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Re: Matango the original Gilligan's Island?

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:45 pm
by DaiKamonohashi
CommanderJoe wrote:Its possible Sherwood Schwartz was in Japan and saw the original. Or maybe he saw a print at one of the Toho cinemas in LA back in 63?


Highly doubtful.

let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:03 pm
by menschenjaeger
First question - anybody know where they came up with the word "matango?" Nonsense word? Does it sound like something in Japanese? Is there a story behind the name (if there is, I sure haven't tracked it down, but...)?


I'd like to discuss some other aspects of the movie, but let's start there.

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:31 pm
by Tohosaurus
Isn't a Matango some actual kind of mushroom or based on an actual species? Obviously they went sci-fi with it, but yeah.

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:16 am
by James23873
I have no idea where the name came from, it would be interesting to find out. I only just saw the movie last year for the first time and instantly loved it. It's so creepy in a good way. The tension between all the characters, the gloomy setting, the freaky kids laughter coming from the Matangos. And I just love how they built it up, from a few glimpses to the whole scene where the Matangos attack the boat. The whole thing is just great.

Here's a link to the original story the movie was based off of if anyone's curious. Also very good.
http://gaslight.mtroyal.ab.ca/voicenig.htm

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:33 am
by Shōbijin
On the DVD the production members say that they made up the name.

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:03 am
by menschenjaeger
Shōbijin wrote:On the DVD the production members say that they made up the name.


How the crap did I miss that?! Was it the Nakano interview?

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:31 am
by The H-Man
I'm going to watch this in the next few days, so I'll be able to add to this thread shortly

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:58 am
by Arbok
I love Matango, a personal favorite Toho film and my favorite from Ishiro Honda. The tone is abnormally dark for one of Honda's films, only matched really by the original Godzilla and the H-Man outside of its relatively happy ending.

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:27 am
by Shōbijin
menschenjaeger wrote:
Shōbijin wrote:On the DVD the production members say that they made up the name.


How the crap did I miss that?! Was it the Nakano interview?


Either there or in the audio commentary. I wish there were more audio commentaries by original cast-members for Toho movies.

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:03 am
by menschenjaeger
It's a shame it wasn't a bigger commercial success at the time. Imagine a whole Hammer-esque stable full of classic Toho horror flicks from the sixties.

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:51 am
by menschenjaeger
60's and 70's. They had a string of iconic horror movies with an unmistakable "feel" to them. I think if Matango had been a moneymaker, Honda and Co. could have given us something to rival or surpass Hammer's output. Another "might have been"...


And one of the best things about Matango - without it, would there be these?
Image

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:24 pm
by edgaguirus
The Hodgson story is a good read, but the movie is equally entertaining. The laughing of the matango is very creepy, and the atmosphere of the film is perfect. I'm not a horror fan, but I enjoy Matango.

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:45 pm
by ScootaVaran
Shōbijin wrote:
menschenjaeger wrote:
Shōbijin wrote:On the DVD the production members say that they made up the name.


How the crap did I miss that?! Was it the Nakano interview?


Either there or in the audio commentary. I wish there were more audio commentaries by original cast-members for Toho movies.


Yep, the DVD has commentary by the actor Akira Kubo (really good and informative to listen too)
Interview with Nakano and a spoken word from writer Fukushima.

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:19 am
by menschenjaeger
I sorta kinda looked around for those about the time Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo came out. I assume they're a lot easier to find these days.

I'm still going to lament what might have been: There are so few "weird fiction" films, and so few of those effectively pull it off as well as Matango. Just imagine...Toho presents At the Mountains of Madness (1967). Or in keeping with the fungal theme, The Whisperer in the Darkness (American title Space Fungus).

I find it frustrating the way so many home in on the whole "drug metaphor" aspect of Matango. First off, it's not a metaphor when something is explicitly stated. Second, it all comes down to Kasai's little hallucination: What does he see? He sees a montage of Tokyo nightlife. In Matango, drugs are a metaphor for the modern "culture" of instant gratification, of the pursuit of entertainment and pleasure at the expense of substance, morality, identity, humanity - not the other way around. "Here, you all have to get to work..." or you can just eat the shrooms. They're an alternative to real life. Neil Postman's (read him) concept of "pseudocontext" comes to mind....

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:38 am
by The H-Man
Watched it last night, and one thing I noticed is that Mami "turns wierd" all of a sudden. They don't actually show her when she eats the mushrooms the first time, she suddenly is on Yoshido's side when he tries to kidnap Akiko the first time.

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:49 am
by menschenjaeger
I really liked that part - did she eat them, or has she just thrown in with Yoshida because he's in charge now (and to spite the others)? That scene asks some nice questions.

Also, didn't notice it until I watched the Nakano interview, where he talks about Honda's decision to make make Mami look better after she eats the shrooms...but Akiko is all prettied up in the mushroom forest, too, after her meal. See the eye makeup?

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:00 am
by The H-Man
And is Kenji infected with the disease at the end because he ate matango, or was it because he was exposed to it so much (and if so, does his presence in Tokyo hint at a possibility that this infection could spread to all of Japan?)

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:51 am
by menschenjaeger
I think if they hadn't put the whole "I ATE THEM!" bit in the American dub, there would be less confusion. In the Hodgson story, the mold all over the island grows on the unlucky couple regardless - being forced to eat the fungus due to the starvation was horrible icing on the evil cake. The fact that Murai says that he kept both Akiko and himself from eating the shrooms, no matter how hungry they got, is good enough for me. Add to that the way he says "for what purpose?" at the moment of the reveal, and I took it as unambiguous. The horror was unavoidable - it didn't even matter whether they ate or not.

Since the movie plays out as a metaphor for the social and moral decay inherent in the modern world, this interpretation is seems best and is the more thematically consistent. Struggling against the dehumanizing influence of modern society is, in the end, a pointless struggle - the decay creeps in inexorably. Just being near it all is enough to change you, permanently, whether you want it or not.

Regarding infecting Japan, they do mention early on how the fungus is very "susceptible to chemicals." A few rounds of Lamisil and I'm sure he'd be right as rain :D

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:39 pm
by TokyoVigilante
Didn't want to put this before the thread even took off, but one of the European language versions for War of the Gargantuas is called Katango; makes me curious if there was some connection drawn into this cut of WotG, or the name was derrived from Kong+Matango or something.

Re: let's talk MATANGO

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:45 am
by menschenjaeger
Cimmerian Dragon wrote:^ I hate when companies do stupid crap like that. What's worse is when they show you clips from the movie during the menu screen that would have been a surprise, had they let you see them when you were supposed to.


Sometimes movies themselves do that - when I watched Latitude Zero, the first SECOND they showed Cesar Romero laughing evilly, I thought "well, HE'S going to come to a bad end sometime in the next hour and half..." :D

"Katango?" Weird. It's strange what they do with these movies in Europe...the whole Hedorah/Frankenstein thing, for example.