Hidden in the shadows, intertwined with virtually everything on the planet, mushrooms and fungus are an incredible dynamic force - they stink, ooze, metabolize, synthesize and decompose their way down a path of inebriation, murder and mayhem.


This film will be the first full-length documentary about the role and scope of fungus in our lives and environment; exploring a vast, untapped, and forgotten kingdom. Fungi are a branch of life as diverse and important as either the plant or animal kingdom, and yet people know very little about them. Hundreds of millions of years older than plant life and sharing a closer genetic make-up with animals, the fungi remain a mystery. Underworld: The Fun, Violent, Sexy Mushroom Movie will challenge its viewers to accept some radical ideas about communication, individuality, sexuality and the nature of death. In the fungal world sexual pairings are enormously intricate, allowing as many as 21000 pairings - a concept that humans have a hard time grasping. The largest organism on the planet is a single fungus in Oregon that stretches over 2200 acres.

This film will delve into this unexplored underworld, into the lost, forgotten and maligned kingdom, exposing the underground fungal network, mycelium, as a primary force of nature. Some cultures, such as the Japanese, Siberians, and Eastern Europeans, have maintained their cultural connections to mushrooms. However, for the most part, the Western World sits in ignorance, forgetting the wealth of knowledge that exists concerning mushrooms - their medicinal and nutritional values, their significance in ecological maintenance and sustainability, their religious and spiritual uses, and their overall beauty and complexity. Ours has become a culture where we've been suckered into believing that there is only one kind of mushroom (because it is the only one available in the stores), that it has no nutritional value, that it is a vegetable, and that all other mushrooms are deadly and should be avoided.
It is time to put our heads back in the ground and remember what is actually going on!

Underworld:The Fun, Violent, Sexy Mushroom Movie will break down into three main parts. The first section will identify the concepts of the fungal world, such as the difference between a mushroom and the fungal network beneath it. The interconnected relationship that the underground network called mycelium has with plants and trees will be explained, as will the role of fungus as the planet's main decomposer. This first section will be called Nature's Internet.


The next section will explore the relation and role of mushrooms and fungus in the course of human life. They are, after all, responsible for our beer and wines, breads and cheeses, as well as vitally important medicines such as penicillin. They've brought us the Irish potato famine, massive epidemics and horrible deaths. They are also responsible for the Viking Berserkers and the discovery of LSD. This section will be called The Player.


The final section will explore the future and the importance of fungus to new economies and to the sustenance of our environment. The field of biotechnology will be explored, along with fungal uses in the degradation of toxic waste, the implementation of drug-war spraying techniques and as the combatant of nerve gasses. Of the estimated million-and-a-half species of fungus on the planet, scientists have only identified 60000. There is massive, unexplored territory ahead! This last section will be called …and Beyond.


The visual style will incorporate nature photography, microscopic work, archive footage, and animation, along with interview subjects. The film will be fast paced and modern - constantly travelling and transporting the audience from subterranean caves to medicinal markets, and from Biotech labs to the International Space Station. A collage of different systems as means of storytelling, much of which will be based on visual analogies - for example, the subway systems in metropolitan centers will be used to visually explain what fungal networks do, just as animated footage of the X-Men will be used to draw parallels with another group of misunderstood mutants. Cloud systems, river deltas, the internet, and the human brain will all serve as metaphors that will be intercut with state-of-the-art micro and time-lapse photography.


It's crucial to give a full perspective - biological, social, historical, economic - of the influence of fungus to our lives, and to all life, but its equally important to keep the film entertaining: a fun, violent, sexy mushroom movie.