Originally released in 1968, Peter Bogdanovich's low-budget debut incisively chronicled changing times. Concurrent plots present Byron Orlock (Boris Karloff) and Bobby Thompson (Tim O'Kelly). The former is a fossilised horror star (see what they did there?). The latter is your everyday bloke, unremarkable until he starts picking people off with a rifle. The storylines converge in a chilling finale.
As Targets was intended as just another schlocker, financier Roger Corman suggested Bogdanovich incorporate footage from The Terror, his 1963 Karloff-starrer, to save pennies. The offer was accepted, but Bogdanovich had something different in mind - the 1966 kill-spree of Charles Whitman proposing a second plot strand. One that was far more terrifying. Far more relevant.
Consummately crafted, Targets is an oft-overlooked genre classic. That it doesn't enjoy a higher profile is probably down to the same-year release of Night Of The Living Dead, George Romero's zombies snaffling attention from Bogdanovich's study of the "ghouls next door". Still, one thing's for sure: Targets is as timely as ever. Memories of the Washington Sniper and Columbine make sure of that.