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Matinee (1993)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  29 January 1993 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,662 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 55 critic

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

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(story), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: Matinee (1993)

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Cast

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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 January 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Matiné  »

Box Office

Gross:

$9,532,895 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mr.Spector is based on Samuel Z. Arkoff, the real-life head of American-International Pictures. See more »

Goofs

The aircraft shown flying along the beach are A-4 Skyhawks, which flew with the US Navy and Marine Corps from 1956 until 2003. Marine Attack Squadron 242 (VMA-242)based at Cherry Point, NC deployed to NAS Key West, Fla during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, therefore the aircraft shown are the actual models flown during the time depicted in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Lawrence Woolsey: [talking to theatre staff] I know some of you have never been in the motion picture business before, and some of you have been at it a long time. But I want all of you to look at the faces out here during this picture. There's gonna be room in their heads for only one thought: "Don't let it get me!" They know we can't hurt 'em, but they're still gonna be scared half to death. And all of you, when you thread the projector, when you tear the tickets, when you sell the jujubes, you're all a part of...
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 »

Connections

References The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Johnny Angel
Written by Lee Pockriss & Lyn Duddy
Performed by Shelley Fabares
Courtesy of Rhino Records
See more »

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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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