6.8/10
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61 user 87 critic

Matinee (1993)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 29 January 1993 (USA)
Trailer
1:53 | Trailer

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

Director:

Joe Dante

Writers:

Jerico (story), Charles S. Haas (story) (as Charlie Haas) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Goodman ... Lawrence Woolsey
Cathy Moriarty ... Ruth Corday / Carole
Simon Fenton ... Gene Loomis
Omri Katz ... Stan
Lisa Jakub ... Sandra
Kellie Martin ... Sherry
Jesse Lee Soffer ... Dennis Loomis (as Jesse Lee)
Lucinda Jenney ... Anne Loomis
James Villemaire ... Harvey Starkweather
Robert Picardo ... Howard the Theater Manager
Jesse White ... Mr. Spector
Dick Miller ... Herb Denning
John Sayles ... Bob
David Clennon ... Jack
Lucy Butler ... 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 | Plot 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 January 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Matiné See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$9,532,895
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original screenplay by Jerico was very different than the final product. According to director Joe Dante, Jerico's take was more of a fantasy. It was set in an old movie theater at a matinee, and the movie Mant! is the movie that's showing. The characters are all the kids in the neighborhood and it's all about how they imagine that the theater is a sort of phantasmagoria of scary matrons, vampire projectionists, things like that. At the end of the movie the kids, now grown up, have a reunion at the theater only to find it's become a video store. See more »

Goofs

The Aurora model kit of "The Mummy" that we see in Gene and Dennis' room was manufactured in 1963, one year after the movie takes place. See more »

Quotes

Ruth Corday: He's not a monster, he's a shoe salesmen.
General Ankrum: [referring to her transformed husband] Would you let *that* fit you in a pump?
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 Son of Dracula (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Written by Burt Bacharach, Hal David & Gene Pitney
Performed by Gene Pitney
Courtesy of Rhino Records / Highland Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Memorable and funny
29 May 2003 | by lar3ry-imdbSee 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.


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