''Targets'' is a 1968 horror/thriller film, produced by Creator/RogerCorman and directed by Creator/PeterBogdanovich, that focuses on two men in UsefulNotes/LosAngeles.

One is Byron Orlok (Creator/BorisKarloff), an aging and beloved horror film actor who has announced his decision to retire from film-making, feeling that RealLife is churning out more and far worse horrors than anything he can hope to put on screen. The other is young [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar Vietnam]] vet Bobby Thompson (Tim O'Kelly), who unknowingly sets out to prove Orlok's point when he finally snaps under the [[StepfordSuburbia soulless banality]] of his existence, gathers up an arsenal, and goes on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman a shooting spree]]. Inevitably, the paths of the two men cross...

The film is a worthy coda for Karloff's career, a fine directorial debut for Bogdanovich, and a symbolic [[GenreTurningPoint passing of the torch]] from one generation of filmmakers to the next.


* AffablyEvil: After killing his wife and mother, Thompson, while buying numerous rounds, casually carries on a conversation with the gun store owner.
* AxCrazy: Thompson, when he finally snaps.
* BedmateReveal: Orlok and Sammy get drunk and end up falling asleep in Sammy's bedroom. Sammy has a bad dream and [[CatapultNightmare startles himself awake]]:
-->'''Orlok:''' [''suffering from HangoverSensitivity''] Why did you yell?!\\
'''Sammy:''' I was having a nightmare and I woke up next to Byron Orlok!\\
'''Orlok:''' [''sourly''] Very funny.
* CaneFu: See directly below.
* ColdSniper: Thompson is pretty calm during his shooting spree.
* CoolOldGuy: Both Creator/BorisKarloff and the character he's playing, Byron Orlok. Karloff was a nice guy in RealLife (and he even worked on this film for free when it ran over the two days he owed Corman), and Orlok is pretty much the same. [[spoiler: He also proves to be a BadassGrandpa at the end, when he finally comes face-to-face with the sniper: he walks straight into the line of fire, uses '''''his cane''''' [[CaneFu to knock the gun away]] and brings the young whipper-snapper [[VillainousBSOD to his knees]] with a few well-placed slaps.]]
* CrapsackWorld: One of Orlok's reasons for retiring is that the real world is becoming more horrifying than the scary movies he made. Considering how Thompson's shooting spree ''was'' based on the real-life Whitman shootings, he's depressingly correct.
* DriveInTheater: Where the climax of the film takes place.
* DumbassDJ: Orlok has to suffer through an interview with one.
* EndOfAnAge: Orlok's retirement signals an end to the Monster and MadScientist era of horror films... with Thompson's shooting spree [[DawnOfAnEra signaling the beginning]] of the next wave of horror based on [[HumansAreBastards human evils]] like [[SerialKiller serial killers]].
-->'''Orlok:''' The world belongs to the young. Make way for them. Let them have it. I am an anachronism.
* FaceOfAnAngelMindOfADemon: Bobby Thompson has boyish good looks, but is a deranged mass murderer. The gun clerk that sells him a rifle even says he has a "nice face".
* GoodColorsEvilColors: All of Orlok's scenes are shot in mellow autumnal shades, while Thompson's are cold sterile blues.
* GunNut: Thompson has a truly staggering number of guns, and is a crack shot.
* LetMeTellYouAStory: Orlok gives a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oe8Vpn9dgU8 lovely recitation]] of the story [[http://www.k-state.edu/english/baker/english320/Maugham-AS.htm "An Appointment in Samarra".]]
* MalevolentArchitecture: The decor of Thompson's suburban home could drive anyone crazy.
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: In-universe, Orlok is one of these. He's built up a career playing monsters and maniacs, but off-camera he's clearly very kind and classy (again, just like Karloff himself). Thompson [[NiceCharacterMeanActor is the exact opposite]]; while he [[StepfordSmiler maintains the facade of a cheerful, normal, All-American youth]], [[BitchInSheepsClothing he really seems to be a monster on the inside]].
* MeaningfulName: Byron Orlok. The last name is borrowed from Count Orlok of ''Film/{{Nosferatu}}'', the first name from Creator/LordByron.
* MirrorScare: At one point Orlok is startled by his own reflection, a bit suggested by Karloff himself. And during the final shooting spree, Thompson [[spoiler:is unable to determine which Orlok to shoot at - the one onscreen at the drive-in theater or the one [[ParanoiaFuel coming right at him]].]]
* OlderHeroVsYoungerVillain: The aging and elder Byron Orlok played by Boris Karloff pitted against the young and boyish-looking Bobby Thompson.
* RealityHasNoSoundtrack: The film has no music soundtrack, except for a tune heard on a car radio.
* ReluctantPsycho: Thompson fumblingly attempts to warn his wife about what is happening to him; when this fails, like his [[RippedFromTheHeadlines real-life inspiration]] Charles Whitman, he types up a note calmly detailing what he is about to do.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: As noted, Bobby Thompson is loosely based on mass murderer [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman Charles Whitman]], who two years prior to this film's release killed 14 and wounded 31 by sniping at them with a rifle from the observation deck of the 30-story tower building at the University of Texas in Austin.
* ShoutOut:
** Karloff's earlier films are referenced in this film as being part of Orlok's career; using the footage was part of the deal with Corman.
** At one point Orlok and screenwriter Sammy Michaels (played by Bogdanovich) are watching ''The Criminal Code'' (1931)--which starred Karloff and was directed by Creator/HowardHawks--prompting both men to sing the praises of Hawks as a filmmaker.
** Speaking of Sammy Michaels, the character was named for Creator/SamuelFuller, who helped write the film's screenplay.
* SilentCredits: As noted, the credits run music-free, though the opening ones play over a scene from Orlock's latest movie.
* TheSixties: The setting, of course.
* SlasherMovie: One of the earliest examples along with ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' and ''Film/BlackChristmas1974'', though this one is more of the gun-toting kind (in a similar vein as the sub-genre's textbook example ''Film/TheTerminator'') then the usual knifing type.
* StealthInsult:
-->'''[[DumbassDJ Kip Larkin]]:''' Mr. O, I must have dug your flicks like four zillion times! You ''blew my mind!''
-->'''[[DeadpanSnarker Orlok]]:''' Obviously.
* TwoLinesNoWaiting: Byron and Bobby's stories, which converge for the finale.
* UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar: Thompson is an early veteran of the war, and possibly a ShellShockedVeteran.