Tuesday, October 2, 2012

TARGETS (1968)

‘No one’s afraid of painted monster.’
Here is cent percent brilliant Hollywood counterpart of French New wave cinema. Just like ‘Bonnie and Clyde’, its one of those alarming call films of violent and shocking 'shifting seventies' of New Hollywood ruled by Coppola, Scorsese and Peckinpah. Two stories crosscut and juxtaposed with each other from beginning to the end and showing us the personification of real and reel life monsters. The retiring announcement of a veteran reel life monster (played by Boris Karloff) is the beginning of real life monster played by American boy next door Tim O’Kelly. He is a young man fascinated by guns who just after shooting his parents embarks on shooting spree with his sniper rifle on a huge water tank overlooking the highway and than from behind the screen at a drive-in cinema where the retired actor is going to make his final public appearance.

Peter Bogdanovich’s this debut film is violent shocker; the way ahead of it’s time. The idea and theme is about the threshold of New Hollywood where the audience is being pushed from known horror to the shocking reality of unknown horror.The canvas of this new horror is shifted from private and screen to public and street. Here the target can be anybody; its not faceless crime but motiveless crime that works out as real shocker. ‘My kind of horror isn't horror anymore’, laments aging and retiring screen-star  In one of the key scene of the film, Boris Karloff who once known as the Boogie Man to make the audience scream, throws the newspaper headline horror ‘A youth killed six in supermarket’ to the young script writer who’s convincing him to do him favor by doing his film. The climax is just brilliant where the veteran screen evil is being overshadowed by the terror of a stranger. Ah and that climactic high scene where the killer confronts the delusion at critical juncture facing the illusion and reality. There’re quite an observation of a wise old man to check the modern urban age where Karloff remarks while sitting in a car and watching long queue of parked cars and congested electric hoardings of the city, ‘God, what an ugly town this has become!’

Highly Recommended is the final verdict.  

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