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 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
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Half Man ... Half Ant ... All Terror! Joe Dante's simply delicious B-movie tribute!
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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