Tagged: desert island
Humans & Mushrooms MERGE in MATANGO!
Hey fungi enthusiasts! If you’re looking for something truly stange & spooky to check out this Halloween season (and I know you are) then look no further- It’s time to take a trip of the sea shores of Japan to an uncharted incredibly creepy deserted island in 1963’s psychotronic horror: Mantango! I’m going to admit I haven’t really explored a lot of 1960s horror especially from Japan. However I’m a huge sucker for “stranded on an island” movie concepts and this one looked like it hit all the right beats from the trailer I saw. Essentially it’s like a demented episode of Gilligan’s island and much of the movie actually does actually kinda feel just like it, in all the best ways.
Visionary director Ishiro Honda paints an incredibly atmospheric nightmare landscape on the open sea, with a band of tourists on a fancy yacht who find themselves in the midst of a violent sea storm. Tired and hungry they take refuge on on a mysterious exotic tropical island infested with strange colorful mushrooms. There’s something extremely unsettling yet whimsical about the whole endeavor as the crew struggles to get along and and also find food that’s safe to eat there.
The most of the characters here I found to be a bit on the bland side, but it really doesn’t matter much because the beautiful bizarre portrait on display here of the island itself ends up as the true star of the entire show. The quietness of the foggy remote island lends much to the impending dread in the thick air as soon our cast of characters find themselves with hungry bellies, drawn to consume the beautiful fungi. It’s like they’ve spent the week in the garden of Adam-and-Eve but instead of colorful fruits instead enticed by mind altering fungus!
Matango is somewhat of a slow burn, but it’s a really fun “trip” right from the get go. All of the set pieces from the on the ship and especially the island are truly a spectacle to behold. It really makes me miss real practical sets, as many of the movies now in the fantasy genre just resort to bad CGI green screen backdrops. Being made in 1963, everything has that special earthy but put together carefully by hand look to it of that era, looking like some high budget theme park attraction, blanketed in roaming fogs.
There’s also some some legitimately creepy visuals to behold, every bit of Matango’s landscape looks like at any moment could come alive and grab you. As the tourists become more restless and frustrated it’s clear something sinister has taken hold of their psyche. And while the movie secondary moniker is ‘Attack of the Mushroom People’ I would say that’s a bit of a stretch here. There’s really Not a helluva of a lot of “attacking” going on until maybe the movie’s final 10 minutes, but it’s definitely worth the wait once the mushroom people do arrive.
Even by today’s standards these creatures look quite incredible, feeling like something materilized from a strange fever dream. Matango has definitely peaked my interest in Japanese movies from this era, this is a cool little mind bending bit of eye candy that’s that is most definitely worth a watch this Halloween season if you’re in the mood for something truly unique! I got it on blu ray recently from Far East Flix!
Stan Winston’s Incredible Forgotten Monster Creation in 1998’s ‘CREATURE’!!
We have two shark researchers, Craig T. Nelson and his ex-wife Kim Cattrall, as beautiful ever, along with their teenage son ready to get into some serious trouble in paradise. A rogue great white shark is killing people around the island, but this one’s ready to eat “Jaws” for breakfast. The secret weapon of what might have been a forgettable mini series if of course Stan’s mutant monster shark!
This creature is one of his best creations too and luckily it doesn’t just stay hidden until the very end. We get plenty of monster mayhem to behold and also a great performance from Giancarlo Esposito, of recent Mandalorian fame to up the ante here even more.
Even with its rather hefty run time it never drags, likely due in part to its charming cast of characters, bad Caribbean accents and of course some gooey creature craziness make this an entertaining little adventure.It’s also got decent production value, sweet cinematography, the lush setting of St. Lucia in the 90’s along with some pretty well done action and genuinely thrilling moments of horror. It’s stunning too that somehow one of Stan Winston’s coolest creatures made it into this forgotten gem. All practical fx too! I didn’t see a lick of CGI here.
If you dig his work this is simply a must watch. I did it in two sittings and after the first half I was hungry to finish the second half. This actually already has a blu ray that’s quite easy to get, I also think it’d be pretty sweet if someone trimmed it down with a lean edit to an hour and a half or so. There’s a pretty rad monster “movie” that could be crafted from the miniseries. Still tho at its current length even, it’s a fun, creepy, carribean vacation that monster flick fanatics should embark on!
The Top 10 “Stranded On An Island” Movies….Part 2!!
So my first entry I did on the top ten “stranded on an island” movies has easily been my most popular post here at Universal Dork, sooooo naturally I am giving a sequel to it right here, today! I simply love the idea of being castaway to a remote island, far away from the bustle of everyday life. There’s something about this idea that has always captivated audiences and it remains to be a situation I often think about every damn time I get on an airplane. So let’s not waste any time and get right to one of the most romantic, exciting and frightening movie topics of all time. It’s time to take a look at the other movies that deserve to be on this epic list!
10. Swept Away, 2002
Yeah this list is going to have some cheezy ass movies on it and this one here is a guilty please to start it off. It’s also likely the most well known of the bunch. Of course this movie was a box office mega bomb and totally panned by the critics.
However if you’re looking for a fun time on a stranded island with the legendary icon Madonna then look no further!
9. The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark, 1980
Here’s an interesting Disney movie with Silver Spoons star Ricky Schroder – Bonus right there folks! It seems that Disney was all in on the whole desert island theme as this was just one of quite a few that follow a similar storyline.
While this movie isn’t bound to blow your mind it’s got a pretty cool premise of flipping a B-29 bomber over on it’s back and sailing it to civilization! Continue reading