A tadpole from space grows to gigantic proportions when exposed to the atmosphere of a polluted Earth. It becomes deadly and attacks a marine biologist and his son who are searching for answers. The young boy has a vision of Godzilla returning to defeat the dreaded Hedorah and, like a good friend… Godzilla is there to beat some tail.
The ‘smog monster’ Hedorah is a force to be reckoned with. Developing amphibious ability, it takes to land then changes again into an airborne monster spreading a deadly vapor trail in its wake. A nightmarish vision of viscous ooze with a baleful gaze, Hedorah is something at home in the realm of H.P. Lovecraft, godfather of fear… By way of H.R. Pufnstuf.
The 11th installment in the Godzilla franchise, Godzilla Vs. Hedorah is a weird one, even by guys in rubber suits standards. Blending the eco-conscious message with light entertainment, horror and the youthful psychedelic movement results in a movie that is either unwatchable or amazing depending on who you ask. Personally, I think it’s a lot of fun.
With a greatly reduced budget, director Yoshimitsu Banno employed some unusual and new tricks with Godzilla Vs. Hedorah including animation sequences and musical numbers. There are also scenes in which the screen is split up into twenty four ‘TV screen’- like images depicting multiple reactions at once in addition to Hedorah itself. This is an impressive device that quickly establishes the drama in a visually compelling way.
It’s a far cry from the 1954 original that so easily captivated me. Without trying to sound corny, Godzilla Vs. Hedorah is another creature entirely. Godzilla is more of a heroic figure and the monster is nearly impossible to interact with, let alone fight. The populace seem ready to accept extinction and even have a final knees up before the two monsters go toe-to-toe.
Unlike many members of my generation, I was not raised with these movies, so I am only now discovering the wonderful world of Kaiju. With the upcoming Attack on Titan film and the Pacific Rim sequel, this kind of thing is in fashion (oh and there are the new American Godzilla films too).
Godzilla Vs. Hedorah is streaming on Hulu but you can also find it on blu-ray or DVD. It’s a lot of fun and the perfect way to spend a night in with a friend and a gooey pizza.