Featured Post

Featured Post - Mystery Movie Marathon

I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Monday, October 16, 2023

The Last Matinee (2020)

The movie opens during a rainstorm as we see a man sitting in his car popping some snacks out of a jar into his mouth before stepping into a theater to watch a movie. He is wearing black gloves and a nondescript raincoat, so Giallo fans know this isn’t going to end well. We also meet the other characters including some friends, a man with his date (who clearly has a weird agenda!), a young boy who snuck in, the manager, and a young lady who is covering for her father the projectionist.

With all the victims lined up the killer gets to work. Locking them in he goes one by one murdering folks as they watch the horror movie within the movie about a Frankenstein monster. The first couple of kills are sneaky and happen in the background or where no one can see them. But the film breaks causing the theater to fill with white light, and it is then that the bodies are seen. This sets the killer off and our survivors on the run. He keeps mowing them down as they first hide then fight back. Eventually the police are called and show up just in time to save the day. Though not before the movie hints that one of those who lived might be traumatized enough to maybe get to work themselves one day.

This feels like a Giallo with the look of the killer and the clear visual inspiration from some of those movies, especially the work of Dario Argento. But it also has a real slasher vibe to it. Less a mystery and more of a body count flick I still liked The Last Matinee. The killer turns out to be some random crazy who kills because he can and not for any particular reason or motivation. Though he does seem to like to pop their eyes out and keep them in a jar. Remember the snacks from before… apparently eyeballs is good eating!

The pacing of the movie is solid. It takes a few minutes setting up the folks in the theater and at establishes who they are so that it isn’t just faceless victims. This gives us just enough connection to the characters so that they at least feel like individuals which makes the proceedings easy to follow. Had they all blended together it would have made the story harder to follow. When the killings start the movie picks up the pace and we mostly get sequences of them sneaking around and hiding mixed in with chases with the occasional bloody murder tossed in for fun. This is one of the quicker ninety minute long flicks I’ve seen in a while. Basically it ended and I thought it was a very short runtime but nope I was just sucked in and having a blast.

snack time!
Speaking of the kills we get a very respectable eight kills. Okay technically nine, but I never count the murderer. There are a couple neck slashes including the “handy” girl (I did say earlier that she had an agenda, and it was a sleazy one!). A face gets smashed, someone gets stabbed brutally while screaming, a face goes into the mechanism of a projector, and someone exhales cigarette smoke thru a newly created orifice. My favorite is the rebar thru the kissing couple, which was a neat design. All these kills are done with practical effects work. If there is any digital assist I didn’t notice and I tend to not miss such things. If you like bloody kills you are going to have some fun with this one.

The Last Matinee is a neat Giallo/Slasher homage that has a cool setting and fun deaths. A lot of filmmakers have tried to make movies that call back to the classics but here they nailed it. I can’t ask for much more than that. I highly recommend this movie.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

No comments:

Post a Comment