A Few Fungi...
and a couple of fungals. I just watched the DeAgostino DVD of マタンゴ (Matango) and found myself really lichen it. There's no room for mush here for this is a movie that breaks the mold for all others.
It was based on a short story by relatively obscure SF/Horror writer, ウィリアム・H・ホジスン or William Hope Hodgson who wrote The Voice in the Night (click that to read it!) and it was earlier adapted for a Hitchcock Hour called, Suspicion.
When I was a kid, I saw this and had nightmares for weeks. I'll let you know if the same thing happens tonight when I head to dreamland. Read all about the spoilered-movie here and you can even get a couple of soundbites such as the theme song.
The (badly dubbed) American version was called Attack of the Mushroom People. Following is a trailer and this link will take you to a subtitled version of it! I just sat through the whole thing in Japanese, perhaps I'll watch it tomorrow and see if there are any differences!
The cast is great: if it wasn't an inspiration for Gilligan's Island, it should have been. We have (Sing along:) Gilligan, the Skipper too, a Millionaire (alas no wife), a Movie Star, the Professor & his MaryAnne...here on Fungus-Isle! I was really impressed with slutty Kumi Mizuno who is still acting in at least 8 kaiju pictures as recently as Godzilla: Final Wars!
Here are several pictures from the booklet that comes with the DVD, including stills, cast, interviews and foreign posters:
Back here, I mentioned acquiring a few Matango figures. Here they are in Full Colour & Transparent versions!
That was odd, but even odder is that our fungus-friend shows up in Swamp Thing, to whit:
Matango, the first dinosaur Earth Elemental is created by the Parliament of Trees. He witnesses incoming meteorites from space and investigates. He discovers the first of Earth's fungal spore lifeforms, which were of extraterrestial origin. He unites himself with the alien mass mind and corrupts them with his selfish desires, bringing about the creation of fungal infections, disease, and mortal decay in all higher lifeforms. In his effort to infect and conquer the Parliament of Trees, Matango creates "the Grey" as a malignant cancer in the Green. Matango rules the Grey from his Chamber of Dreams, from where he abducts and often transforms hapless Swamp Things into his fungus-based minions. Notes:Matango's first appearance was Swamp Thing Annual #4. The Kryptonian "Scarlet Jungle" fungus (grown from a meteorite which infected Superman) was first shown in DC Comics Presents #85.