A film director uses practical effects to deliver a bigger show when his new film plays at a small town cinema during the Cuban missile crisis. We review Arrow Video’s release of Matinee.
It’s the early 1960’s and America is gripped in fear. President Kennedy has issued a statement stating that Russian missiles have been located in Cuba and America could come under attack. With people scared, film maker Lawrence Woolsey (John Goodman) decides to use that hysteria to help promote his latest B-movie horror flick – Mant!, a story of a half man-half any hybrid who goes on a rampage.
In order to give his audience a new immersed experience, Woolsey also uses more practical effects to add to the show, including a shocking cinema seat, Rumble rama (never explained who that one works, but the room shakes) and a man in an ant costume tormenting the audience. If Woolsey gets the desired effect, a deal with a large cinema chain is possible.
Matinee also has a coming-of-age tale weaved into the story, with young teen Gene (Simon Fenton) looking to get over the fact that his Navy father is potentially at war by taking a young girl from his school to the cinema to watch the new horror film. The young girl, Sandra, is played by Lisa Jakub, whose next role was Lydia in Mrs Doubtfire. The film features many comedic moments and great lines, which can mostly be found during the Mant! Footage.
Directed by the much beloved Joe Dante, who was also responsible for such great films as Gremlins, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Inner Space, The Burbs and Small Soldiers; Matinee is one of those great family films that would have been forgotten by most but now, thanks to Arrow Video, we are given the chance to love it all over again.
Special features include new interviews with Dante, cast and crew, the full length cut of Mant!, a making of featurette, on-set footage, deleted and extended scenes, trailer and original artwork on a reversible sleeve.
An awesome package of a great family film.
Matinee is released by Arrow Video on September 12th and can be ordered now from Arrow.