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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 mushrooms. Written by
Steve Hill <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When I first saw this film on a local late-night horror movie show, it was the late 1960s and our family hadn't yet purchased a color TV. Growing up with films and TV shows produced and viewed in B&W made me sensitive to the unique qualities of this medium, particularly the way in which it focuses the viewer's attention on the quality and play of light. It is this element of "Matango" which most impressed methe cold ethereal light of the fog-shrouded forest covered in great lumps of pallid fungus sent a real shiver down my back. Although I had cut my teeth on such midnight horror movies, this one actually stole away my sleep for a couple nights!
Over time I had lost track of this film. The Saturday Night horror show became a thing of the past and no one seemed interested in rebroadcasting these old films. Then very recently, on a lark, I asked our local (independent) video rental place if they had this film in their data base, and Lo! there it was, available on VHS. They ordered it, held it for me, I rented it and prepared to sit down and be scared by it again after a hiatus of over 25 years.
Imagine my surprise to find that the film is in color! In color, it didn't have the same impact at all as it did when I watched it on our B&W TV back home. Quickly, before it got too deep into the story, I changed all the settings on my TV to a nicely balanced black and white, and WOW! There it was, the scariness, the moodiness, the mystery, and the visual subtleties which make it a very nice piece of art.
Really, folksyou gotta see this film in black and white to really appreciate how well it was photographed, lighted, constructed and dressed. This is quite a gem of a film, but one which should have been in black and white to begin with.
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