Director: Ishiro Honda
Starring: Akira Kubo, Kumi Mizuno, Hiroshi Koizumi, Kenji Sahara
More info: IMDb
Plot: A group of friends are sailing on the yacht when a storm blows them off course and damages the boat. They soon land on a deserted island where they find a deserted, fungus covered wreck. They then find out that it was a research vessel examining the effects of radiation on plant and animal life. However, they also discover a strange fungus dubbed Matango. They also find out that the crew ate some of the fungus and were somehow driven mad. The group then goes about trying to find food and water without succumbing to the lure of the mushrooms. However, one by one they soon are driven by their hunger and desires to eat the mushrooms with disastrous effects.
My rating: 6/10
Will I watch it again? Nah.
#19 on 42nd Street Forever Vol. 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)
Think of this as a psychedelic GILLIGAN'S ISLAND but without the funny. Directed by Ishiro Honda, the man behind so many 'man in suit' monster movies including the first GODZILLA (1954), MATANGO takes a few minutes for our group to get stranded. Once they're on the island it's way cool. I LOVE the miniatures and model work. It's obvious it's not real but it looks so cool. There's lots of foggy, creepy atmosphere which is enhanced by a good score by Sadao Bekku.
The story is very good and the performances are good. The pacing suffers as does the impending doom. We get a small taste of the monsters about halfway through the picture but it's not until the very end do we get to really see them. I'm OK with waiting but the pacing is very liesurly. Normally that wouldn't bother me but with such a slow buildup, the ending seemed almost anticlimactic and devoid of any impact. I still like the movie but it's a slow go. The widescreen print I saw looks fantastic and if you can find it, it's worth checking out.