**½/**** Image A- Sound A- Commentary B+
starring Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan, Kevin McCarthy
screenplay by Jeffrey Boam and Chip Proser
directed by Joe Dante
by Bill Chambers Fifties monster movies and grindhouse sludge bookended Joe Dante's coming-of-age, and these twin species of B cinema--sisters in spirit if not in execution--often squish up against each other in his work as a director. The man who gave us the loving but danger-filled tribute to showman William Castle and Castle's acolytes Matinee (a better Cuban Missile crisis picture, he said ducking tomatoes, than Thirteen Days) preceded his tenure with neo-Castle Roger Corman (for whom he made Piranha) by covering every last exploitation picture of the early-Seventies for THE FILM BULLETIN.