Wednesday, April 05, 2006


"You fool! She's half-mushroom!"

Ishiro Honda's 1963 film Matango (aka Attack of the Mushroom People) could be construed to be about food poisoning in its most hideous manifestation imaginable. Or possibly a warning of the perils of drug use, or even more so (due to the time it was produced) a statement on nuclear war. It illustratively weaves a tale of seven doom-fated passengers taking a leisurely sail aboard a yacht. This film is one of a kind in its depiction of madness via fungi ingestation. The passengers upon being shipwrecked due to a storm find themselves on a seemingly deserted island. However, they stumble upon another dilapidated ship, which is almost entirely covered in a fungus. Seeking refuge within the weathered boat they ingest some mushrooms found inside. Although warned not to eat them some let their hunger take control. This is where the story begins its nasty turn. The Matango DVD has a great many features including actor commentary. But also a very wonderful (and unusual) spoken word segment from Matango's writer Masami Fukushima. The viewer has the option of having English subtitles with the original Japanese soundtrack or English dubbing. I enjoy having both options. Definitely a must own movie. It contains the exact amount expected of spooky atmosphere and eerie effects.


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