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Matango (1963) More at IMDbPro »


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6.6/10   1,611 votes »
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Down 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Takeshi Kimura (screenplay)
Shinichi Hoshi (adaptation) ...
View company contact information for Matango on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 August 1963 (Japan) See more »
Shipwrecked survivors slowly transform into mushrooms. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
One of the most beautiful and haunting fantasy films ever made See more (64 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Akira Kubo ... Kenji Murai - Professor
Kumi Mizuno ... Mami Sekiguchi - Singer
Hiroshi Koizumi ... Naoyuki Sakuta - Skipper
Kenji Sahara ... Senzô Koyama - Sailor
Hiroshi Tachikawa ... Etsurô Yoshida - Writer
Yoshio Tsuchiya ... Masafumi Kasai - Owner
Miki Yashiro ... Akiko Sôma - Student
Hideyo Amamoto ... Skulking Transitional Matango
Takuzô Kumagai ... Doctor (as Jirô Kumagai)
Akio Kusama ... Police Personnel
Yutaka Oka ... Doctor
Keisuke Yamada ... Doctor
Kazuo Hinata ... Police Personnel
Katsumi Tezuka ... Police Personnel

Haruo Nakajima ... Matango
Tokio Ôkawa ... Matango
Kôji Uruki ... Matango
Masaki Shinohara ... Matango
Kuniyoshi Kashima ... Transitional Matango
Toku Ihara ... Transitional Matango
Mitsuko Hayashi ... Nurse
Tsurue Ichimanji ... Nurse (as Tazue Ichimanji)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hiroshi Akitsu ... Guest at Club (uncredited)
Ryûtarô Amami ... Guest at Club (uncredited)
Saburô Iketani ... Radio Announcer (voice) (uncredited)
Yoshio Katsube ... Guest at Club (uncredited)
Hideo Shibuya ... Staff at Club (uncredited)

Directed by
Ishirô Honda 
Writing credits
Takeshi Kimura (screenplay)

Shinichi Hoshi  adaptation &
Masami Fukushima  adaptation and
William Hope Hodgson  story "The Voice in the Night"

Sakyo Komatsu  uncredited

Produced by
Tomoyuki Tanaka .... producer
Original Music by
Sadao Bekku 
Cinematography by
Hajime Koizumi 
Film Editing by
Reiko Kaneko 
Production Design by
Shigekazu Ikuno 
Costume Design by
Shigeru Komatsuzaki 
Production Management
Tadashi Koike .... production manager
Christian Alexander Moran .... post-production manager (restored version)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kôji Kajita .... chief assistant director
Art Department
Shigeru Komatsuzaki .... conceptual artist
Sound Department
Minoru Kaneyama .... sound effects
Hisashi Shimonaga .... sound effects
Fumio Yanoguchi .... sound recordist
Special Effects by
Shigeru Nakamura .... special effects unit production manager
Teruyoshi Nakano .... chief assistant special effects director
Eiji Tsuburaya .... director of special effects
Akira Watanabe .... special effects art director
Akira Watanabe .... special effects set decorator
Visual Effects by
Sadamasa Arikawa .... director of special effects photography
Kuichirô Kishida .... special effects lighting
Yukio Manoda .... optical cinematography
Hiroshi Mukoyama .... matte process
Hiroshi Mukoyama .... optical chief
Yoshiyuki Tokumasa .... optical cinematography
Sokei Tomioka .... director of special effects photography
Camera and Electrical Department
Shoshichi Kojima .... lighting technician
Issei Tanaka .... still photographer
Other crew
Samuel Z. Arkoff .... presenter
James H. Nicholson .... presenter

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Attack of the Mushroom People" - USA (TV title)
"Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People" - USA (DVD box title)
See more »
89 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The giant mushrooms that the characters eat were created by the special effects crew from rice pastry. The rice pastry would be picked up from a nearby shop that specialized in it, and taken to the studio where it was shaped and cooked. Because Kumi Mizuno was so well liked, they would add sugar and other flavors.See more »
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in Dead End (1985)See more »


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35 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
One of the most beautiful and haunting fantasy films ever made, 24 April 2005
Author: fertilecelluloid from Mountains of Madness

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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