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
Over the decades, fans have kept wondering what the strange orbs that Godzilla rips out of Hedorah's dried-out body actually are. Most think that they are either eggs or his eyes, and there's a common joke that they are his testicles. According to the director, those are meant to be Hedorah's eyes, which he considered the most important part of a person's body. The movie also has a running theme of eyes being injured. 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 »
Special Effects director Teruyoshi Nakano's name is incorrectly rendered as "Shokei Nakano" in both English versions of the film. Nakano has also been credited as "Akiyoshi Nakano" in other Toho films. See more »
There are two different English versions of this movie. The first is titled "Godzilla vs. Hedorah" and was dubbed by an uncredited Hong Kong company for Toho. It's unedited from the original Japanese film, and notably all songs were left in Japanese. This version, often called an international or export version by fans, went unreleased in the United States until January 1996 when it was first broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel. It's since become the only version available on DVD and Blu-Ray in the U.S.
The second English version is titled "Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster." This version was produced by Salvatore Billitteri for American International Pictures and released in the United States in 1972. Despite an extant English version, AIP opted to have the film re-dubbed in New York at Titan Productions, Inc. The Japanese-language song featured in the Japanese and international version is translated and replaced by an English version, "Save the Earth," written by Guy Hemric and Adryan Russ and sung by Russ. This American version of the movie was removed from circulation in the mid-'90s when Toho regained control of the film from Orion, which had previously purchased the AIP film library. See more »
When the Godzilla series entered the 1970s, a retro and hippie feeling could be seen in this movie. This film starts off with a singer, played by Keiko Mari, singing a song titled "Save the Earth." Like 1964's Godzilla vs. Mothra, this film delivers a message of environmental danger. The story's about heavy pollution problems occurring in Japan. When an alien spore from outer space enters Earth and lands on a pile of toxic waste in the sea, a towering monster of sludge, crap, smog, and goo attacks Japan. This is the first Godzilla (Gojira) film in many years that depicts numerous human casualties. Scenes of humans deforming are a gruesome sight and echo elements in the original Gojira film. Like a viewer said, the fish tank scene is a similar scene of the fish tank in the original Gojira film.
The central character in this movie is a boy, played by Hiroyuki Kawase, who idolizes Godzilla. Godzilla, by this time, is portrayed as a "defender of Earth," rather than a destructive force. Mostly, there are no hints of fears from the people upon Godzilla's appearances. The line "Get'em Godzilla!" is a real charmer, making the monster look more and more like a hero and defender of Japan.
Yoshimitsu Banno did a good job directing and assembling the cast out, staging them in places like nightclubs, hills and amusement parks. The retro feel could be seen in the nightclub scene, where the singer sings the title song as blobs of retro paint move in a movie screen behind her. Also, the scene of the teenagers "celebrating" on a hill like a woodstock is also a retro feel.
Takeshi Kimura gave us a dark and scientific story, but some lighthearted scenes can be seen, like the scene where Godzilla flies (I think this is the only time we see Godzilla fly). Teruyoshi Nakano's special effects were believable; plenty of monster battles, albeit slow in some parts. Some of the problems I have with the monster battles is the part where Godzilla and Hedorah virtually move towards each other, staring at each other for several minutes. The movie's cinematography lacks a little spirit and color, making this movie look a little dull, and the overall momentum of the film was a little slow. And, this film lacks an effective music score. The music is not really harmonic or melodic and lacks charm to it. Riichiro Manabe composed a theme for Godzilla-a theme played by overblown trumpets. Though somewhat wacky, this theme sounds heroic for Godzilla.
Overall, a somewhat slow but an interesting Godzilla movie, returning you to the darker and more serious themes of the series.
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