Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

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Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

Postby tbeasley » Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:03 pm

Didn't see a thread for this so here we go.

This is definitely one of Honda's more adult films alongside The H-Man (I have not seen his other mutant film The Human Vapor). In fact, The H-Man feels like a precursor to Matango in many ways, especially the spooky and atmospheric ghost ship sequence. Matango is basically the feature film version of that as you see the characters and their environment slowly deteriorate. It's almost the opposite of his larger scale films where people, entire nations, band together to take on a global threat. Here a tiny group of people eat at each other until tragedy strikes for all of them.

Unfortunately the final twist was ruined for me thanks to the back of the Media Blasters DVD, but it's still a very striking note to end the film on. I'd really love to see this film receive a Criterion alongside Godzilla.

Here's a nice article on the movie with the original short story by William Hope Hodgson -
http://www.scifijapan.com/articles/2007 ... t-matango/
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Re: Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

Postby klen7 » Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:47 am

This is my favorite non-giant monster Toho flick.

This is actually one of the few movies where i love the original, but i'd be very excited for a modern American remake
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Re: Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

Postby DannyBeane » Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:06 pm

I think this might be the opening film for for my Ocotober movie Marathon. I love Matango and that ending was fantastic.
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Re: Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

Postby eabaker » Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:57 pm

klen7 wrote:This is my favorite non-giant monster Toho flick.

This is actually one of the few movies where i love the original, but i'd be very excited for a modern American remake


Huh. I'm trying to imagine what a modern American version would look like. If it were an understated mixture of haunted house and body horror elements, I could imagine it maybe... I just find most modern American horror so overstated and cheesy, though...

And I'd say it's my favorite Toho non-giant monster flick (meaning, "monster" modifies "flick," and "non-giant" modifies "monster").
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Re: Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

Postby klen7 » Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:48 pm

I think the body horror aspect is the easy part, i'd want to see good acting convey the psychological horror elements as well.
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Re: Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

Postby DannyBeane » Sun Sep 06, 2015 12:23 am

klen7 wrote:I think the body horror aspect is the easy part, i'd want to see good acting convey the psychological horror elements as well.

I want good set design. A creepy forest of mushrooms as well as a derelict ship. Movie sets these days look too polished and fake.
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Re: Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

Postby eabaker » Sun Sep 06, 2015 12:28 am

klen7 wrote:I think the body horror aspect is the easy part, i'd want to see good acting convey the psychological horror elements as well.


I don't really think smart, sophisticated body horror is an especially easy thing to pull off.

Part of my concern is that there'd be an impulse to include a bunch of damned jump scares.
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Re: Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

Postby Rody » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:17 pm

I've only seen Matango once, several years ago along with multiple other Toho toku films. I don't think I fully appreciated it then, so I really ought to seek it out again.
I wonder if Media Blasters still owns the license, or if it's up for grabs now...
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Re: Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

Postby MosugojiNoGyakushu » Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:03 pm

I was watching this drunk with a friend and we somehow came to the conclusion that this was Gilligan's Island on 'shrooms.It did have an odd surreal atmosphere about it combined with the castaways.The Creepshow movie from the early 80's kind of borrowed from Mantago a bit. The one segment had Stephen King appearing in it as a guy that gets infected with meteor spores and transforms into a fungus-y moss thing. Body horror/transformation was just starting to get rolling then but Mantago beat them all to the punch.
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Re: Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

Postby The Great MM » Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:04 pm

Ugh. The sheer hype this movie got before I saw it is why I hate it. If this wasn't from the makers of Godzilla, it'd have been long forgotten. Even for it's time, it isn't scary. At all. It's boring. Not a single character is likable. The entire film, every time I watch it (which is about once every two-years with my friend Inferno Rodan), I just always hope something would magically change and something would happen. As far as I'm concerned, H-Man is everything this movie wishes it was. Add onto the fact that not are the people complete idiots, the movie is filled with "OH GODZILLA! WHAT TERRIBLE LANGUAGE!" that doesn't make any sort of sense. Such as the first "raid" of the Matango-man. So he appears, scares everyone... and disappears. Scene cuts to morning and nothing has changed. The first time something actually happens in this movie and it just ends like that? I want to bang my head off the wall every time.

The sad part is, the movie has potential. The premise is cool and the crew showed they could do some pretty good horror work. As said, H-Man is pure awesome. But ugh. This movie is a total drag. Would love to see a modern remake utilize the full potential of the Matango. I drool over what someone like George A. Romero could do with this.
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Re: Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

Postby jellydonut25 » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:21 am

This movie rules.

For the people who like this, you guys should also check out Goke (if you haven't), as I feel they're very similar: a group of people via an accident wind up in a terrible situation, with only one main character being a good person, and some evil outside monstrous menace attacking them driving them further to the brink of insanity as their situation gets worse and worse...culminating in a CRAZY ending.
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Re: Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

Postby lhb412 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:07 pm

This movie is so moody and great. Very different from anything else in the Honda/Tsuburaya canon.

I should really rewatch it this October! It's the only thing Toho that really strikes me as having a traditionally Halloween-y vibe.
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Re: Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

Postby Dr Kain » Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:24 am

I love this movie. In fact, I just did a review of it to kick off October.

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It just does such a great job with its atmosphere and suspense that it is easily one of Toho's finest productions.
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Re: Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

Postby lhb412 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:17 am

End if this interview with Steven Soderbergh is interesting: he's a big fan of Matango and wanted to remake it, but failed to figure out a deal with Toho!

http://lwlies.com/interviews/steven-sod ... gan-lucky/
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Re: Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

Postby klen7 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:36 am

this makes me sad a bit that they werent able to make this happen. This is one the Toho film i would love to see with an American remake (as long as a serious director is attached) and while i may not have initially named Soderbergh in my wishlist, i think he has the talent and the willingness to take risks and make the movie he wants to make and that would waylay any of my fears of this being a vapid cash-in
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Re: Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)

Postby jellydonut25 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:02 am

Toho can be so weird some times.

How often do you think they get phone calls about Matango? And I doubt they're making any money off of it...why not just agree to something and get some free money?
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