Sunday, October 23, 2011

Phantom Film Festival: Matango

"Matango," also known as "Attack of the Mushroom People," is a dark horror film from the storied Toho production team that brought Godzilla to life. It features a who's who of the Toho acting stable, most notably Akira Kubo and Kumi Mizuno.

The movie tells a deceptively simple story of a group of Tokyo natives who are shipwrecked on a desolate island. When their rations run low, loyalties shift and civility wanes. However, there are plenty of mushrooms to a horrific cost.

There are no cheap scares here; instead, a sense of unrelenting dread builds throughout the story. Neither is there a marauding monster to be found, despite the "attack" of the anglicized title; instead, the evil strikes from within, as lust, greed, and despair drives the course of action taken by the castaways.

"Matango" is ultimately a merciless meditation on human nature, and for that reason, it just may be the scariest movie we'll watch during our film fest.

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