Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Miracle Of The Season

Go Ahead. Take A Break From Your Busy Holiday.

The 1993 film, Matinee ! was (one Dog's opinion; there have to be miscreant throwback troglodyte maniacs individuals out there who believe it's a cinematic gem) a failed coming-of-age movie set in Key West, Florida -- only an SRBM's throw away from the island of Cuba -- and during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962, no less.

One of its subplots was the arrival in town of a hucksterish film producer,  Lawrence Woolsey (John Goodman), who was out in The Sticks doing some audience research of a B-grade sci-fi movie before its full release. The real story line of the film was about the experience of two 10 to 12-year-old boys in Key West whose fathers were Navy aviators on end-of-the-world alert, and their Mom.

The only thing notable about Matinee was the B-grade movie being shown in Key west's local walk-in theatre, entitled MANT !, a typical man-exposed-to-radiation, mutates-into-giant-Ant story, the kind that would later become classic fodder for MST3K.  Snippets of this, uh, 'effort' were shown as a film-within-the-film as "Maintee" progressed; at least two of the actors performing in it, William Schallert and Kevin McCarthy, had appeared in actual sci-fi films in the 50's and 60's (McCarthy in the original 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers', among others; Schallert worked on scores of television series, most notably in The Patty Duke Show), which increases the Camp factor for Dogs of a certain age.

While Goodman had received top billing in this, uh, 'effort', his actual on-screen time didn't amount to much. It was noted that, when the last take of his character's last scene was completed, Goodman was supposed to have looked around at the rest of the cast and crew, said, "So long, suckers!", then walked to his convertible parked just off-set and drove off without another word or backward glance.

It's a miracle that someone took the time in 2013 to stitch these clips together into a coherent reconstruction. Isn't it?  Of course it is.

Because this is the season for miracles. Or, something. Isn't it?