THE LAST MATINEE (2020) Reviews and Arrow Video Blu-ray news

 

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The Last Matinee will be released on Blu-ray in the UK by Arrow Video on December 6, 2021. Special features:

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed stereo and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound
Optional English subtitles
Audio Commentary with director Maxi Contenti
VFX featurette exploring the special effects of the film
Interview with director Maxi Contenti
Killer Attractions: Maxi Contenti and Ricardo Islas in Conversation, a discussion between the film’s director and star Ricardo Islas, director of Frankenstein: Day of the Beast
At the Premiere, featurette on the film’s premiere
Music video for ‘Espada’ by Phoro, directed by Maxi Contenti
Puppet Pal V, Contenti’s first feature film
Six short films by director Maxi Contenti: The Plastic Kingdom (2011), Popping Eyes (2009), Hobby Metal (2006), Les Escaliers Fruitiers (2005), La Galleta aka The Cookie (2003), Miedo aka Fear (2001)
Deleted and extended scenes
Trailers and teasers
Image galleries including behind-the-scenes and promo stills, concept artwork, storyboards and posters
Fan artwork image gallery
Double-sided fold-out poster
Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anton Bitel
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach

Meanwhile, here’s our previous coverage of the movie:

The Last Matinee is a 2020 Uruguayan-Argentinian slasher horror film in which a maniac is loose in an almost empty cinema. Original title: Al morir la Matinée [translation: “When the Matinee Died”]. Also known as Red Screening 

Directed by Maximiliano Contenti (Neptunia; Muñeco viviente V) from a screenplay co-written with Manuel Facal, the movie stars Yuly Aramburu, Hugo Blandamuro, Daiana Carigi and Pedro Duarte.

Review:

Any room in the hearse for yet another self-referential tongue-in-cheek gore-horror chiller/tribute? Yes, there do seem way too many of them. However, the gimmick here is that the filmmaker doing the honours in The Last Matinee is not some Hollywood wannabe still counting Scream franchise returns or a backyard-video outfit from Staines in rainy Angleterre. No, it’s Uruguayan filmmaker Maximiliano Contenti setting his blood-soaked feature in a movie house in Montevideo, expressly in 1993 (which gets the plot a bit around elements such as mobile phones, and which also lends a twinge of analogue/VHS-era nostalgia).

A madman in a menacing hood and rain-slicker infiltrates the cinema. Amidst contemporary posters heavy with Spielberg dinosaur and robot-cop imagery, the afternoon show is an odd-looking English-language Frankenstein horror picture (against expectations, this is not a counterfeit but a real movie, Frankenstein: Day of the Beast, hailing from 2011 rather than 1993 but shot by another Uruguayan horror auteur, Ricardo Islas). The item has attracted only a meagre, motley smattering of patrons – a nervous man on a date with a very lascivious woman, some young street kids, and a grouchy old man, possibly a vagrant, who is rudely hustled out the door by an usher for staying through too many shows. Thus, he is lucky to survive what’s next…

The killer seals the exits and begins to murder the small staff and the filmgoers, with a sickening, sadistic appetite revealed only belatedly and serving as its own explanation for the rampage. For much of the narrative – which unreels practically in ‘real time’ – the small cast of characters have no idea that unspeakable mutilations and impalings are taking place in the aisles, sometimes coincident with the bloodletting on the screen.

Contenti puts the grisly narrative together with a sure hand and strong feel for the grand Guignol stuff, nice use of sound and scattered bits of humour to set off the shocks. Nonetheless, roundabout the one-hour mark the gruesome elements and minimal plot start to drag, and climactic scenes suffer an excessive use of slow-motion (there goes the real-time plotting out the window). Studious horror fans may invariably wind up comparing this to Lamberto Bava’s splattery cinema-set Demons (1985) and perhaps even the tacky American entry Drive-In Massacre (1976). Well, somebody has to, I suppose.

Though a bit of a twice-told tale, The Last Matinee at least assures Uruguay a place in the international retro-nostalgia slasher-tribute pantheons. Now, Peru, are you going to take that challenge lying down?

Charles Cassady Jr, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:

” …Red Screening is a slick and stylish horror where the screams are not just onscreen. Maximiliano Contenti’s film delves deep into the subgenre’s tropes and cliches, acknowledging without being bound by them. It’s nicely done and cutely realised. There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking here, but it’s entertaining fare.” Backseat Mafia

“The killer’s black gloves and habit of hiding his face further the feel of a gritty giallo that might make those maestros proud […] Its to-the-point tone is neither comedic nor darkly serious, hitting a nice mix that’s mildly macabre while still fitting the bill as escapist entertainment.” Culture Crypt

“With its beautifully scary color scheme and cinematography, well-constructed characters and writing, and its over the top gore, Al Morir La Matinee is a fantastic throwback […] Not only is this film incredibly fun, it’s a movie that I look forward to watching again and again!” Daily Dead

The Last Matinee is a crackerjack throwback film that, while paying homage to its inspirations, eschews the unimaginative trappings some retro-minded slasher and giallo movies go for in favor of seeking new approaches and simultaneously being a valentine to classic movie houses. The film rises above being mere pastiche, and is highly recommended for horror fans of every stripe.” Horror Fuel

“The practical effects by Christian Gruaz are about as good as it gets and are the film’s highlight. A scene where the killer has to perform a bit of impromptu surgery on himself being a particular stand-out. Since The Last Matinee takes its plot cues from slashers, the stories and characters have no real depth to them. We know nothing about the killer at the start or end of the film.” Voices from the Balcony

Release date:

The film had its world premiere at Sitges Film Festival in Spain in 2020 and is being shown at various festivals such as Panic Fest and Cleveland International Film Festival. It will also have its Canadian debut at the Calgary Underground Film Festival.

Dark Star and Bloody Disgusting (the distributors of Honeydew) will give The Last Matinee a theatrical release on August 6, 2021, with On-demand, Digital and DVD releases to follow shortly after.

Cast and characters:

Yuly Aramburu … Maria Julia
Hugo Blandamuro … Hugo
Daiana Carigi … Maite (Brooke Shields)
Pedro Duarte … Mauricio
Valeria Martínez Eguizabal … Mama de Diego
Lucas Fressero … Niño Jugando
Luciana Grasso … Ana
Ricardo Islas … Come Ojos
Vladimir Knazevs … Goni
Juan Carlos Lema … Viejo
Fernán Moliv … Policía
Patricia Porzio … Gabriela
Emanuel Sobré … Horacio
Julieta Spinelli … Anglea
Julio Troisi … Vilardebó

Technical details:

88 minutes
4K
Aspect ratio: 2:35:1

Trailer:

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