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Matango (1963)

Unrated | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 11 August 1963 (Japan)
Shipwrecked survivors slowly transform into mushrooms.

Director:

Ishirô Honda

Writers:

Takeshi Kimura (screenplay), Shin'ichi Hoshi (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

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

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 <shill@harper.cc.il.us>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Castaway on a forbidden planet...Their craving for the strange exotic fruit...Drives them to madness...And unspeakable horror! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

11 August 1963 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People See more »

Filming Locations:

Hachijôjima, Japan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

At minute 12:40 the members of the crew rescue Yoshida from topside in the rain and spray. When the crew gets him below deck all of them are dry. See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits of the Japanese version are on animated sails. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Dead End (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

(untitled)
Performed by Kumi Mizuno
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Even better in black and white
20 January 2005 | by ceolen@humboldt1.comSee all my reviews

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 me—the 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, folks—you 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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