I was asked over Halloween what was my favorite Boris Karloff film. The person asking probably thought I was going to say one of the Frankenstein roles, but I surprised him with a film he never heard of: Targets (1968).
Outside of Karloff fans, not many people have heard of this great Peter Bogdanovich film. The plot follows two stories. The first is an aging horror star named Orlok (Karloff) who is tired of playing the boogie man and wants to retire. The second is a young man who has snapped and starts shooting down people (based on true stories that happened in the 1960's) starting with his own family. The destinies of these two men, the old monster and the new monster, finally cross paths at a movie drive in where the young man is picking off people watching the latest film of the old horror star.
The reason I love this film is Karloff's performance, which tugs at the heart strings of fans. You feel for this man who is at the end of his career and his life, a situation Karloff knew all too well. He wasn't playing a role as much as making a statement about his own life.
Not only is this my favorite Karloff film, it is one of my favorite films of all time.
(Please note: I usually embed a trailer at the end of posts. Unfortunately, the only trailer I found for Targets makes it out to be all about the killer and only has Karloff in it for one seconds at the end. If I find a better trailer I'll post it later.)
Until Next Time, Stay Insane!