|Matango © 1963 Toho Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Prolific director Ishiro Honda made Matango (aka Attack of the Mushroom People) 11 years after his iconic Godzilla. Like that famous kaiju film, Matango manages to be a highly entertaining genre film utilizing imaginative monster costumes while also engaging with social and moral commentary about contemporary Japan.
A group of rich Tokyo elites - the benefactors of the economic recovery of the 1960s - find themselves on a deserted island after their yacht is shipwrecked. As circumstances become increasingly difficult, the moralities of the characters are tested as they struggle to survive against the monstrous and radioactive mushroom species called “Matango” that infest the island.
Hallucinatory sequences, sexual tension and gripping suspense charge this colorful B-movie based on William Hope Hodgson’s 1907 short story “The Voice in the Night” (one of the stories printed in the anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents: 12 Stories They Wouldn’t Let Me Do on TV).
This 35mm print is from the collection of the National Film Center, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
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Part of The Dark Side of the Sun: John Zorn on Japanese Cinema