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
A sequel, set in Africa, was planned. However, G-series producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, who had been hospitalized during the film's production, was enraged by the film once he saw it, telling director Yoshimitsu Banno that he had ruined the Godzilla series. Tanaka immediately ordered the filming of a more conventional Godzilla movie (Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)). Thus, the "Smog" sequel was never made. See more »
When Dr. Yano and Yukio are discussing going to rescue Ken, fish can be seen swimming in the aquarium behind them even though all the fish in it were destroyed by the acid mist a few minutes earlier. See more »
In AIP's American version of the film, the entire cast is mysteriously uncredited. 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 »
Godzilla: Environmentalist. Not great, but still my favorite Godzilla flick
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.
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