“Matango - Attack of the mushroom people.”

The title alone is what made me want to see this movie. From TOHO, the people that brought you “Godzilla”. This unusual movie starts with a man in insane asylum telling his doctors a bizarre tale of being shipwrecked on a deserted island with six other passengers. Seven mostly entitled young people are sailing and having a good time. A storm comes up and damages their boat. They drift for a long time before they land on a strange fog encased island. The island itself seems to appear as if it is slowly decaying.

In searching for food they find another boat that had been wrecked in a previous storm. The ship is covered with fungus. They find a journal that warns them about a mushroom called “Matango” that is poisonous. For a while they sustain themselves with meager food stuffs they scrounge up around the island. Suffering from starvation one by one the castaways eat the forbidden mushrooms. Once they begin to eat the mushrooms they slowly turn into giant mushroom people.

"Matango: attack of the mushroom people" was released in 1963 and was directed by Ishiro Honda. The pace of the movie is rather slow, however, the premise of the movie is so out of this world that you find yourself waiting to find out what happens next. You are dying to see these mushroom people. It’s actually quite a haunting little film. More psychological thriller than horror. A sort of doomsday movie on a desert island.

The slowness is probably to add character development but all it did was make me want to see everybody a mushroom person. I really didn’t like any of them. Each one personifies there own deadly sin. Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Anger, Envy, Pride Sloth. For some even before it got to the point of survival of the fittest. If you don’t mind the pace it really is an amazing little film. A tale of seduction and addiction. There are monsters here. But they take their time.

There was one thing I noticed that was funny. When I started the movie I had English dubbed version running plus the English subtitles. They did not match. On screen someone would say “We found it and it’s first come first served around here.” Whereas the subtitle read “Finder’s keepers you know.” If you get bored with the beginning of the movie you might want to watch the English version with the English subtitles to keep you amused until you get to the creepy parts.

English dubbed

Japanese subtitled