‘Matango, Fungus of Terror’ (1963)
Here’s one on the non-giant-monster film’s produced by famed Japanese creature feature studio Toho (aka the house that Godzilla built). A bunch of Japanese folk head off on a pleasure sail only to be washed ashore a mysterious island, void of any life except for…, MUSHROOMS, AARRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH! The mixed bag of less-than skilled seamen (including a psychologist, a TV star, a rich mogul, and a writer – it can never be said that Toho skimp on characterization) stumble upon a deserted fungi encrusted research vessel, whereupon they find the ship’s log, warning of the evil mushrooms that grow upon the island. Of course, at some point, one of the group inevitably fails the starvation test and gives into mushroom temptation. The mushrooms, it would seem, alter you physically and mentally, causing a kind of fungi mutation. For a Toho film this dark little gem is fairly reserved with the mushroom creatures, releasing them in earnest during the last 15 minutes, where you get the standard 60s killer plants routine. Not a bad little film (and less than obvious drug warning), and fun for fans of shipwreck movies, or vegetarian fans of ‘Guliver’s Island’.
So step forward, who’s seen this little Toho gem?
You can see the previous 11 ‘Movies You’ve Probably Never Heard Of’ here