sorry for the mistakes!
"Matinee" had a place of honor in the list of films that inspired this
site. Those films that in an unsuspicious time trigger an idea that
slowly, slowly (very slowly to say the truth, but were other times)
takes shape. The first time with "Matinee" was in the nineties, late at
night, on TV. A film never forgotten that today I find in "Amazon Prime
Video". With some fear, because we know that memories play bad jokes, I
see it. And I can say that despite the time, the tastes changed and
less hair, "Matinee" arouses the same emotions that I remembered. That
is, fun and carefree.
Joe Dante perfectly at ease with the screenplay by Charles Haas,
directs a film that does not have a moment of pause. An endless series
of events that are placed between stories of teenagers and the history
of humanity, that spoof the fears of the world of the time. To John
Goodman the task of transforming the "ghost" William Castle into
flesh and blood, which, although never mentioned, is the inspiration of
one of the main characters. We know, William Castle, recalls the films
of terror, the b movies and especially his brilliant gimmicks another
fundamental aspect and trigger for the events of "Matinee".
We are in Florida, in October 1962. The United States and the Soviet
Union are fighting hard for Cuba's missiles. One of the most tense
pages of the Cold War. Gene (Simon Fenton) and his family live in the
local military base with their father already on board a ship for the
international crisis. A lonely little boy, with few friends, but a
great fan of terror movies, Gene discovers that in the city there will
be the premiere of "Mant", the new film by the histrionic Lawrence
Woolsey (John Goodman). Woolsey, (accompanied by his companion Ruth
Corday, a tribute to Mara Corday) as usual, wants to amaze the audience
and organizes a series of special effects that must terrify the public.
Chairs that electrify the spectator. Explosions behind the screen. And
the presence of the monster that interacts with the audience.
So, while outside the world goes crazy, waiting for the nuclear bomb,
in the cinema exploit the stories of the many teenagers. But an
indiscriminate use of the Gimmicks by the local hooligan, jeopardizes
the life of the public and especially the cinema itself.
Happy ending, very sweey but perfect for the history that enshrines that cinema is peace and freedom.
An intense and ironic tribute to the cinema of sci-fi and monstrous
animals and to seal the whole Joe Dante hires different actors of the
genre for the scenes of "Mant".
A great cast, who plays well with his characters, sees, in addition to
Goodman and Fenton, also Cathy Moriarty who debuted at the cinema none
other than the role of Vickie La Motta, in "Ranging Bull" by Scorzese.
Perhaps a film in black and white would have made better the idea of
the era (exactly as did Burton a year later with "Ed Wood"), but
apart from that, "Matinee" is one of those films that have contributed
to the rediscovery of that cinema. And a site like ours is infinitely