Attack of the Mushroom People

 (264)6.51 h 29 min196313+
After a yacht is damaged in a storm, its boarders stranded on a deserted island take refuge in a mysterious fungus covered boat. With nothing else to eat, some members of the shipwrecked party begin to ingest mysterious mushrooms, transforming them into hideous monsters.
Ishirô Honda
Akira KuboKumi MizunoHiroshi Koizumi
Science FictionSuspenseHorrorDramaFantasy
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Kenji SaharaHiroshi TachikawaYoshio TsuchiyaMiki Yashiro
SGL Entertainment
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4.4 out of 5 stars

264 global ratings

  1. 74% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 5% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 8% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

HPr LovecraftReviewed in the United States on November 22, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
This Movie is a Thanksgiving Tradition
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For some reason channel 48 out of Philly used to broadcast this every Thanksgiving afternoon. I immediately instituted it as a family tradition. Even grandma got on board! That lasted for a few years but the family fell apart anyway. Go figure. I have a family of my own now and we watch it every year. Personally, I watch it more than that. But that's my business, right? This is a unique gem in Japanese sci-fi/horror. The monsters are smaller than a skyscraper and are creepy. The costumes, makeup and sets are awesome. I was so happy to see this Amazon. I thought perhaps it was a lost film. I purchased a cheap DVD a while back and was disappointed to find it contained "Attack of the Monsters" not "Attack of the Mushroom People". Then, it was supposed to run on TV, and, guess what? "Attack of the Monsters " again. Apparently, a few years back these two films were packaged on DVD as a double bill. Perhaps that is how the confusion began. I was so excited to find this on Prime. The real deal! Pass the mushrooms please!
30 people found this helpful
melanieReviewed in the United States on March 4, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
“Matango - Attack of the mushroom people.”
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The title alone is what made me want to see this movie. From TOHO, the people that brought you “Godzilla”. This unusual movie starts with a man in insane asylum telling his doctors a bazaar tale of being shipwrecked on a deserted island with six other passengers. Seven mostly entitled young people are sailing and having a good time. A storm comes up and damages their boat. They drift for a long time before they land on a strange fog encased island. The island itself seems to appear as if it is slowly decaying. In searching for food they find another boat that had been wrecked in a previous storm. The ship is covered with fungus. They find a journal that warns them about a mushroom called “Matango” that is poisonous. For a while they sustain themselves with meager food stuffs they scrounge up around the island. Suffering from starvation one by one the castaways eat the forbidden mushrooms. Once they begin to eat the mushrooms they slowly turn into giant mushroom people.

The pace of the movie is rather slow, however, the premise of the movie is so out of this world that you find yourself waiting to find out what happens next. You are dying to see these mushroom people. It’s actually quite a haunting little film. More psychological thriller than horror. A sort of doomsday movie on a desert island. The slowness is probably to add character development but all it did was make me want to see everybody a mushroom person. I really didn’t like any of them. Each one personifies there own deadly sin. Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Anger, Envy, Pride Sloth. For some even before it got to the point of survival of the fittest. If you don’t mind the pace it really is an amazing little film. A tale of seduction and addiction. There are monsters here. But they take their time.

There was one thing I noticed that was funny. When I started the movie I had English dubbed version running plus the English subtitles. They did not match. On screen someone would say “We found it and it’s first come first served around here.” Whereas the subtitle read “Finder’s keepers you know.” If you get bored with the beginning of the movie you might want to watch the English version with the English subtitles to keep you amused until you get to the creepy parts.
10 people found this helpful
Linda LeeReviewed in the United States on January 30, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
when Beach Blanket Bingo and a Japanese yacht with spoiled rich kids goes horribly wrong
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What's scarier than a small yacht with seven testosterone-driven young Japanese men and only two Japanese women crashing on a seemingly deserted island?
Several things actually:
~ men fighting over leadership now that they are stranded.
~ men fighting over how to survive in a slimy fungus and spider web covered ghost ship now that they are stranded.
~ men fighting over the two women now that they are stranded and have no hope of returning to civilization.
~ men fighting over 24 cans of food found on the ghost ship because one or two of the men are selfish.
~ redundant fights and arguments.
~ men hoarding the mushrooms and edible roots they find instead of sharing.
~ men fighting mushroom men.
~ man finds his yacht and escapes the island.
~ man accused if murdering everyone on the island.

What could be scarier than the only thing between you and a ravenous mushroom man is a Styrofoam door painted brown? Nothing! The mushroom man always wins.
One person found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on March 23, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
More of a psychological thriller about a group shipwrecked on an island than monster movie
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While the title of the film might suggest that this is a monster movie it really isn’t. The movie is more of a psychological thriller based upon a small group of people being stuck on an abandoned island, and their will to survive or turn on each other.

The film stars Kui Mizuno, Kenji Sahara, Hiroshi Tachikawa, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Hiroshi Koizumi and Miki Yashiro as they get shipwrecked on a barren island. While the film is called the Mushroom People it’s actually about the castaways. As more time passes and supplies lesson they begin to steal from each other and plot against one another. Out of desperation they start eating the mushrooms on the island which infect them. What’s funny is when they eat the mushrooms they act like they’re high.

While interesting it’s not the greatest film. A lot of the story drags when they're stuck and can't find anything to do or eat. The ending saves the day but it takes too long to get to that point.
2 people found this helpful
SundayAtDuskReviewed in the United States on March 15, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
This Is Your Brain On Psychedelic Mushrooms . . . .
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This is a combination monster/psychedelic mushroom Japanese movie. It starts off with a group of individuals going off on a boating trip on a yacht owned by a rich man. I never understood why some of the individuals were even on the ship! Soon all wished they weren't on it, though, because a vicious storm approaches. At one point, before things got really bad and the captain and crewmate were looking out at the horizon in the dark, I must confess I wondered if Godzilla was going to slowly start rising out of the water. No Godzilla, but some great scenes of a ship being tossed around in a storm. The best part of the movie, actually.

Adrift after the storm, the yacht eventually drifts towards a deserted island. There is an old deserted ship on the island, which the castaways discover was a research ship possibly studying something nuclear. (While the movie was made 18 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, obviously the nuclear theme still was coming up in Japanese monster movies.) Water is soon found, but not food, and the rest of the movie basically explores human nature, and how desperation affects individuals. This includes some adult themes about lust, as well as showgirl fantasies or flashbacks or hallucinations or whatever they were.

Hence, I don't see this as a kiddie monster film, especially since the mushroom monsters actually appear only for a short period of time in the movie. I think a kid would be bored most of the time watching this film. The ending goes back to the very beginning, where the lone survivor is in a hospital talking about what happened. Having that in the beginning, of course, gave away how many of the castaways made it. So, there is no suspense at all about that. What was the purpose of this movie? Obviously not to scare anyone with monsters, except for those who get scared very, very easily.

Maybe the movie was supposed to be a warning about what psychedelic mushrooms can do to the human brain, and how they can destroy a human life. Or maybe it was to show that humans don't need drugs to be greedy and self-serving. The two women in the film certainly don't fare well, and both end up acting like seductresses, even the one who was no such thing until eating the mushrooms. As a monster movie, I would not recommend it, unless you desperately want to see a monster movie you have never seen, and there is no other choice. As a study of human nature film, I also wouldn't recommend it, because it seems too cynical and nihilistic . It is watchable, though, and is dubbed pretty well, so there are no subtitles to read.
Marc EllisReviewed in the United States on April 19, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
A masterpiece by Ishirô Honda- not really Kaiju - sheer poetry
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This movie reminds me of the Lotus Eaters from Homer's Odyssey.
It is also reminiscent of Lord of the Flies. What is it NOT is a Kaiju-style monster movie.

The mushroom people really don't attack anybody. They entice. They tempt. They lure.
This movie is a dark meditation on human nature by director Ishirô Honda. It does not take
place in Tokyo, although it ends there.

Japanese censors tried to ban this movie. The mushroom people resembled
Hiroshima victims. But it was released and was a flop both critically & at the box office.
Later on - it became a cult favorite among famous directors, Guillermo Del Toro, Soderbergh,
et al.

I won't spoil the ending but no areas of Tokyo are destroyed in this movie.

The ending is absolutely devastating but I knew I was watching a masterpiece long before I got there.
One person found this helpful
JoeB131Reviewed in the United States on October 31, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
The Japanese Version of Gilligan's Island Was Weird!
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Seriously. You had the Skipper, the First Mate, the Millionaire, the Movie Star and the Professor! It's Gilligan Island.

Oh, wait. This came out a year before Gilligan's Island.

So you have a group of castaways who are stranded on an Island and eventually start going at each other's throats when the niceties of civilization break down. That and the Mushrooms turn you into monsters. (Not to spoil a 56 years old movie.)

It was kind of an interesting psychological thriller, with weird rubber monsters because... Japan. Ishiro Honda wanted to make serious films, but his Kaiju movies often trailed off into the silly. Just like a metaphor for nuclear weapons becomes silly when you include a big rubber monster... a criticism of urban life becomes silly when you include rubber monsters.

So why do I recommend this film? Because it's still great, silly fun. And it scared the heck out of me when I was a kid.
One person found this helpful
Big GuyReviewed in the United States on May 6, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Toho's Creepiest Film
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Such a great hidden gem for Toho film fans! This film has such wonderful atmosphere, great tension and a satisfying run time. I highly recommend for any Japanese Monster Movie fan in your family. There's this great deterioration of the characters as they go from happy socialites to starving crazed castaways with eerie mushroom monsters closing in from all around. The dvd even has nice extras and is a welcome addition to my Toho film library.
One person found this helpful
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