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->''"Once you let that atomic genie out of its bottle, there's no turning back, gentlemen!"''
-->-- '''Scientist''', ''[[ShowWithinAShow MANT!]]''

->''"Grownups don't know what they're doing either, kid. That's the real hustle."''
-->-- '''Lawrence Woolsey'''

'''''Matinee''''' is a 1993 {{Dramedy}} film directed by Creator/JoeDante. Set in Key West, Florida during the [[ColdWar Cuban Missile Crisis]] Gene and his little brother Dennis live on the military base with their mother while their father is deployed in the Navy. Amidst the growing paranoia of the impending nuclear destruction, movie producer Lawrence Woosley comes to town to premiere his latest creature feature [[ShowWithinAShow "MANT!"]] and uses his unique brand of showmanship to play off of people's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y2Lbhwl23M fears.]]

The film received critical acclaim when it was first released but has fallen to the sands of time and currently [[http://www.filmjunk.com/2010/06/02/forgotten-films-matinee/ lives on]] as a CultClassic.

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!!The movie provides examples of:

* [[TenMinutesInTheCloset 10 Minutes In The Bomb Shelter]]
* AbnormalAmmo: "Men, fire your DDT missiles."
* AdamAndEvePlot: Sandra thinks she and Gene are in one after they're locked in the fallout shelter.
-->"What if we're the last ones left on earth?" "That'd make us... [[LampshadeHanging Adam and Eve]]."
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Sherry
* ApocalypseHow: Howard the Theater Manager as well as Sandra, Gene and most the theater patrons think the apocalypse has already happened.
* AndThenJohnWasAZombie: The Dentist at the end of ''MANT''.
* ArtInitiatesLife: During his speech comparing moviegoers to cave men, Woolsey draws an imaginary Woolly Mammoth on the side of a building. It comes to life.
** DarkerAndEdgier: "Let's put [[MoreTeethThanTheOsmondFamily some teeth]] on this thing and make it ''even scarier!"''
* AtomicHate: most folks in the '60s seem to realize that the ColdWar is JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope.
* AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever: MANT!
* AuthorAppeal: Joe Dante doing a movie about a movie about monsters.
** {{Nostalgia}}: Much like Rob Reiner with ''Film/StandByMe'' (set in 1959), you can tell Dante grew up in the period the film is set, as the early '60s are lovingly depicted in one of the few communities in the US (Key West) that still retains a similar vibe.
* AxCrazy / KnifeNut: Harvey Starkweather.
* BalefulPolymorph: Bill.
** The man who got turned into a shopping cart. [[TheyFightCrime He fights crime]].
* {{Beatnik}}: Sandra (who Gene has a crush on) and her parents even moreso.
* {{Blackmail}}: How Sherry's little brother plans on getting to the movies.
* BMovie: the film is an {{homage}} to the William Castle B-Movies with Emergo, Percepto and the like. Goodman plays Woolsey, an {{expy}} of Castle whose previous work was ''Film/TheTingler'' and involved shocking people in their seats. Actors are hired to work the crowd before and during the show.
* CastingGag: Several B-Movie Alumni are cast such as William Schallert and Robert Cornthwaite.
** ActorAllusion: The actors who play Herb and Bob are forgotten veteran B-movie actors both in-story and out.
* CatapultNightmare: Gene after dreaming that his father came home just as the bomb fell.
* CharacterFilibuster: Lawrence Woolsey delivers the film's message.
* ColdWar: got hot.
* ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch: In-universe with Citizens For Decent Entertainment protesting against ''Mant''. [[spoiler: It is, of course, a stunt to drum up publicity.]]
* [[{{Delinquents}} Delinquent]]: Harvey Starkweather of the big haired, leather jacket, wallet stealing variety.
* DuelingMovies: TheSandlot, another nostalgic film set in 1962 was released mere months after this one.
* DullSurprise: The actors in "MANT!"
* EccentricTownsfolk
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: Extensive (and oppressive) RealitySubtext for those who remember the ColdWar and how close the world came to annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
* {{Eucatastrophe}}: Woolsey's expectation that the show will do well because people are seeking a release from fear of nuclear annihilation. Woolsey gives a speech about the phenomenon, comparing moviegoers to cave men seeking to confront their fear of the unknown.
* ExcitedShowTitle: "MANT!"
* {{Expy}}: Aside from Lawrence Woolsey being one to William Castle, Harvey Starkweather is one to the teenaged spree murderer ''Charles'' Starkweather, [[ItMakesSenseInContext which makes sense when you think about it]].
** Poor Bill. He is ''TWO'' in the ShoutOut section.
* FluffyTheTerrible
-->'''General:''' What in creation do you call that thing?
-->'''Carol:''' Bill.
* TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou:
** When Harvey Starkweather goes on a rampage in his rubber suit, audience members mistake it for part of the show.
** The end of the film causes a riot when Woolsey switches to a reel showing an atomic bomb blowing up the screen and burning away the film stock.
* FriendlessBackground: Gene. With his Dad in the Navy, they move around a lot.
* FreerangeChildren: Justified as this was rather common in at the time. Plus, they live in [[ShiningCity Key West]].
* HeyItsThatGuy: Dante regulars Robert Picardo and Dick Mill as the nervous theater manager and one of the actors hired to "protest" MANT!, respectively.
** [[InvasionOfTheBodySnatchers Kevin McCarthy]] as The General in "MANT!"
** NaomiWatts and [[Series/EerieIndiana Mr. Radford]] get upstaged by a shopping cart in one of the movies-within-a-movie.
* HoldingHands: A big deal between Gene and Sandra.
* HonorBeforeReason: Woolsey is willing to pay off Harvey for Sherry's safety when he needed the money for his bill collectors.
** Gene thinks that the theater managers trying to break in to the sealed bomb shelter are starving [[AfterTheEnd atomic mutants]] bent on [[StupidEvil killing them]] for food. Sandra responds: [[FriendToAllLivingThings "Then we have a duty to let them in!"]]
* HurricaneOfPuns: Bill makes them to deal with his transformation.
-->You think this is a picnic for me?! Ha ha ha ha! Did you hear what I just said, get it? [[DontExplainTheJoke Ant, picnic?]] What am I, alone here?
-->''(scientist picks up bug spray)''
* ILoveNuclearPower: Actually, people hate it, but the trope is about how "MANT!" is formed.
-->'''Scientist:''' "Young man. I'm afraid you've suffered some of the worst of what our... ''mighty little friend, the atom'' has to offer! It can power a city... ''or level it!"''
* {{Jerkass}}: Andy.
* LaymansTerms: A RunningGag with the scientist, who constantly feels the need to explain mundane terms.
-->"Are you mad! You exposed him the electricity! Now he'll grow at an accelerated (or speeded-up) rate!"
* MeaningfulName: Harvey Starkweather.
* MisterSandmanSequence: Pretty similar to ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' in this regard, but with more social commentary.
* MrExposition: TheProfessor in MANT. Also, the Dentist:
-->'''Dentist:''' X-rays, Carol. A form of radiation. An ant must have bitten Bill when he was getting his teeth x-rayed... Anyway, the ant's saliva must've gotten into Bill's bloodstream and gone straight to his brain -- just as the radiation, ''[[YesButWhatDoesItDo which is measured in units called Röentgens]]'', was released!!
** TitleDrop [-"So that's how he became a--"-]
-->'''Dentist''' ''(shrugs)'' "...'''''MANT!"''''' (ScareChord)
** Lampshaded later on.
-->'''Carol:''' Do you really think these atomic weapons could change Bill back?
-->'''General:''' You like to talk, Doc. You tell her!
* MixAndMatchCritters: Bill aka MANT!
* [[ShowWithinAShow Movie Within A Movie]]: MANT! Is a completely recreated 50s-style B-Movie. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y2Lbhwl23M Exerpts]] of it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aT8hzyE_CRI exist]] online.
** Also "The Shook Up Shopping Cart".
* MoralGuardians: Woolsey commissions actors to pose as these and picket his movies to generate publicity.
* MuggingTheMonster: Harvey vs. Herb and Bob, the "decency" committeemen who turn out to be tough-guy second-string actors on the run from UsefulNotes/TheHollywoodBlacklist.
* MyEyesAreUpHere
* MythologyGag: Creator/RogerCorman and Creator/JoeDante regular Dick Miller (who also worked with Corman) were staples of the B-movie of the 50's.
* NaughtyNurseOutfit: Ruth wears a nurse's uniform at the premiere.
* NothingButHits
* [[ColdWar Nuclear Nightmare]]: Gene has 'em. It is during the Cuban Missile Crisis time period, so it's pretty understandable.
* NukeEm: the Generals want to do this to Bill. "Once you let that atomic genie out of its bottle... there's no turning back, gentlemen!"
* OneMillionBC: Woolsey's speech comparing moviegoers to cavemen seeking enlightenment.
* TheProfessor: The Scientist in MANT! is a classic embodiment of the trope. He's also the OnlySaneMan.
* RealLifeRelative: InUniverse. Woolsey's girlfriend Ruth is Carol in the movie.
* RealitySubtext: The film-within-a-film is all about the [[ILoveNuclearPower horrors created]] by nuclear testing. Meanwhile, nuclear war seems imminent.
* RedScare: Key West is (shudder) only 50 miles from Cuba!
* [[SeeminglyWholesomeFiftiesGirl Seemingly Wholesome Sixties Girl]]: Sherry. Though she makes it clear on she's eager to get racy.
* ShiningCity: Key West.
* ShoutOut: The movie is a practically one long list of Shout Outs.
** The Movie Within A Movie, "MANT!" is filled with references to ''TheFly'' and ''Film/{{Them}}''
** MANT!'s {{Tagline}} "Half Man, Half Ant, All Terror!" is a parody of the Tagline from ''Film/RoboCop1987''.
** Lawerence Woolsey is a ShoutOut to the [[DancingBear Funhouse Horror]] stylings of William Castle. His personal introduction trailers which feature his cigar and silhouette are a nod to Creator/AlfredHitchcock, who is he is mistaken for earlier.
** Gene's room is littered with vintage monster magazines and B Movie Posters including ''Film/TheCrawlingEye'' and ''Killers From Outer Space''.
** JerryGoldsmith's awesome score includes themes from ''Film/SonOfDracula'', ''Film/ItCameFromOuterSpace'', ''Film/{{Tarantula}}'', ''Winged Death'', ''Film/TheDeadlyMantis'', ''Film/ThisIslandEarth'', and ''Film/CreatureFromTheBlackLagoon''.
** The Key West Strand Theater has several vintage posters including ''Confessions of an Opium Eater'' with Creator/VincentPrice and ''Film/WhatEverHappenedToBabyJane''.
** "The Shook Up Shopping Cart" is a parody of the Disney Family Comedies of the time in the vein of ''The Shaggy Dog''. Gene refers to it as "One of those [[{{Flubber}} Flying Rubber Professor Movies]]".
* TheSixties: The Cuban Missile Crisis plus cheesy Saturday matinee movies.
* {{Spectacle}}: Lawrence Woolsey's films.
* StupidEvil: Harvey Starkweather, The Greaser, who also turns out to be a kidnapper.
* StandardFemaleGrabArea: Both in MANT! and during Harvey's kidnapping of Ruth and Sherry.
* StandardSnippet: "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
* TheStinger: "Oh Bill!"
* StylisticSuck: MANT!, also Harvey's poems and "Shook Up Shopping Cart" (what mercifully little we see of it).
* TakeMyHand: Dennis in the climax.
* ThinkOfTheChildren: Herb and Bob pretend to be part of the League of Decent Entertainment in order to stir up ticket sales for "MANT!"
* [[ThoseTwoGuys Those Two]] [[ThoseTwoBadGuys (Bad?) Guys]]: Herb and Bob, who give Harvey a lesson in not assuming.
* TorchesAndPitchforks: The people in "MANT!"
* TouchOfTheMonster: The poster for "MANT!"
* TrashTheSet: The interior of the Strand Theater at the end of the film.
* TricksterMentor: Woolsey. He comes off as dishonest at first with his risky plans for promoting his movie, but shows great passion for showmanship and is very direct with Gene.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: The Scientist lectures Bill about how atomic energy is turning him into an ant.
-->'''Scientist:''' "And that's not all. You'll grow... ''(tsk tsk)'' get bigger!"
-->'''Dentist:''' "I'm ''sorry'', Bill!
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: Sandra recognizes the futility of nuclear drills and paints a grim picture of the effects of radiation. She is also a crusader for social justice, familiar with Gandhi and the plight of Negroes in the United States.
** This is probably thanks to her parents, who seem just a little out of place.
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