A small-time film promoter releases a kitschy horror film during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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Writers:

(story), (story) (as Charlie Haas) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ruth Corday / Carole
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Gene Loomis
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Stan
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Sandra
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Sherry
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Dennis Loomis (as Jesse Lee)
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Anne Loomis
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Harvey Starkweather
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Howard the Theater Manager
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Mr. Spector
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Herb Denning
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Bob
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Jack
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Rhonda
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Storyline

A showman introduces a small coastal town to a unique movie experience and capitalises on the Cuban Missile crisis hysteria with a kitschy horror extravaganza combining film effects, stage props and actors in rubber suits in this salute to the B-movie. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Lawrence Woolsey presents the end of civilization as we know it. Make that... Proudly Presents!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language, and for mild violence and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

29 January 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Matiné  »

Box Office

Gross:

$9,532,895 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dr. Grabow in "Mant!" is named after a popular, inexpensive brand of brier pipe. See more »

Goofs

Gene and Jesse are shown watching a television program when it is interrupted by the bulletin of President Kennedy announcing the presence of the missiles in Cuba. They also show surprise at the interruption. The actual broadcast of the President's address took place at 7pm on October 22nd, and preempted the start of any regularly scheduled programs. It had also been widely announced in media outlets earlier and throughout the day that the President was going to be making an important address at 7pm, and the networks had their news anchors on the air several minutes before the address commenced. So it is highly unlikely that the address would have interrupted the middle of a program as shown, or that anyone watching would have been surprised by the interruption. See more »

Quotes

[Lawrence Woolsey describes his movie-making philosophy]
Lawrence Woolsey: A zillion years ago, a guy's living in a cave. He goes out one day, Bam! He gets chased by a mammoth. Now he's scared to death, but he gets away. And when it's all over with, he feels great.
Gene Loomis: Well yeah, 'cause he's still living.
Lawrence Woolsey: Yeah, but he knows he is. And he feels it. So he goes home, back to the cave, the first thing he does,
[Waving his hand on a brick wall to show cave-drawing of Woolly Mammoth]
Lawrence Woolsey: ... he does a drawing of the mammoth. ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

After the credits are complete, we are treated to a quick snippet from "MANT" with the Cathy Moriarty character pining, "Oh, Bill". See more »

Connections

References Frankenstein (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Main Title
from Tarantula (1955)
Arranged and Conducted by Dick Jacobs
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

 
Half Man ... Half Ant ... All Terror! Joe Dante's simply delicious B-movie tribute!
22 March 2009 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

This isn't such a very well known film (at least I never heard of it before I watched it) and actually that is a god-awful shame, as "Matinee" is a joyously vivid, versatile and refreshingly imaginative little comedy. "Matinee" is director Joe Dante's ultimate tribute to typically 50's Sci-Fi B-movies and massively promoted gimmick-laden low-budget flicks; particularly the repertoire of the legendary William Castle. In one of his most glorious roles to date, John Goodman depicts the unscrupulous and sleazy horror movie producer Lawrence Woolsey, who is practically the reincarnation of William Castle, what with his sly and shameless salesmanship techniques and continuous wide-mouthed smile. At the highpoint of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, Woolsey jaunts out to Key West – where the Navy and population hectically prepares for a bomb attack – in order to proudly present his newest and supposedly most shocking motion picture named "Mant". "Mant" is a silly shock feature about a man slowly mutating into a gigantic ant after being exposed to nuclear radiation, and for the big premiere Woolsey stuffed the film theater with horrid decorations and gimmicks to raise extra fear in the audience. With the threat of actual bombing attack going on outside the theater, Woolsey bumps into a lot of protest and resistance from the adult population in Key West, but luckily the younger and horror-crazed generation are wildly enthusiast about the upcoming matinée preview. With "Matinee", the still incredibly underrated director Joe Dante delivered another delicious and charming movie. The extended bits and clips from the fictional movie "Mant" masterfully capture the essence of 1950's B-movie cinema, with grotesque ideas and effects, cheesy nonsensical dialogs and wooden acting performances. The real William Castle actually never made such a type of monster movie, but the gimmicks and promotional stunts (like buzzers underneath the seats and guys in rubber suits running around) are right up his delightful alley! But "Matinee" is a terrifically clever movie on other levels as well. Apart from a wonderful homage to horror cinema, it also contains an admirable "coming of age" sub plot and it effectively parodies the mass hysteria going on around the time of the Cold War. Whilst the adult population of Key West practices their duck & cover bomb alarms and prepare their shelters, the teenagers are more concerned about finding a date to go see "Mant" on Saturday. The acting performances are fantastic (like his monster "Mant", John Goodman himself is larger than life!), the decors and atmosphere of the early 60's are marvelously re-enacted and – in good old Joe Dante tradition – there are multiple cameos of horror veterans, like Dick Miller, Kevin McCarthy and Robert Cornthwaite. This is truly a film meant for genuine horror movie buffs, but nevertheless a stupendously enjoyable comedy for all type of audiences.


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