Warner Archives: 60s Cult Thriller Double Feature
Warner Archives has got a whole new slate of releases coming and we’ve picked out two of our favorites from the 1960s which actually happen to be Paramount Pictures titles. We highly recommend searching through their eclectic online shop as well as ordering their new streaming video channel which features a wide variety of studio rarities and overlooked cult classics.
LADY IN A CAGE (1964, Dir: Walter Grauman) Olivia DeHavilland (Gone with the Wind) stars as Mrs. Cornelia Hilyard a wealthy widower who is recuperating from a broken hip and must use a special elevator to get to her second floor. When a mishap knocks out the electricity while shes inside the elevator, she tries to get help outside by ringing an emergency alarm. A local transient (Jeff Corey) hears it and enters her home, stealing several items to pawn off. At the pawn shop a trio of young punks (James Caan, Jennifer Billingsley, Rafael Campos) curious as to where the bum got his items follow him and his floozy friend (Ann Sothern) back to the home where they terrorize them and the captive Mrs. Hilyard. The story mixes dark humor and suspense to create a memorable film experience set largely in one place. This was James Caan feature film debut and you can tell he was heavily inspired by Marlon Brando from his pose heavy performance. Lady In A Cage is an overlooked gem from the 60s that we first reviewed a few years back since its a longtime favorite of ours.
TARGETS (1968, Dir: Peter Bogdanovich)
B-movie King Roger Corman gave first time director Peter Bogdanovich the chance to make a feature incorporating leftover footage from his movie The Terror (1963) and access to the star Boris Karloff. The result was a two tier story that is very captivating and inventive. Bogdanovich plays Sammy Michaels (homage to uncredited Director Sam Fuller who helped write the script) a young Hollywood director who is trying to get Byron Orlok (Karloff) back to his status as a big star, but the aging, embittered Horror actor has decided to call it quits after a final promotional appearance. Meanwhile a Vietnam vet (Tim O’Kelly) with a disturbing fascination for guns decides to go on a killing spree. Orlok and the killer don’t know that their lives are fated to soon cross paths. Bogdanovich creates a great onscreen friendship between his movie geek director character and Karloff’s Orlok which is in stark contrast to the shocking events carried out by the deranged sniper. Targets remains an entertaining and socially relevant low budget psychological thriller from the late 60s.