Matinee was originally released in 1993 and is now being presented in Dual Format DVD and Blu-ray by Arrow Video.
Set in 1962, it is written by Jerico (My Stepmother is an Alien) and Charles S. Haas (Gremlins 2, Tex) and directed by Joe Dante (Small Soldiers, Inner Space).
“Don’t you understand? He’s not a monster, he’s a shoe salesman!”
Gene Loomis (Simon Fenton – A Knight in Camelot, Chris Cross) is the teenage son of a navy family. They have recently moved to the navy base in the small town of Key West, Florida and he spends his days reading monster magazines and taking his little brother Dennis (Jesse Lee Soffer – In Time, Two of a Kind) to the movies to watch cheesy horror films.
After watching a preview of the upcoming film, Mant!, they are excited to discover that the director Lawrence Woolsey (John Goodman – The Big Lebowski, Roseanne) will be attending in person. They get home only to discover that their father has been shipped out and to see a TV broadcast by President Kennedy announcing the presence of Soviet missiles on Cuba.
Although struggling to make friends as he moves around so much, Gene does hit it off with Stan (Omri Katz – Dallas) and the two set about trying to find dates for the school dance. Stan is determined to win over Sherry (Kellie Martin – E.R.), a girly girl with a shady excon ex boyfriend Harvey (James Villemaire – Real With Me), who harasses Stan, whereas Gene goes for the anti war protestor Sandra (Lisa Jakub – Independance Day, Mrs Doubtfire), who takes a detention for protesting the duck and cover drill.
Set against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Matinee is an interesting look at the nature of fear and the way in which filmmakers have learned to exploit it. Lawrence Woolsey’s gimmicks, “Atomovision” and “Rumble Rama” are a clear nod to the films of William Castle (House on Haunted Hill, Tingler) and brilliantly evoke a nostalgic feeling of times long past, when attending the cinema was a far more personal experience.
Everything from fireworks, to seat buzzers to guys dressed as giant ants is thrown at an unsuspecting population, already on edge with the very real threat of nuclear war and on the home front of any potential action.
As well as a heart warming comedy and an entertaining tale of teenage romance it is also a powerful statement about the power of fear and suggestion and it’s effect on society. An excellent and very enjoyable watch, with lots of special features too, well worth adding to your collection.
- High definition digital transfer supplied by NBC Universal
- Lossless stereo audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Paranoia in Ant Vision, a discussion with director Joe Dante about the making of the film
- Mant!, the full length version of the film-within-a-film
- Discussion with Joe Dante on the effects of Mant!
- Vintage making of featurette
- Rare on-set footage, sourced from Joe Dante s personal collection
- Original theatrical trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
“They don’t tell you the truth. They tell you to put your hands behind your neck and they keep building bombs.”
Matinee is available to buy on Dual Format DVD and Blu-ray now and will be released on 12th September 2016.