A compilation film designed to evoke nostalgia for the shared entertainment experiences of early baby boomers, "The Movie Orgy" includes clips from television programs and B-movies of the ... See full summary »
Ngo Dinh Diem,
Dwight D. Eisenhower
In this satire on 70s B-movie industry, a young ditsy pretty blond arrives in Hollywood to try her luck as an actress. After some mishap, a shady agent finds her a job with a sleazy B-movie crew plagued by strange deadly accidents.
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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.
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