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Matinee (1993)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  29 January 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 6,257 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 58 critic

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



(story), (story) (as Charlie Haas) , 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ruth Corday / Carole
Gene Loomis
Dennis Loomis (as Jesse Lee)
Anne Loomis
Harvey Starkweather
Howard the Theater Manager
Jesse White ...
Mr. Spector
Herb Denning


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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




Release Date:

29 January 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Matiné  »

Box Office


$9,532,895 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


James Villemaire plays the hood named Harvey Starkweather. The name comes from Charles Starkweatherr, a real-life serial killer of that time. See more »


The LP "The First Family" is seen in the record rack to the right of the phonograph when the boys are removing the Lenny Bruce LP from the record player. "The First Family" was recorded in October, 1962, the same time that the Cuban missile crisis was going on, and it had not yet been released. See more »


Howard, the Theater Manager: [believing that the Soviets are attacking his theater] This is it!
See more »

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 »


Featured in Troldspejlet: Matinee (1994) See more »


from It Came from Outer Space (1953)
Arranged and Conducted by Dick Jacobs
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Memorable and funny
29 May 2003 | by (New Hampshire) – See all my reviews

This movie explores the marketing and the premier of a B-movie horror flick by a virtual one-man studio (remember American International?) in, of all places Key West during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

I think this was intended to be a vehicle for John Goodman as the B-movie "impresario" Lawrence Woolsey (great casting!), with Cathy Moriarty also excellently cast as the jaded B-movie starlet and Woolsey's companion. Simon Fenton plays a young, wide-eyed, horror movie addict who is also a military kid, whose father has just been assigned to the naval blockade around Cuba. The cast also includes Dick Miller from the Gremlin series, and many other B-movies since the 1950's including the original Shop of Horrors.

Matinee is quirky, and the "movie within a movie," called "Mant" (half man, half ant), is about a silly accidental "mutation" of a man into a rather large insect The movie contains a good sampling of all the plot devices (on screen and off screen) used in these sorts of movies. The now-hilarious atomic horrors depicted in "Mant" are juxtaposed against the real-life horrors of the nuclear missile crisis, with interesting effect.

Matinee also offers a lot of not-so-subtle counterpoints between the atmosphere and common wisdom of the era (anybody remember Civil Defense drills? Bomb shelters? The "four" basic food groups?), and its stark comparison to what we know/think today. When this movie was made, the cold war was just over, and a look back to the pervasive feel throughout the 50's and 60's and its worrying about the "bomb" and anti-commie lingo makes the people of this era look supremely paranoid and silly, until one thinks about how even this has changed since the movie was made (think post 9-11: who's silly and paranoid now?).

The movie is enjoyable on many levels, although I feel the comparisons between the 60's and "today" could have been made a bit more subtle. As a counterpoint, my wife, who was never a fan of the horror movie genre, dislikes this movie--she also disliked "Ed Wood" for the same reason.

All in all, it's a wonderful movie that I'm glad to have in my VHS collection.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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