“Beware the mushroom people!”

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Matango is my favorite non-Godzilla Toho film. It’s gritty, gripping, mesmerizing, and utterly unique. – Jon D. B.

Cast

matango_poster_01  If you are unfamiliar with this film, boy – are you in for a treat! Matango is a classic science fiction film from TOHO studios, one that has stood the test of time much more-so than most of it’s era. The lead actors, specifically the legendary Kumi Mizuno, are all pitch-perfect in their roles, and the special effects are so funky it’s hard to look away.

The film begins with a man traveling to visit university professor Kenji (Akira Kubo) who is being held in the psychiatric ward of a hospital. The professor tells the strange man that while what happens to him sounds crazy – he 100% believes it – and that he is not insane after all.

The main characters all set out on a Japanese yacht for a day trip, eventually encountering a nasty storm that capsizes the boat. What follows is a garish island tale of zombie-like origins. Once the crew runs out of food, they begin consuming local mushrooms; desperate times call for desperate measures. Slowly, certain individuals begin exhibiting horrid symptoms – eventually turning into full-blown Mushroom people!

v7tmlsu5ajkbpqzlw47wipqbpiqThe special effects are ahead of their time, but remain just campy enough to give this film every ounce of glorious old-school-fun you expect from a Toho film. Japan at the time of the film’s release, however, was not a fan. The film was almost banned for its makeup fx so heavily resembling the scarring of Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s bombing victims. Aside from the fx, the score is a particular standout, written with a tense edge by the masterful Sadao Bekku The cinematography by Hajime Koizumi also lends much to the production; his vision helping elevate the flic above other humanoid monster flics of the era.

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Sold yet? If you love kaiju eiga or tokusatsu in general, you will love this film. Sure, it is not giant-scale, but the entire package is so unique you’re guaranteed to fall in love as a fan of the genre. If for nothing else, watch for Kumi Mizuno’s siren-like performance as Mami Sekiguchi. She’ll steal your heart – then your mind!

 – Jon D. B.

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Jon D. B.

Creator/Head of The Kaiju Fan Network and Skreeonk.com! I love all things Sci-Fi, specifically Kaiju Eiga and the world of Toho! Check out the Kaiju Fan Marketplace - updated daily with listings from Kaiju fans! Buy, List, and Sell for free amongst other enthusiasts just like yourself!

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