We've entered the '70s on our big list of movies to watch before the new Godzilla film (list is HERE).
Today's is Godzilla vs. Hedorah (aka Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster; 1971).
I'll go first:
We've seen this before and I remember thinking it was odd. I read afterward how some of the producers felt that the director, Yoshimitsu Banno, had "ruined Godzilla." I didn't really see how.
Then we watched it again.
I still wouldn't go so far as to say Banno "ruined" anything. He directs like he thinks he's an auteur ... but he's not. Putting weird stuff on screen for little reason doesn't make you an avant garde filmmaker.
Look! A mannequin floating in gunk! It represents humanity. Look! A broken clock floating in the same gunk! That means we're running out of time. Here's a trippy music video! Here's another! Here's a bunch of people wearing fish masks! Here's a split-screen scene with dozens of images, including a baby in sewage!
It's all ... not terribly good. But that's just the direction. What about the rest of it?
Storywise, I think it's fairly solid and in line with much of Godzilla-verse goings-on. Pollution gets so bad that alien microbes are able to feed on it and form a giant beast to tear stuff up.
The monster itself, Hedorah, is certainly gross and formidable. It changes forms as needed and can spray sulfuric acid mist or great globs of it at will.
The fights between it and Godzilla are good ... I am a bit confused by some of the mannerisms Godzilla exhibits but I love the suit. The fights get gross(er) when Big G reaches into the nearly dead enemy and pulls out two large balls. Eyeballs? Something else? I don't know. Anyway, he roasts them and then Hedorah flies away. G fights H again and this time shreds the thing, flinging bits everywhere before drying them up.
How does his atomic breath energize the plates instead of destroy them? What if it rains on the dried up bits of Hedorah? I dunno.
Musically speaking, it's my least favorite soundtrack in the series so far. It makes it all sound and feel stupid, even when there's nothing goofy happening.
Godzilla vs. Hedorah ... pretty good despite the (attempts at) arty bits and the lousy score. 3 out of five atomic breath blasts.Here's my eleven-year-old son, James:
Well, there's animation scenes out of nowhere, Godzilla gets thrown into a pit and Hedorah takes a weird megapoop on him, he has some eyeball-like things, and Godzilla goes flying in the dumbest way ever. A pretty unusual kaiju movie.
So, rating wise, i'll say 2.345 out of 5 Atomic Breaths of Awesomeness!Here's the trailer:
Up next, Gamera vs. Zigra.