6.5/10
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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

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 »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Fungus (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

(untitled)
Performed by Kumi Mizuno
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dark and Powerful
1 December 1998 | by KabumpoSee all my reviews

The cast of this film all consider it one of their proudest achievements. This film is about false friendships, utter hatred, and abandonment of values. Constructed from William Hope Hodgson's rather simple horror story, in which a man hailing a schooner for food tells how the virtuous (abstinent) unmarried couple (himself and his fiancee) were in a shipwreck and tried to make their home on an island encrusted with fungus, first in a ship and then in two tents on an unidentified sandy substance, only to eat the fungus and become it, takes on a whole new dimension by placing the man, here a psychology professor, and his student fiancee with a rich couple together only for the money, a serious writer, and the two-man crew. Though they never abandon the fungus-encrusted ship for tents, they soon become embittered over food, and the men all want the virgin, not the rich showgirl. Hodgson was on the way to becoming a minister before he was killed in WWI, and his story is explicitly Christian. This film takes out explicit religion (though the Japanese version has a brief scene related to Akiko's Shinto beliefs, which was deleted because most Americans wouldn't understand it), but retains the morals. The psychologist is unable to cope with the degrading values, particularly after the mate is shot over money (useless) and turtle eggs (food). The skipper takes the ship (which isn't his, Kasai wearing a captain's uniform to prove it (and how stuck up he is)) after repairing it, without anyone else, but he dies at sea, Murai soon finding the abandoned ship. The voyage reveals the true character of the relationships with one another, and their attempts to break down the virtuous couple, which ends with the psychologist in the asylum, where he tells his story. He gets succumbed, too. "My friends are alive; I'm the one who died," he tells them. The crew dead, his friends are left on the island, slowly merging with the fungus...


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