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Horrible Terrible Awful ... and Stupid
Two Minute Warning
Various "Stars"
(This review is based on the original theatrical version.)

There is a superficial similarity between this terrible film (to think baby celluloids died for this) and Peter Bogdanovich's vastly superior 1967 debut film, "Targets (qv) -- in each, there is a sniper in Los Angeles shooting (supposedly) random people. {{For some thoughts about snipers in real life, click here.}} In Targets he winds up shooting through a drive-in movie screen, in this he's in the scoreboard at a football game.

Once cannot help but feel that this film was partially inspired by Targets, but (as with all the slasher films that [the success of] the original Halloween inspired) they missed the point.

In Targets, the film's focus is tightly on two characters -- the disaffected kid who does the shooting, and an aging horror star who plans to retire because he knows there are much scarier things than himself in the Modern World (played to a turn by Boris Karloff, in his last watchable film). Most of the victims are totally anonymous figures the sniper sees over his gunsights in various places. The effect of this is to make people with any imagination (who know that there really are people like Charles Whitman, whose Texas Tower shooting spree inspired the film) to regard high places that might serve as sniper's nests with suspicion; the sheer "It could be anyone -- even me!" of it is chilling. Plus there is a terrific buildup of suspense and foreshadowing before anything Actually Happens that raises the tension factor several notches.

In "Two-Minute Warning", on the other hand, we know nothing about the sniper. And, while a crowd of 91,000 potential victims ought to yield randomness, the fact that a dozen or so "celebrities" are scattered through the cast sort of telegraphs the point that the actual victims will come from among these.

Further, as other reviewers have mentioned, there are HORRIBLE logic lapses.

Not worth watching even once -- my original Amazon rating was one star; if i could have, that would have been "zero stars". Or even a negative number. Borrowing from Maltin, though, i'll rate this steaming mass of cinematic garbage "BOMB"...

((When this was shown on television, it was re-edited and re-shot to make the sniper's motivation semi-plausible by making his rampage a cover for a major robbery, designed to occupy the police's attention while the robbery went down. It wasn't any better a film, but it was slightly -- only slightly -- more plausible.))

((I really recommend that you check out Targets rather than this film; it is more logical, better written and downright scarier.))
This review was written before the sniper scare in the DC/Virginia area; during that time, i was amazed at how it felt -- from the distance of Atalanta -- almost as if Targets were coming true, and at the ways that people reacted. The "It could be anyone" was there. Even though the snipers' chosen range was so broad and offered so many potential targets that, despite the fear factor, it was really less likely by several orders that you would be a sniper victim as you crossed the street than that you would be run down by an automobile crossing the same street, some people worried about the sniper and changed their lives because of it, while not giving up truly dangerous activities like crossing streets, getting up in the morning and breathing. Others, either defiant, less imaginative or more trusting in the odds, carried on pretty much as normal.
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