif. : Paramount Pictures, 2003.
Edition: Widescreen.
ISBN: 9780792186496
Branch Call Number: TAR
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (89 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.


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Dec 05, 2014

Peter Bogdanovich’s first film, and arguably his best, is a disturbingly realistic drama which sets the horror genre on its ear as it examines America’s twin fascinations with gun violence and celebrity. Byron Orlok (Boris Karloff essentially playing himself) is an antique actor known for his macabre roles who, feeling the weight of his years and all too aware of the diminishing shock value of his classic tales of terror when compared to contemporary newspaper articles of senseless killings, decides to make one final public appearance at a Los Angeles drive-in theatre showing one of his golden oldies. Meanwhile, in a converging story, a mild-mannered insurance salesman murders his family before calmly embarking on a shooting spree, eventually ending up at the same drive-in, arsenal in hand, as Karloff’s character. A tense confrontation between horror icon and homicidal psychopath ensues… Made all the more terrifying by its sheer ordinariness—at one point the sniper takes a break between killings to enjoy a sandwich and a Dr. Pepper—Bogdanovich’s constant juxtaposition of nightmarish reality and Hollywood peril (incidental television screens air menacing films throughout) reaches a surreal climax at the outdoor theatre where the gunman, hemmed in by a very real Orlok on one side and a twenty foot screen Orlok on the other, is unable to distinguish which one he should be trying to kill. An amazing and prophetic film which is perhaps more pertinent now than it was forty years ago.

Aug 20, 2012

The role of Frankenstein's monster in Frankenstein (1931 film) made Boris Karloff a star.
I still remember a particular scene vividly, in which the doctor begins dissecting the monster, who awakens and strangles him.
The monster escapes from the tower and wanders through the landscape.
It then has a short encounter with a farmer's young daughter, Maria, who asks him to play a game with her in which they playfully toss flowers into a lake and watch them float.
The monster enjoys the game, but when they run out of flowers, tragedy occurs.
Due to his defective brain, the monster thinks the girl will float as well as the flowers, so he picks her up and throws her into the lake, and the girl drowns.
Realizing he has made a terrible mistake, the monster walks away feeling troubled and remorseful.
The above scene recurred over and over again in the back of my mind while watching the movie because "Targets" was so boring.

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