Review of Matango

Matango (1963)
a new video master in Tohoscope widescreen available
13 March 2004
First a correction : the making year and distribution release year in Japan of MATANGO is 1962 and not 1963. It is of course a very good movie from Inoshiro Honda, the father of "Kaiju Eiga" and every cinephile knows what that means. Besides, it is a "Kaiju eiga" (= "monster movie" as trasnlated in English) quite closer to horror than to science-fiction, even it is also a sci-fi, including mentions of the atom research in the ghost boat in which the survivors are living. It is closer to BINJO TO EKITAI NINGEN [L'HOMME H] (Jap. 1958) than to GOJIRA (Jap. 1954), both directed by Honda, if you want to have a comparative idea. Anyway, it is a very original movie in Honda carrier. Even it can remind, as a cultivate reader mentionned it, a W.H.Hodgson's novel. But were the Japanese scriptwriters aware of that source ? Interesting question. I am glad to announce you that in France, a smart distributor has bought the rights from Toho and distributed that movie in a beautiful Cinemascope complying with 16/9 TV screening : it has been shown on Canal + private famous French TV but I do not think it is available on DVD or video.

It was around one or two years ago and we have been able to discover it in original japanese langage with French subtitles : beautiful master and beautiful movie. Honda is my favorite horror and sci-fi movie director with regard to history of Japanese movie. I have recently written an "Elementary filmography of Kaiju Eiga" in which Inoshiro Honda has of course the main place, as far as Toho is concerned. MATANGO is a masterpiece.
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