An experimental lab animal called a gargantua escapes from his captors and is suspected to be the creature that is killing people all over the countryside. But when the gargantua from the ... See full summary »
A librarian is subject to a scientific experiment which goes wrong and transforms him into 'The Human Vapour'. He uses his new ability to rob banks to fund the career of his girlfriend, a ... See full summary »
A journalist is saved by a giant submarine captained by a 200 year old man who takes him to an underwater paradise city where no one ages. That's when monsters and mutants sent by the captain's rival, a 200 year old scientist, attack.
Shipwreck survivors are found on Beiru Island (Infanto tô), which was previously used for atomic tests. The interior is amazingly free of radiation effects, and they believe that they were ... See full summary »
In an effort to find an economic means of purifying salt water, a joint U.S.-Japanese military command is set up on an isolated Japanese island where an unusual salt water lake is situated.... See full summary »
When a narcotics deal goes sour and a suspect disappears, leaving only his clothes, Tokyo police question his wife and stake out the nightclub where she works. His disappearance stumps the ... See full summary »
A group of pleasure-seeking young people are stranded on a mysterious island when their boat crashes. One by one they succumb to the lure of the deadly music. Written by
Steve Hill <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film was nearly banned in Japan due to the fact that the makeup that some of the cast wore as they were turning into mushrooms was very reminiscent of how many people looked after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. See more »
When Kasai shoots at Yoshida and Mami as he chases them off the boat, you can see the bullets ricochet off the ground before he fires a shot. See more »
The opening credits of the Japanese version are on animated sails. See more »
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.
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