Matango

1963 [JAPANESE]

Horror / Mystery / Sci-Fi / Thriller

4
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 2795

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 21, 2021 at 02:38 AM

Director

Cast

720p.BLU
822.47 MB
1280*544
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S 7 / 58

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by fertilecelluloid 9 / 10

One of the most beautiful and haunting fantasy films ever made

MATANGO, directed by Ishiro Honda, is an exceptionally beautiful fantasy film from the mighty Toho. Bastardized for its American release, badly dubbed, retitled ("Attack of the Mushroom People") and afforded very little respect, its recent re-emergence as a special edition DVD confirms its place in the realm of fantastique cinema.

What makes this amazing film so effective is its seductively spare but intelligent screenplay, nightmarish atmosphere, serenely creepy score and stunning special effects. Tonally, it recalls underrated Japanese genre flicks such as "The Mistress in a Cave", "Horror of Malformed Men" and the delightful "Living Skeleton". Like the mushrooms the shipwrecked survivors of a pleasure craft are drawn to, it seduces us with its simple structure, pleasing taste and rich subtext.

The film operates on a number of thematic levels, but Honda's achievement is that he never allows the dense thematics to weigh the very human drama down. Like all classic stories of survival, human greed, envy, love and hunger are the engines of the conflict. The search for a state of being free of responsibility and consequences is the dream driving the conflicted.

It is of curious interest to me that the characters in this "uncharted island" fantasy include a Skipper, a Millionaire, a Professor, a First Mate and a Girl Next Door. Produced before "Gilligan's Island" debuted on American TV, it could surely be argued that this orchestration of characters was a template for Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of "Gilligan's Island".

A palpable sadness permeates the last twenty minutes of MATANGO, a sense of blinding melancholy that elevates it to a dizzying level of achievement.

MATANGO explores how we are all drawn to pleasures that we know may sign our death warrants while daring to suggest that death by pleasure is a demise more preferable to death without love.

Stunning.

Reviewed by youroldpaljim 7 / 10

If you are in the mood for a bizarre, imaginative, nightmarish fantasy, see this film.

I have noticed that many of the commentators in this forum have stated that this film gave them nightmares. No wonder. This film based on William Hope Hodgson's novel "The Voice in the Night", has a plot that is so bizarre that it could only have been inspired by someone's nightmares. The premise of intelligent fungus luring people to eat them and then the people slowly turn to "mushroom people" is so nightmarishly creepy that I can't imagine that Hodgson (or anyone else) could of dreamed this idea up when he was wide awake.

MATANGO (aka ATTACK OF THE MUSHROOM PEOPLE) is a surprisingly low key atmospheric Japanese horror fantasy. The film is a bit slowly paced at times and too much time is spent on the castaways bickering amongst themselves. There are some elements that I suspect were better developed in the novel. One scene has the two female castaways hearing the voices of dead relatives trying to lure them into the rainforest. This never occurs again and leads nowhere. I'm sure the stuff about nuclear experiments was not in Hodgson's novel. However, the art direction is excellent, the music creepy and the final sequence memorable. Overall, the boys at Toho did a good job.

I don't care what the Medvids think of this film, or the pseudo hip MST3K crowd thinks either, your old pal jim says, see this one.

Reviewed by Kabumpo 10 / 10

Dark and Powerful

The cast of this film all consider it one of their proudest achievements. This film is about false friendships, utter hatred, and abandonment of values. Constructed from William Hope Hodgson's rather simple horror story, in which a man hailing a schooner for food tells how the virtuous (abstinent) unmarried couple (himself and his fiancee) were in a shipwreck and tried to make their home on an island encrusted with fungus, first in a ship and then in two tents on an unidentified sandy substance, only to eat the fungus and become it, takes on a whole new dimension by placing the man, here a psychology professor, and his student fiancee with a rich couple together only for the money, a serious writer, and the two-man crew. Though they never abandon the fungus-encrusted ship for tents, they soon become embittered over food, and the men all want the virgin, not the rich showgirl. Hodgson was on the way to becoming a minister before he was killed in WWI, and his story is explicitly Christian. This film takes out explicit religion (though the Japanese version has a brief scene related to Akiko's Shinto beliefs, which was deleted because most Americans wouldn't understand it), but retains the morals. The psychologist is unable to cope with the degrading values, particularly after the mate is shot over money (useless) and turtle eggs (food). The skipper takes the ship (which isn't his, Kasai wearing a captain's uniform to prove it (and how stuck up he is)) after repairing it, without anyone else, but he dies at sea, Murai soon finding the abandoned ship. The voyage reveals the true character of the relationships with one another, and their attempts to break down the virtuous couple, which ends with the psychologist in the asylum, where he tells his story. He gets succumbed, too. "My friends are alive; I'm the one who died," he tells them. The crew dead, his friends are left on the island, slowly merging with the fungus...

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