What a weekend!  Along with wrestling with income tax (finished the federal forms Saturday p.m., state tax to go) I went to a “matinee” movie Saturday night, then today was actual matinee time for a Bloomington Writers Guild poetry reading.  Matinee what?

Well, Saturday’s movie was part of an “Art and Legacy of Roger Corman” program the Indiana University Cinema has been running this spring, this time celebrating the sf/horror exploitation films of the 60s with a special nod toward Corman rival William Castle in the form of schlock film priducer “Lawrence Woolsey.”  The film itself is MATINEE, directed in real life by Joe Dante, and starring John Goodman and Cathy Moriarty as Ruth Corday, Woolsey’s long-suffering girlfriend, lead actress, and stand-in nurse (to have movie patrons sign wavers in case they die of fright during the performance).  And then there’s 15-year-old monster fan Gene Loomis and his little brother, his new Ban-the-Bomb girlfriend, his friend Simon and his new girlfriend (and her little brother) with her juvenile delinquent ex-boyfriend (who also writes poetry) just back from reform school, all coming together in 1962 Key West Florida, site of the premiere of Woolsey’s latest movie, MANT! — Half Man, Half Ant, in Atomo-Vision with new RumbleRama.  And, oh yes, by coincidence also occurring at this time is the Cuban Missile Crisis (with Gene’s father in the Navy and out with the fleet facing off with the Soviet Union).

Ah, nostalgia!

So it starts off fast with a nuclear bomb blast — which turns out to be part of the trailer for MANT! — which itself ends with another atomic bomb blast to clear out the theatre, in which in “real life” the balcony is about to collapse.  With the juvie delinquent meanwhile in an ant suit.  Getting confused yet?   Then add what may be the movie’s motif, as spoken by Woolsey to Gene toward the end:  “You think grown-ups have it all figured out?  That’s just a hustle, kid.  Grown-ups are making it up as they go along just like you.  You remember that, and you’ll do fine.”

You really just have to see it for yourself.  I recommend it!

So today has been calmer, and also sunnier, good enough weather this afternoon to stroll downtown for this month’s Writers Guild “Last Sunday” poetry reading (see February 23, et al.), starring Abegunde and previous Writers Guild chair and co-founder Patsy Rahn.  And not only that (to quote this month’s announcement):  “We are starting a new tradition at this event:  we will have a table for LITERARY SWAP.  Bring your literary magazines, journals, books that you’d like to pass on, and please take home any of your items not taken by others.”  For myself, I only brought a couple of poems for the open mike session, both this time from VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), “Leaves” (about a vampire competition runner) and “Night Child” (one who grew up as a vampire and “learned quickly”).


  1. Great choice for your reading, Jim! Loved your poem “Leaves” from VAMPS. I’m not sure that I will be in the mood to watch MATINEE, but sounds fun. I do adore Goodman!
    A Literary Swap is great to have locally. But our locals –well, I don’t thnk their reading habits would be ours. We do the Paperback Swap online and that has worked out really well!

  2. Marge, thanks. At the premiere Literary Swap, I got a copy of RATTLE so now I can see what the occasional buzz about it on SFPAnet is all about (not a terribly recent issue, mind you, but then, hey, it was free 😉 ). I do recommend MATINEE myself, though if one were looking for, shall we say, good taste, then MATINEE would probably not be to one’s taste.

  3. Sounds fine that you got a copy of RATTLE. I’d like to know what you think of it (privately is fine).

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