Pssst, want to check out Matango in our new look?
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A social political critical film with a some humour and a very good end.
The mushrooms are radioactive and over-sized, but Matango is not the giant monster movie you would expect from Godzilla's father Ishirō Honda. It's not even really the monster movie the American title "Attack of the Mushroom People" implies (the alternate title "CURSE of the Mushroom People" is perhaps closer to the truth). Matango has more in common with The Heart of Darkness than it does those kinds of films. A Gilligan's Island set-up leads a group of castaways to an island where you shouldn't eat the mushrooms lest bad things happen, but the monsters are really the people, slowly descending into madness as hunger and despair take them. Some of the characters were rotten before they even got there, like the misogynistic guy who thinks women shouldn't take ocean voyages because they're cursed. So the mushrooms are a metaphor for moral decay, a "mold" that corrupts the human soul. There ARE traditional monsters in this, but if you wanted to say they're just part of the protagonists' imaginations, I wouldn't try to argue with you. A bleak horror-survival film, quite atypical of Honda's usual filmography.
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #148 in TSPDT's Ain't Nobody's Blues but My Own
This movie ranks #725 in TSZDT's The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films