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Rich man Kasai (Yoshio Tsuchiya) has invited a few of his friends to a
cruise on his yacht, but unfortunately the trip goes horribly wrong when
they are hit by bad weather & lose their mast. All they can do now is
aimlessly drift, & soon thekir route takes them into thick fog &
they hear on the radio that the search for them has been abandoned ...
which is why they get all excited when they find an island, even though on
closer inspection the island seems pretty much devoid of any food (apart
from mushrooms that might be poisonous).
Eventually they also find a
shipwreck, a pretty recent one too, which is full of mold, but the crew it
seems has strangely disappeared, no bodies, not even a sign of them, but
they have left some canned food behind ... & some cryptic warnings not
to eat the mushrooms.
Kasai & friends soon decide to put up camp on
the shipwreck while trying to repair the yacht, but soon conflicts break
out between Kasai & his wealthy friends - TV-star Mami (Kumi mizuno),
writer Yoshida (Hiroshi Tachikawa), psychologist Murai (Akira Kubo) &
lovely wallflower Akiko (Miki Yashiro) - on one side, & the
have-not-crew - skipper Sakeda (Hiroshi Koizumi) & sailor Koyama
(Kenji Sahara) on the other side., & it's soon found out that the
seamen might be much better skilled in finding food ... the situation is
not improved much either by a monster, a sort of muchroom covered man,
makes a visit to the boat but disappears before they can either capture or
Further strain ifs put upon the group when Sakeda abandons
them in the yachttrying to find a safe port on his own, & then Yoshida
starts eating the mushrooms, & soon turns into a homicidal maniac,
& he drags Mami over to his side , too, later also Kasai, & soon
they all transform into mushroom-people.
In a conflict mushroom eaters
vs humans Koyama is killed, & Murai & Akiko can only save
themselves onto the ayacht, that has since been drifting back to the
island ... but without Sakeda, who has drowned trying to escape ...
though, Akiko & Murai have to treturn to the island fro provisions,
& while Akiko is soon claimed by the mushroom people as well, Murai
can escape all their temptations as well as their attacks, &
ultimate4ly, pursued by man-high mushrooms, make it back to the yacht,
even succeed in making an escape & returning to Japan ... but what
good has it done him, he has refused to stay with Akiko, whom he has
fallen in love with, has resisted eating mushrooms despite unbearable
hunger, & yet he is still slowly turning into a mushroom man ...
obviously this is a horror film that carries a strong anti-drug message
... yet despite the rather blatant approach of bringing the message
across, this is a rather interesting character study, in which people
under strain get at each others' throats long before the monsters
show up - & even after that. The decaying & moldy ship & the
fog filled island provide suitably eerie, almost unreal backdrops for
that, while the showdown qwith the mushroom people attacking is a pure
trip all by itself.
A far cry from the childish sci-fi-stuff Inoshiro
Honda is best known for in the West (e.g. King
Kong vs Godzilla from the same year) - not that there would be
anything wrong with those !