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Something spooky is happening on the Japanese coast; pollution is killing
the fish in the ocean, but it also gives life to a monstrous mutated
fish-monster. A professor and his genius kid watch it's destructions on
and the kid remarks: "- Oh, that was a tadpole-monster." Japan and the
entire world is soon threatened by the unearthly Creature, who's named
Hedorah by the Professors kid.
At the same time a funky teenage assistant of the professor gets drunk at an absurdly psychadellic disco and has visions of all the party-people being mutated fish. Hedorah inhales polluted smoke from factory- chimneys and seem to get high, the kid is psychic and has visions of Godzilla coming to save the world, and the Professor is attacked by the Hedorah underwater and his face gets malformed. Godzilla and the "Smog Monster" (as it is sometimes referred to as) start fighting only 25 minutes into the movie. The Hedorah mutates from ocean- dweller, to reptile to flying creature, and experts conclude that "He" is probably from a distant Nebula in outer space. Scenes of havoc and the Professor's family is intercut with cartoon- style sequences with strong enviromental messages.
One scene has the Hedorah flying over a group of people working out, and they turn blue-faced and ultimately into gushy skeletons. A man at a construction site screams out (extremely) loud, and then falls to his death. Hedorah has the ability to corrode metal, and people on TV quarrel intensely on the fate of the planet. The Professors assistant knows the end is near, and has a hippie-styled party on top of a mountain; "- Let's have fun as we die!!" The party is interrupted by the space/pollution freak, and most of the kids are melted by its poisonous vomit/droppings when they try to set it on fire.
The Professor's kid has found the solution to defeat the grotesque beast: "- Dry it - it's only sludge!", and with the aid of the friendly Godzilla it finally works. Some scenes, as well as the sounds the Hedorah makes are beyond description; like the scene were it's covering Godzilla with its tons of toxic puke, and at the same time "laughing" diabolically. There are weird crosscutting throughout, the kid yells "Papa" alot and the groovy rock score helps to its remarkably insane mood. The PG- rating should be reconsidered. This one is too dark and demented in so many ways, I don't think a ten year- old should watch it. It's mad nightmarish, art-cinematic style could cause damage.
A TV- reporter calls the Hedorah "a freak organizm" - much like this movie itself.
"Godzilla vs. Hedorah" is probably my favorite Godzilla from the 1970s
others being the one with Gigan in them, he RULES TOO!). There sure is
going on in this crazy movie.
ACID TRIPS! Strange anime sequences! Really upbeat soundtrack and theme song (KAAAAAAAAISEN!)! Kids in hot pants! Ecology made fun! Haiku! Nightclubs! Hippies galore! Godzilla flying! Hedorah, the strange looking beast of Smog!
This film has everything a B-movie enthuaist wants!
Even though a lot of people hated Hedorah, but I don't. He is one of the most interesting looking and powerful foes in Godzilla's old days. He pretty much hacks up on Godzilla a lot, changes shape at will, plus, it FARTS out acid!
Anyways, watch "Godzilla vs. Hedorah"! You'll have a B-movie blast!
This film has a really post modern feel to it. It begins with a song in Japanese called Save the Earth that (like The Lost Continent song) you won't stop singing (Kaishan! Kaishan! Kaishan!). The opening credits mix in shots of a girl singing the song with shots of a sludge clogged Tokyo harbor. Things get stranger from here. It opens with an annoying kid and his dad going swimming. The kid's father's face is disfigured and the kid gets his hand burned off by a smog monster named Hedorah who spits acid balls and inhales the fumes off smokestalks. Things get even stranger from there. Theres a Save the Earth concert or something with this girl in spandex with stuff painting on singing, this lava lamp like thing on the wall (definitely hippies) and this teenager who gets drunk and starts halucinating and sees everyone with fish masks on (when I saw this the first time when I was six, couldn't get why everyone started wearing fish masks and why the teen seemed so disturbed about it) until Hedorah suddenly attacks after sucking up fumes. Well Godzilla comes and saves everybody and they start fighting really bizarrely (similar to the Saturday night wrestling scenes from King Kong vs. Godzilla. They wrestle and wrestle some more. Though released in 1971, this is very sixties. Director Yoshimitsu Banno blends mind twisting images, real scenes of Tokyo bay covered with sludge, the scenes with the hippies, disturbing scenes with dying babies on mutiple screens, gory scenes of Hedorah's victems being reduced to skeletons, scenes with the kid and his scientist father trying to figure out how to stop the monster, and scenes with a newscaster. This is very poetic, bizarre, beautiful, and sometimes extremely disturbing and has about the strongest anti pollution messages I've ever seen (Japan was polluted the most back then). This is one colorful film. P.S. I don't know how this film got a G rating with all the disturbing images in it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Godzilla vs. Hedora (or the Smog Monster, to the old-school Saturday
afternoon horrorshow crowd) is, in some ways, one of the most ambitious
films in the G canon. It's got a heavy environmental message, snazzy
cinematic tricks including split-screens and animated transition
sequences, and attempts at multi-generational appeal (though still
heavy on the kid-friendly elements of its era). For the most part, all
this baggage manages to mesh together well with the giant monster
rampages that we really came looking for. (And if you weren't looking
for that, why'd you come here?)
And there's certainly more than enough rampage to go around. Hedora is the first of G's multi-form mutant foes (unless you count Mothra), and each form - giant tadpole, crawling worm, flying pancake, and finally quasi-upright slug-thing - has to get its fair share of screen time wandering from place to place consuming pollutants and transforming them into even nastier chemical attacks. Throw in several good fights against Godzilla and/or the military, and one might almost be willing to forgive the famously embarrassing "Godzilla uses his atomic breath to 'fly'" sequence.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm a huge Godzilla fan and own all but one of the films, and I just finally
tracked down a copy of the elusive Godzilla Vs. the Smog
I had a hard time peeling my eyes away from the screen since I was still trying to figure out what I had just witnessed. Whoever complains that Son of Godzilla or one of the latter films were severely goofy apparently hasn't seen this film.
SPOILERS: Let's see where do I begin..... 1)The theme song "Save the Earth!" that plays during the opening credits is hilariously bad, yet I've had the hardest time trying to stop humming it. It's kind of like a brain tumor of some sort.
2) the awful trumpet fanfare that announces Godzilla's arrival sounds like a group of trumpet players got really drunk, stoned and then tried to harmonize on a chord. It will make you either cringe or laugh out loud every time you hear it.
3)the strange animation sequences that pop up every now and then are really strange (my favorite is the factory that keeps grabbing all the plants popping up around it before a stoned looking Hedorah consumes it and flies away!). Why they are in this film is beyond me.
4)The monster, Hedorah, looks like a combination of a hair-ball, a drain clog or a filthy mop (depending on your point of view.)
5)Godzilla flies.........well, sort of. Yes, Godzilla takes off after his adversary by tucking his tail between his legs and using his fire breath to propel himself backwards through the great wide open. Yes, it's incredibly goofy and guaranteed to promote much discussion and/or laughter.
6) most of the monster battles consist of Godzilla and Hedorah staring at each other, and sometimes taunting each other in monster speak. I felt like at times that I was watching an episode of Dragon-ball Z!
The film as a whole is at the same time hilariously bad and extremely strange, and is something I highly recommend for many huge unintended laughs.
This is one trippy psychedelic freakout of a movie. The niteclub scene alone is worth the price of admission. I first saw this movie on my tenth birthday and it has lost none of its charm with time. Bad trips, people reduced to skeletons by acid gas, kittens nearly devoured and covered in slime, babies sinking into mudpits....this is not your average kaiju eiga!
Innovative is the word here: and because he went so far to break with the
formula, director Yoshimitsu Banno got into some deep trouble with the
Powers-that-Be at Toho. Banno used split-screens, animation,
dream-sequences, even a black-and-white sequence that creeps in so subtly
you don't really notice until the color suddenly springs back in... all
kinds of experimental tricks that make the film completely different from
Jun Fukuda's by-the-numbers series entries.
Most interesting are all the references to the original GOJIRA: early on, Dr. Yano when he encounters Hedorah, making him resemble the doomed Dr. Serizawa of the 1954 movie... and Banno even goes so far as to re-stage the famous and frightening fish tank scene. For the first time since the 50's, we see human casualties and measure the destruction in human terms. A sympathetic character is even (apparently) killed. In fact, the only thing that really disappoints in the movie is... the monster battle scenes. Long tense minutes go by, and the monsters just stare at each other.
It's been said of horror movie sequels that audiences aren't really looking for new installments; deep down, they want the same movie, over and over again. That's pretty much what we got from Godzilla, from the late 60's through today -- except for All Kaiju Daishingeki (Godzilla's Revenge) and this movie.
Finally, let's not forget this is the movie where Godzilla learns to fly, by tucking his tail between his legs and breathing fire with all his might.
Japanese Pollution and alien mutation causes Hedorah, a huge smog monster to form. No, Captian Planet's on vacation, so Godzilla comes insted. They really have quite a funny battle and knock down a lot, I mean al ot, of cardboard buildings.
Godzilla vs Hedora (AKA The Smog Monster) is less slick than many of
the later productions. It is also somewhat less serious, and features a
Godzilla who is more mythic than consistent with his earlier and later
portrayals. The Godzilla in this film is a force of nature in more than
just a figurative sense. She is also highly intelligent and a defender
of the earth and, to some extent, its people.
Even from the title, its easy enough to figure out what this film is about. Tadpoles mutate because of the mutagenic properties of pollution in Tokyo Bay (interestingly, this somewhat silly idea is far less absurd than most of the latter pseudoscience used in Godzilla scripts - almost as bad as Star Trek Voyager sometimes was). The mutant tadpoles fuse at the cellular level and grow into a giant tadpole which then mutates three or four times, spewing out its own toxic pollutants, first as terrestrial and eventually as air pollution. The visuals are good, but the special effects are admittedly below even Toho's usual standards.
Created in the early 1970s, this film is metaphorical and symbolic, although it is still, at heart, a Godzilla film. Hedora is an unsubtle metaphor for the ecological state of the world, and is, in that sense, a monster of our own making. Godzilla is an embodiment of nature, and is to be viewed as a positive force for all life on earth. These symbols are particularly apparent in the use of cartoons as transitional devices from one plot point to another.
Godzilla Vs Hedora walks a very thin line between giant-monster violence and a kid-oriented film. As somebody who has since his early teens, been interested in the environment and as somebody who always liked Japanese Monster films, I developed a sentimental attachment to this film very early on. In fact, this is my all-time favorite Godzilla film, and more than any other film, it is the reason why I consider myself a fan of the big green lizard. This is the film which establishes Godzilla as an environmentalist and a friend to young people - his two best roles.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
7.8 B- I don't know if I should call this movie refreshing, disturbing,
a work of diamond-in-the-rough art, or simply a film to watch if you're
on something. Something very strong I might add. Perhaps it's all of
those wrapped in a messy yet effortful presentation. Some look at the
rating I gave it and probably remark, "Is he high?" No, I am not.
Compared to the MechaGodzilla films of the 70s era, this movie
remarkable holds its own. Although I will never say it really surpassed
the epic "Terror of MechaGodzilla" by far.
First off, let me say this, Sony is over-childizing the marketing on these DVDs. Films like this, along with "Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II" (with all its blood and coarse language), are far from a PG rating. This film is remarkably dark on both ends: (1) we see many disturbing shots, like crowds of people killed at once by inhaling sulfuric mist, leading to complete skeletazation later, (2) A shot of bodies half submerged in Hedorah's goop, (3) The main scientist has his face badly malformed by acid very early in the film. I wouldn't recommend to the too young of viewers.
Now the monster battles here aren't necessarily the best, but very interesting to say the least. Watching Godzilla punch holes in Hedorah seems only natural, but Godzilla takes a beating. He loses an eye, gets burned several times by acid and lasers, and (look closely) has one hand eaten down to the bone by the climax. It's pretty decent. Hedorah himself (itself??) is an interesting monster with all the forms and I like the design really. Even the odd shriek. Godzilla flying was a f*cking no-go, but Banno had no choice to add it in. Camp level is moderate but not unbearable in the Monster King's movements.
The message in this movie is obvious, don't pollute the damn Earth people! There are some great shots of a heavily polluted ocean that are quite nice and fit the gloomy mood of the film. The little anime sequences are somewhat fun to watch but yeah a tad unnecessary. Got to love the movie for that scene where one of our main characters must be drunk and on LSD (yet another reason why this is not a PG flick) and then sees everyone wherein polluted fish mask. How unexpected for a G-film, but I like it. It strangely fits in actually. One reason I have to rate it down is because of a butchered sound track. The theme song would've been nice to hear once, MAYBE twice, but otherwise it gets a tad annoying. Godzilla's theme was far from forgettable, but not in the good way. Over all the score is probably the weakest aspect of the film.
Characterization I believe the cast was all right and got the job done. Not enough about them really. I just haste that annoying little kid, "Papa! Papa! Papa!", then he says it twenty more times. Sony always delivers crappy dubbing, stick to the Japanese track. So, all in all, I give this film a decent rating. All those rating six and lower are too hard on the film. Appreciate it as a different type of G-film and a memorable trip back to the 70s.
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