Coming to Earth on a fallen meteorite, The microscopic alien life-form Hedorah feeds on Earth's pollution and grows into a Gigantic, ever Evolving, poisonous Gas and acid-secreting monster. Godzilla, Earth's Defender senses the Threat and Meets ''the Smog Monster'' in a Literal, Battle for Earth's Survival.Written by
Thomas ''The Oldschool Hero'' Cianci
One commonly misreported "fact" about the film stated that Hedorah's suit actor Kenpachirô Satsuma suffered from appendicitis during shooting, and had to undergo surgery while still inside his monster costume. In reality, his symptoms only got bad after filming had already wrapped and he was doing an interview for a magazine, while wearing the suit. He was taken to a hospital following the interview, and was not treated on set. One part of the story that is true is that his body was resistant against pain-killers. Even after being sedated, Satsuma had felt the pain of the surgery. See more »
When Hedorah throws some sludge at Godzilla's eye in the Mt. Fuji scene, it hit's Godzilla right eye, but after Hedorah gets done laughing, Godzilla's left eye is the one that is damaged. See more »
There's no place else to go and pretty soon we'll all be dead, so forget it! Enjoy yourself! Let's sing and dance while we can! Come on, blow your mind!
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On the original Japanese trailer, the director's name is given as "Yoshimitsu Sakano." In the Japanese version, as well as in Toho's own English version, he is credited as "Yoshimitsu Banno." The American International release credits him as "Yoshimitu Banno." See more »
There are two distinct versions of American International's "Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster." The first, presumably the original 35mm theatrical version, features an English language cartoon sequence (reworked from a similar Japanese one in the original film). A similar insert replaces a shot of a newsreader with an English language map of Fuji. Furthermore, AIP removed all Japanese text from the scenes of various "science lessons" given by Dr. Yano. This is the version released on video and Laserdisc by Orion Home Video in 1989.
The second version has none of these unique shots. The Hedorah cartoon and newsreader shot are unchanged from the Japanese version and Dr. Yano's science lessons feature onscreen Japanese text. This version seems to have been the standard 16mm release for television and can be seen in unlicensed copies of the film such as the 1990 Simitar VHS release and the Canadian DVD release by Digital Disc. See more »
Following the child-focused "All Monsters Attack" (1969), Godzilla returns as an ally of man in the battle against pollution, as personified (kaijufied?) by Hedorah (the Smog Monster)*. There are a number of stylistic changes from previous movies in the franchise, including James Bond-like opening credits, surreal psychedelic interludes (the fish-headed people at the 'go-go' club are memorable) and a number of odd animated inserts reminiscent of early 70's public service cartoons. The musical score, much of which sounds like background music for slapstick comedy or uplifting marches similar to the grating (but catchy) Gamera theme, is horrible. The franchise is still targeting younger audiences, so the central human character is a little kid (Ken Yano, played by Hiroyuki Kawase) who, among other things, comes up with the name for the new monster (Hedorah) as well as a method to destroy it. He also seems to have a psychic bond with Godzilla, and the last scenes of the film are straight out of "Shane" (1953, except that Shane is now a giant mutated dinosaur). Despite being a child-oriented film, "Godzilla vs. Hedorah" is much grimmer than any of the previous sequels, with human body counts after the monsters clash, on-camera 'deaths' of individuals (such as the gamblers or the driver of the truck crushed by Hedorah), and most jarringly, the 'melting' of people exposed to Hedorah's noxious exhalent (Ken encounters the gruesome partially-dissolved bodies of a number of these victims). Hedorah itself is so improbable looking that it might as well be accepted as a metaphor rather than a monster, but the titular fights are pretty good. The anthropomorphisation of Godzilla, who now constantly uses human-like gestures (almost rolling his eyes at mankind's ineffectual attempts to stop Hedorah), continues (although one delirious surprise in the film is the revelation that Godzilla can fly (!), a ridiculous-looking skill that would have come in handy in previous outings). All in all, "Godzilla vs. Hedorah" (the eleventh film in the franchise) while not a great kaiju film, is eccentric, imaginative and entertaining: a deviation from the downward slide that leads to the next two entries in the series (the woeful "G. vs Gigan" and "G. vs Megalon"). (*these comments pertain to an English subtitled version of the film).
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