Review of Matinee

Matinee (1993)
You Gotta Have a Gimmick!
12 July 2000
Certainly John Goodman portraying Lawrence Woolsey as a film director bent on all kinds of creative devices to lure audiences in to see his sci-fi/horror movies is a homage to the King of Gimmicks himself, William Castle. This movie is not great by any standards, but it sure is a lot of fun. It is a trip down memory lane for many. Although I am not old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis nor William Castle movies premiering, I am given a pretty accurate feel of the times through Matinee. The best part of the movie, however, is the movie within a movie....MANT...the story of a man that is half-man and half-ant. The scenes of this film alone are good enough reason to see Matinee. The one scene where the Mant character throws an ant farm to the ground and yells "You're free, You're free" is hilarious. The movie characters are also made up of old sci-fi stars Kevin McCarthy(Invasion of the Body Snatchers), William Shallert(Hundreds of films it seems), and Robert Cornwaithe(The Thing). Also look for John Sayles and Dick Miller in smaller roles hamming it up. Goodman is larger than life in his portrayal, much the same way that Castle was. And certainly, we in the audience that are great genre fans dream what it would have been like to help William Castle...I mean Lawrence Woolsey...make a picture.
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