Matango:Attack of the Mushroom People Reviews

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DragonEyeMorrison DragonEyeMorrison
Super Reviewer
½ March 23, 2010
Downbeat, pesimistic film with a nice sense of dramatic tension and social paranoia.
Drew S
Super Reviewer
½ March 8, 2010
I was really surprised to discover that, instead of being a campy old Japanese beastie movie like I expected, it's...well, it's still a campy old Japanese beastie movie. But there are undeniable traces of insight, originality, and plain ol' loveliness to it. Matango is astonishingly bleak, not at all the escapist fun that I would have expected from the English title, especially toward the ending. The soundtrack is mostly an aping of American creature horrors of the time, but it does them one better, managing to achieve a creeping unease. It looks fantastic too, not at all cheap like most of Japan's attempts at blockbuster cinema. Foggy, swampy and landlocked, this island of murderous mushrooms has an odd personality of its own that makes it surprisingly captivating. I can't say I was ever truly scared by Matango, but I did think to myself several times "this is actually creepy" and I empathized unironically with the characters.

The movie's strengths are sort of avalanched by its oddities; some of the human behavior is totally inexplicable, the premise at a base level is ridiculous, and the gun never seems to run out of ammunition despite being shot well over 100 times. Though well-drawn, the characters are generally unsubtle. It's also rather misogynist, with all of its action driven by the male characters while the females stand back and scream, but this is more an issue of the era and culture than the movie itself. Matango could easily be pinned to a wall and lambasted by any moviegoer looking for a cheap shot, but those willing to look at it in an appreciative way might find something worth championing here.
bbcfloridabound bbcfloridabound
Super Reviewer
March 11, 2009
Some How I expected more from Toho Films, other Sci Fi pictures they put out just seem to have the excellent plastic model effects when it came to tanks and jets, but this one had none of these, just people washing up on a island after their yacht goes a stray, and they find another deserted ship, with mushrooms growing wild onboard, and on the island, they all figure out if you eat the mushrooms you will turn into a mushroom, I ate some mushrooms in Puerto Rico one time and thought I was a mushroom for about 10 hrs, anyway most of the crew falls into the trap of eating the mushrooms. I am told that this film was banned in Japan when it first came out because it reminded people of the atom bomb victims. Not at all a good B&W sci fi film but I will give it 3 stars and add it to my collection of Toho Films.
Beefy Beefy
Super Reviewer
September 24, 2006
A total trip. No surprises, but good creepy fun in a 60s vein. No giant monsters, despite being a Toho flick.
Christopher B
Super Reviewer
February 6, 2007
Awesome film by Ishiro Honda. Genuinely creepy with a great story and excellent characters. I love the whole stranded on an island concept and Honda takes full advantage of this excellent setting.
Mike B ½ January 1, 2010
While the photography and effects in this horror story are wonderful, the story is a bit limp. The set-up is fine: after a yacht is shipwrecked, the passengers and crew fight amongst themselves when food becomes scarce. The story's main thrust is about class struggle magnified under such pressure, but I was more interested in the mushroom plot. Unfortunately, the mystery and sci-fi elements are never tackled head-on. We're left with vague assumptions about what's really going on with the Mushroom People.

Still, worth watching for some good performances and creepy scenes. And the Mushroom People, of course.
Gavin S ½ November 10, 2007
When examined closely, mushrooms are truly unsettling creatures. Therefore, it is odd that so few horror films have tried to explore the subject of deadly fungi. This is one such film. When a group of high society friends find their yacht wrecked on a strange, uninhabitated island. Taking refuge in a derelict ship they discover a log explaining that the crew of the strange vessel went mad from consuming the giant mushrooms, called Matango, that grow all over the island. Unfortunately, when hunger and fear begins to get the better of the castaways, those mushrooms soon become irresistable. The horror of this film plays on rather the opposite fears usually played upon in monster films. This is not a film where the terror comes from the monster wanting to eat you, but rather from you eating the monster! Famed director Ishiro Honda is at the top of his game here--the film is a slow build to madness and when that madness hits, it hits hard. The make-up effects are inspired and the cast is great--particularly the always alluring Kumi Mizuno as the group's femme fatale. If you enjoy creepy, surreal horror then you ought to love this film.
darkdial darkdial March 26, 2007
There's nothing else out there quite like this. Original and truly leaves you in disbelief as to what you just witnessed.
Miguel A September 12, 2014
Filme particularmente climático dos estúdios Toho não só explora as questões pós-atómicas recorrentes no cinema do mestre Ishirô Honda, como também desenvolve um possível paralelo com a história de Adão e Eva. Mas, quando se tem criaturas em forma de cogumelos gigantes num filme, tudo pode acontecer. As características do grupo de náufragos de "Matango" seriam mais ou menos decalcadas cinco anos mais tarde no semelhante, embora ainda mais alucinado "Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell".
Whitsbrain Whitsbrain July 7, 2013
A very different Toho Sci-Fi/Horror entry. "Matango" is dark and ugly. The characters are loaded with flaws and can never be counted on to do what you'd expect them to do. This offers up some fun in that there are arguments and situations that quickly escalate into life and death situations. And the weird part is, there's seldom a monster around that's stirring the problem pot.

More often than not, the crew and guests of their shipwrecked yacht fight for food and control on a strange deserted island. The only real rule is 'Don't eat the mushrooms'. While the mushroom threat sort of reveals itself earlier in the movie, the rather creepy mushroom people don't take front and center until about an hour or more into the run time. And yes, the ending scenes do get sort of creepy.

This doesn't fit the usual Toho creature feature template. It's odd and it's different and it's more of a tale of survival than a battle with beasts.
Aaron C June 1, 2013
Interesting Japanese horror film.
Shake Zula Shake Zula ½ February 23, 2013
Wow. Not only is this movie very well-acted, well-directed, and well-written, it also manages to be actually very eerie and frightening.
Jared  D. Jared D. ½ February 5, 2013
matango looks awesome
?????? ? June 5, 2012
Japanese movie without japanese traditions.
Ryan V ½ February 9, 2012
Ishiro Honda goes a bit outside of his usual fare by directing this story of some castaways marooned on an island once used for atomic research. The only food supply on the island is a bountiful supply of mushrooms, but those may be connected to the bizarre sightings of fungi-monsters that rove about the island at night. Matango is kind of like Gilligan's Island tangled up with the threat of radioactive mutants. Of course, I mean that in the best possible way.
Gordon Franklin Terry Sr Gordon Franklin Terry Sr September 5, 2011
bad dubbing; weirdo visual effects.

At the end the guy says--"I got hungry, Suzy and I ate one of the mushrooms"

He turns around.

Suzy screams.

FREAKING CLASSIC . . .if you're 7 years old.
Michael I January 25, 2011
A must see for classic horror movie buffs.
Johnnycitystar Johnnycitystar December 6, 2010
One of Ishiro Honda's most underated films and probably one his best ones. Matango. For some reason i don't consider this a sci-fi film as the monsters don't appear till the end. Really it's a character study film on seven close friends who were very close and when they land on the island they become selfish, Bitter and Violent due to the lack of food and water on the island they are stuck on. What really makes this film a gem is the well developed Characters and Powerful Performance we get from the actors. Let's get to the film

The story begins with Seven Passengers. A professor, A Singer, A Billionaire, A Writer, A Skipper, A First Mate and A the Professor's gilfriend(Reminds you of a sitcom) who all get lost out to sea during a storm and land on a isolated island with nothing but an abandon ship and a load of giant mushrooms.

When they enter the boat they find nobody in the ship but find some intresting items. A Box of Canned Food, A Rifle, A Captain's Log and A Giant Mushroom called Matango. After Reviewing the items, The Captain Tells the crew there's only enough food for a week, and warns the crew not to eat the mushroom around the island as it might be poisonous.

After Days on the island, The Crew become like rabid animals trusting no one. for example, The First Mate, Koyama Starts gloating about raping the women and finds some turtle eggs that he hides from the rest of the crew and sells them secretly to the Billionaire, Kasai. The Writer Yoshida and the Singer Mami are having a very close relationship and Kasai all he does is lock himself in his room and never comes out.

Evenutally, Yoshida becomes the first one to eat the mushrooms and suddenly starts to go insane from the effects of the mushrooms as he threatens to kill the crew and soon enough Mami joins him and they are banned from the ship also The Skipper Sakeda, becomes so selfish and bitter from the crew he takes the old yacht boat and the food from the Abandon Ship and leaves the crew for dead.

All that's left is The Professor Murai, His Girlfriend Akiko and Kasai. Will they make it safe through the island or will they fall victim to the mushroom?

Now when I first heard of this film, I thought to myself it was stupid B-Movie Sci Fi film, well I was proven wrong. This film is such a character Study we are given well rounded character that has never been seen in japanese Sci fi films. For Example All the Characters here in the beginning start off as happy go couple group, but by the time they are in the island, their morals evenutally change as they becoming untrustworthy, Bitter and weak. It's a type of genre i've never seen in a film like this.

Now Let me get to the characters, First I'll Start with Kasai the billionaire. Kasai is a rich wealthy man who swears he's the smartest and strongest man in the beginning as he wants to prove to the crew that not even a tropical storm can stop him and he was proven wrong and when he stranded on the island he become weak, pathetic and sucidical and evenutally eats the mushrooms. The Singer Mami is another character that should be mention. Mami is an attention getter, She wants all the men to go after her in a scene when Yoshida and Koyama fight they are fighting because Koyama wanted First Dibs on Mami. Mami is seductive and very controlling as she gets Kasai to eat the mushrooms.
Also there's Koyama the first Mate, a man with serious issues and a scumbag as he wants all the women to have sex with Espeically Mami and very untrustworthy when he hides a stash of turtle eggs from the crew.

To honest The Professor and his Girlfriend Murai and Akiko are the only two likeable sympathic characters in the whole crew. They never complain or moan about being straved or having to do work. They are the only two characters that the viewer wants to see escape from the island.

Now let me get to Acting as a recognize most of these actors from the godzilla films and a majority of thel give such memorable powerful performances that it's the reason why the film is so great. All them give Outstanding performances but the standouts here are The Singer Mami, The Billionaire Kasai and The First Mate Koyama.

Now let me get to the negative aspect of the film and believe it or not it's the mushroom monsters. The Mushrooms look bad and very laughable to say the least and the non stop laughing can get quite irratating as the only noise these things give is laughter. But it's a good thing you don't see them till near the end.

And I will admit i hated the music score here as it was very uninspiring and weak and no memorable themes here.

But Overall I highly Recommend you watch this film it's a mustsee for any film fanatic.
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