The first time I saw Godzilla versus Hedorah/Godzilla versus The Smog Monster/Captain Godzilla and the Planeteers, I fell asleep. Fast asleep— the film's so dark, that's the problem. There's been an enormous gap in me writing for this site not only because of my own made-up Important Busy Business, but the way this film acts like a sedative for me. If I were more insufferable, I'd maybe imply the dreams this film gives me are just as worthy of an article on here as the movie itself; the day this site gets turned into a dream journal, though, is the day you know I've got nothing interesting to say. More so than usual, at least. Dream diary pending (that's a good band name), here's me talking about a not-fantastic kaiju film for a couple thousand words instead.
Although that comment about dreams does come off a little silly, this is really one of those films where it is important; the watcher's particular experience with the film, I mean. I have no concept even comparable to what it must have been like seeing this in a cinema on release. I am unable to form one. I imagine there must have been a diversity of responses even among big Japanese Godzilla fans going to see this all the way back in the seventies. Before getting started on this all, I asked a friend of mine who's really into kaiju a simple question: “is Godzilla vs Hedorah a good film?” The answer was that it's “enjoyable”, but I should really think of trying [insert classic selection of Godzilla films here]. Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla, vs Gigan; almost any other from that era. My friend seemed to have an odd soft spot for Godzilla vs the Sea Monster. I think all of that is how you know what this film is. For some, it's a sedative; for others, it's even passingly enjoyable; but it's nobody's favourite.
That's not to say this is a so-bad-it's-good film either; there's no way I'm renovating this site into a Mystery Science Theatre yet.
A pretty fun filmmaker once took an excellent stab at what Godzilla vs Hedorah's target audience must be:
"Little kids. Little kids who get hopped up on sugar to the point that their brains operate on higher levels of existence and their supersensory nerves subject them to a fantasy world that exceeds that of an adult on the most powerful narcotics known to science."
I always thought this was an exaggeration, but who would have known? It's not even wrong, not exactly. If higher levels of existence happen to encompass several vast and barren dirt-plains, all of them looking totally similar and resembling a cross between a desert and the surface of the moon, then yes, these are the levels on which Godzilla vs Hedorah is communicating. There are also a lot of brass instruments performing goofy slides.
It's a little easy to make a comment about how the title of this film, when it appears on screen, seems to be overlaid across a steaming pile of sludge— human-produced sludge. Pollution. Poop. It's especially easy to say this might be symbolic of a great deal of things, but I'm not that cruel and would only do something like that indirectly. Despite everything I'm going to mention (and I'm going to mention a lot, hopefully), Godzilla vs Hedorah is an enjoyable film if you're in a particular mood and I think it's worth saying that. A genuinely enjoyable film, too; again, none of that so-bad-it's-good nonsense here on lus.neocities.org.
It establishes itself fast, at least. A creature resembling Godzilla— is there any point in introducing Godzilla? This is his eleventh film— a creature resembling Godzilla in scales and texture (spoiler: not Godzilla) lurches out of the sludge, and that's our beginning. All you'd ever be able to focus on is the music, though. It takes a turn for the… The something with the title song. I don't know, I like it. It's Bond-theme-ish. The version I listened to watching the film was the Japanese, but I've found a fairly similar English one. Here's the lowest quality version I can find (got to get that real mucky experience when you're watching Godzilla vs Hedorah). The lyric about cobalt and mercury is a memorable beginning and has made an easy home in my brain, nestling down comfortably right next to 'Kazakhstan number one exporter of potassium', unfortunately. Really, there's definitely potential for a couple of band names in here. The background visuals, meanwhile, recall a mix between The Most Psychedelic Event to Have Personally Happened to You, a nineteen-eighties Doctor Who regeneration sequence and bacteria replicating under a microscope.
At the very least, all of this goodness serves well to get you deeply excited over that SCREENPLAY BY KAORU MABUCHI AND YOSHIMITSU BANNO, nice. Yoshimitsu Banno is an interesting guy and it'll be good to talk about him later.
All of this is pretty catchy, truthfully. The song's a little perky for Godzilla too. I go on and on about the tiny parts of this— only the introduction covered so far, gosh, I need to get a move on— because I'd like to get it across: even now, it's becoming fairly obvious why nobody talks about this one. For one thing, the toxic-scum-and-human-waste Godzilla film is not the one people are tripping over themselves to offer praise. For another, this version of Godzilla (as he is to appear, costume fraying, spines bending like rubber) is hardly compatible with his newer capital-I Images, American or Japanese. Not at all, in fact. It's as though this whole film was one the man in the suit did in his spare time, a Holiday Special or something close to that. Admittedly, most Godzilla films of this era feel like that, but vs Hedorah has it especially especially bad.
This is all to put off talking about Ken. After a lovely cut from lysergic acid hell into a genuinely excellent view of Mt Fuji and the flowers, Ken comes into focus. Child holding a Godzilla toy. Plastic. The toy, not the child. There are questions everyone might have about this. In a few moments, Ken has a bit of an odd exchange with his older brother(?), who asks him:
”Is Godzilla your favourite?”
”Superman is too.”
(Note from the future: this is not actually Ken's brother, he's apparently a friend of Ken's father. But let's just say they're brothers, alright? Far more fun that way.) As Ken plays with each of his toys (there are two Godzilla toys now, should have mentioned), we see a model of King Ghidorah hanging up behind him. It's placed in such a wonderful way and gives us the idea that, even if we decide for a moment that Godzilla's public perception might have turned to that of a hero at this point in his history, Ghidorah, one of his worst enemies, a character who has received no such redemption and actively goes around blasting humans to bits, still, even then, receives a toy. Kaiju are just big business, apparently. The equivalent of Superman and Lex Luthor getting their own in-universe toys is exceptionally fun.
To swerve off-topic again for a moment: I watched the dubbed version. I do not often watched dubbed anything, it's quite an unfamiliar experience. Every voice is ridiculous. Not a single one fits. Ken is clearly voiced by an adult woman, his seemingly teenage brother sounds like a middle-aged man, the fisherman who turns up a few minutes in showing off “some kind of strange fish that looks very weird to me” sounds as though he's lost all his teeth. It's my own fault for watching a dubbed Asian film from the nineteen-seventies, I know, but there's still something to be said about the experience and I'll carry on with it. In any case, the dialogue is nowhere near as stiff as the worst of this stuff, excepting those smaller occurrences such as with that strange fish that looked very weird to him. Speaking of that strange fish that looked very weird to him, that's kind of what the plot of this film is all about, so, here, take a look:
The idea is that this fisherman has come to ask Ken's dad what's going on with that strange fish that— no, never mind that, that fish— and it's a real mystery. Ken's dad is a general, one-size-fits-all, all-purpose scientist, the sort you always seem to find in these sorts of B-movies. (Note from me of the future (note from me of the far future: no, an earlier future): I was reading this back over and realised I called this film a B-movie despite it not really being one. All the coming themes about impossible forces, though; nuclear power, human progress gone wrong— it's adding up so much now that, giving it the thought, I can't bring myself to remove this. Whoops.) Oh, fun, back to me of the past. Ken's dad seems to be some style of marine biologist, but it's hard to say. Only a little after receiving this odd warning about the strange fish, a television report shows us how there's something bad happening out at sea, sinking ships, giving everyone a bad time.
Obviously, the best thing Ken's dad— his name is Toru, but I didn't get that from the film itself— the best thing he could do is to bring his son out diving. The way it works is that Ken stays on shore doing whatever while the wonderful Doctor Kensdad himself goes diving for about thirty minutes and leaves his son to his own devices. Ken's standing there on the shore, jumping between the rocks and amid the spray and, yep, waiting around for what is likely a giant fish to come and snap him up. It seems as though it might have been a better idea to leave Ken at home, but maybe the possibility that the sea monster might be Godzilla made Ken go wild and he insisted on coming along. It's nice to imagine.
Of course, the monster attacks— it's a much larger version of thatstrangefish! Luckily, Ken and his HUMONGOUS KNIFE slice up the monster as it Free Willies overhead (of course Ken happens to have a humongous knife, he really did come prepared for monsters), taking a tremendous dive back into the ocean. I mention this part because I really do enjoy the shot where the monster is swimming over towards him. Paused it and looked at it for a bit. What a really fun shot, stuck together like that.
Anyway, Ken slices the creature's belly like butter and it slinks away a bit after that. This is about the best thing Ken does all through the entire film, but I still thought he was pretty cool after this, even if he does sound like an adult American woman from now on. It's not his fault. We are not born dubbed; dubbedness forces itself into our voices until eventually, we all sound adult, upper-class, American and English-speaking.
We travel underwater, taking a quick second to inhabit Doctor Kenfather's perspective for a while. Upwards, and a bang of scary music accompanying what looks on-screen exactly like a clump of floating coral. It's not a great moment. Sounds like someone smashing around on a Casio keyboard. Sounds like me smashing around on a Casio keyboard.
Every now and then when I'm watching a film with at least some measure of stupid— it would be so many kinds of wrong and mean to call Godzilla vs Hedorah entirely stupid and I'd never want to, but there's certainly some substantial amount— it's a great experiment you can try to think, after any single important plot event takes place: “that was a fun short film, what a great ending!” In this case: the fish catches Ken's dad, Ken screams “papa” into the ocean forlornly and, bang, kapow, sudden credits roll? That would be pretty excellent. It would mean no Godzilla in the film either. Only, a scientist takes his son out to the seaside and they have an encounter with a mysterious set of red eyes popping out of the ocean. Cryptic. Confusing. Emptying. I'd watch that.
Unfortunately for any short film lovers (fortunately for Ken), dad survived the attack of the aquatic keyboardists. He's now lying on the floor at home, face permanently(?) damaged. Even better, there's the added side effect that he now bears a good resemblance to one of the halfway-transformed alien ape-people from Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla, another… Odd film of this era, although one with a much better reputation among people who give these films a reputation at all.
I hope there's no difficulty in telling which is which— this point isn't particularly relevant, but I like the similarity of the effects. Another fun thing worth noticing: the media's perspective in Godzilla vs Hedorah, how everywhere it manages to be, how half the plot is delivered through conveniently placed televisions— you could could make a story all its own just delivering the plot of this film through news reports. Even more, people would watch it— I would. Shin Godzilla was a great film.
Doctor Toru's whole experience prompts a gang of photographers into breaking inside his room and shouting questions at him. As he agrees to answer a couple, we switch over to that convenient television as it starts playing an explanatory animation on the strangefish— now named a 'Hedorah' by Ken at some point. 'Hedorah': a slight corruption of the Japanese word for sludge, as though its English name had been 'Muddie' or something thereabouts. The animation then, the animation.
The animation is one of the things I see discussed about this film above all others. Only, each time it comes up in the film itself, it lasts ten–fifteen seconds and doesn't really involve movement. It's more a series of stills than anything else. Each of these segments, I took the chance to rewind and watch a couple of times. All have the feeling of PSAs with painfully miscalculated tones. The message seems to be that there's a horrible threat from the ocean— true— but that it's a Disney-like character, scooping up ships and guzzling all the liquid (fuel) like Winnie the Pooh with a pot of honey. It's not scary, not at all. Only unusual. I would go so far as to say this is maybe purposeful, but I can't imagine why. Maybe that's what the film wants and it's as simple as that. That's the level of film analysis you should become accustomed to, reading this site. Ouch.
I don't like to embed a great number of images in close succession— the past few have barely been a few minutes apart (because apparently I think of writing length in terms of time and not words, odd)— but Godzilla vs Hedorah is like that: it's got these wonderful frames and shots where it just makes more sense to show them than to talk about them, giving people like me a robust feeling of hopelessness, sitting here, typing and pausing— there, I paused— looking down at the keyboard and imagining there's something I can add to the films I like by mentioning all the stuff I like about them online. It's exactly that sort of film. Making my writing superfluous. I suppose that's why it comes in a tier above an MST3K-level film, at least for me— unlike those ones, there's nothing much anyone else's writing can do to change the experience, add comedy or tragedy or anything in-between; Godzilla vs Hedorah, it's all about those images. I went on a bit too much there. Here, take a look at that nice animation:
Moments later, a sunset. Godzilla lurches into view. Present tense: I think once again how I'm meant to communicate the way this makes me feel; the goofy music is in full swing. I remember I'm allowed to link that music, but the music is nowhere an easy link might be provided, and so, I fall back to the unlikely claim I keep making to myself that yes, the person reading this has also seen this film and knows the part I'm talking about. Wasn't that part just the silliest, person? It's okay, there's definitely more to say about the music later, the time will come for the linkage.
On the subject of Godzilla himself: gosh, this version looks something near a hand puppet being waved around, frayed and broken and the sliding brass in the background not helping even slightly. His turning up is a teaser; we're getting our first battle soon, surely? It's also a warning; this will not be a great-looking monster fight. There's also (also!) something to be grateful for: at least it's still bright enough to see Godzilla.
Here's another fun experiment to try: imagine what a Godzilla film would be like without Godzilla himself. Not Godzilla vs Hedorah: just 'vs Hedorah. 'vs Hedorah, in my opinion, would very definitely be at nineteen-fifties Hollywood B-movie level. I'm sticking with earlier-me on this one— it's Godzilla himself turning this from the B-movie it rightfully should have been into a curious piece of Japanese B-mystery, or, perhaps, if you want to be less fun about it, an inexplicably high-budget recognisably-branded B movie, the sort Japan is amazing at producing. At this point, I might only be marvelling at Godzilla existing at all, since all his films are like this (though the seventies ones particularly).
We move to Kensdad himself performing some scientific experiments on one of the strangefish/Hedorahfish, and to shocking results! The fake-scientific element is a fun touch. Reminds me of the one Russian man who created that homunculus. He and his son have a chat— Toru and Ken, not Russian man and his homunculus— and the experiment shows results. Two smaller Hedorahfish join together into a larger one. Something in me wishes this is how tadpoles could work. The experiment's results are repeated. I love the understatedness of Toru's next line:
“Frankly, this one's really got me worried.”
Note: being the extra-effort person that I am, I get the colours for these quotes by taking a screenshot of the relevant character, picking the most distinctive colour I see and using that colour's hex code. Unfortunately, no matter what I do, I cannot seem to get anything except this from Toru. This dirty grey-ish thing. At first, I was afraid this wouldn't stand out enough from the ordinary text on this site, but then I realised it had to stand no matter how badly it blends in. Just like this. This is what it's like being Toru and if I can reflect that here, then, well, it's my duty to him for all that brave work and science he supposedly does. We need to get a feel for him, we really do. I feel sorry for the man. Being so grey.
For about twenty seconds, we're given a teaser of a monster fight— that fight consisting of a momentary shot of the waves lapping up against the dirt-scum by the shore. Assuming all this scum wasn't an effect formed specifically for this film— I'd hate to think it was just filmed in action, although that would validate this film's eco-friendly message quite a bit— that stuff all looks very nasty and realistic and interesting. I'd like to know how it was made. Of course, I went on a bit of a quest to find behind-the-scenes stuff on this film, but not speaking Japanese (and barely finding anything in Japanese anyway) all I came up with was this. Very fun. It's a great surprise how large many of the props are in reality.
I'd like to talk about the club scene:
I'd like to talk about this tie:
Most of all, I'd like to gain an understanding of the seventies. I get the feeling this is impossible without having lived through them and maybe watching Godzilla vs Hedorah back for clues isn't the best way of filling this obvious hole in my life… At the same time, I get the feeling this is exactly the way to fill that obvious hole. It's tough. When did Godzilla films become musicals? This is also a very enjoyable song. Hedorah's style of movement on land, big moustache and SPOOKY SCARY SKELETONS. It's the moments like this where this film shines but they end so fast. Recreate that atmosphere.
“Hedorah's not real and you know it” says a policeman to a terrified emergency caller. Wiggum. Hedorah inflates like a set of bagpipes after absorbing pollution, it's actually fairly menacing. Like a tick inflating. Cthulhu with a ventilator. Realising Godzilla's brass slide is this film's theme isn't a great moment. Unfortunately, the fight is too dark and it looks as though Hedorah has frills. Big oceanic headcrab creature.
But Here's the Halfway Point
It's the end of the world as we know it— no, that's not a link to REM, shush— if you're wondering why the last paragraph devolved into a strange note-taking style, it's because that's how I take… Notes when I'm writing articles about these films. I didn't convert that into, you know, actual legible words because I thought it would be useful to give some indication over how this whole page sort of took a stall for several months thanks to, you know, blah blah, let's not go on about it, it nearly rhymes with 'groaner' and that's as close as we'll get. The thing to take away here is that once again, this is me from the future— present? Look, I'm still writing for people back in 2019 right now and I think it's necessary we keep up that pretence.
Unfortunately, what this means in practice is that it's been several months since I've seen this film! Ouch! That's not a good state of affairs if you're writing a website about curious films you've come across recently! So, I've been met with two options: first, I could abandon this and waste all this work on a film that— despite the finer points of my experience ending up lost to a movie-memory I could have sworn was better than this— I do still think about fondly months later. Second, I could recover this page in a much note-ier style, annotate it as I go along and inject something of now-me's thoughts about whatever then-me must have been going on about. Because looking back, there are some wild notes in here. No, really, look:
Yeah. I get INTO these films, it's not only an act, I promise. Let's go and make fun of that! It'll be as though we're sitting in… A theatre. Commenting. On. Yeah. Yeah. I know I said that thing about this not turning into a Mystery Science Theatre any time soon, but I love to make fun of past iterations of myself, nerds that they all are.
So, Hedorah vs Godzilla? Goodness, I wish I could be talking about The Wicker Man instead. Good music, that film. Saw it a bit ago. Would recommend. See, if past me was still the one writing this page, you never would have received a fun recommendation like that. Really, things are in safe hands now.
The place we left off, Godzilla and Hedorah were finally having their first battle; I do hope that was clear. Since ugly gross me of back then seems to have forgotten to include a pretty image for… A while— seriously, I was getting down to the level of taking screenshots of funky ties? Wild. Anyway, take an image to get us back into things:
Pretty fun, right? It would be if the entire scene wasn't about as dark as this. The background colour on this blog— I mean, review site— I mean, film criticism archive— I mean, collection of writings in which I defend films nobody cared about anyway— yeah, the background colour's a little dark. Open that image up in another window. It should help give an impression of how bathed in unseeability (non-viewability (invisibilly bee)) the whole sequence here is. One moment, you're watching all of this happen, then it switches back to the night-club— nobody seeming to notice the monster battle outside, I assume because it's night-time, is definitely quite fun as well!
I think fishmasks = drugs:
That's all I can imagine. As in, that's the sum of my particularly well-trusted filmic verdict. Pretend it's not been stated in a “whoa, they must have been ON DRUKQS!” kind of voice, but more of a “hmm, the psychotropic experience must have been integral to this scene's resonance and importance and blah blah”, alright? Thanks. What this is is the night-club dancers all suddenly having fish-masks, which disappear moments later. It's maybe the… Fifth-most notorious moment in the film, which should say something. All the rest come later. Please put them in order as you feel fit. If I had to come up with an actual guess on this scene? Hedorah, who is destroying the ocean, is now treating us fish just the same as it does the real ones. It's all very retributionary and fun. Moments passed, a torrent of Hedorah slime leaks menacingly down the stairs of the night-club. It's a horrific moment which really comes down to, if I'm allowed to quote myself of the past's raw opinion on this one: “THAT CAT. AA.”
No, I don't know why I automatically named that image “catfilth.png” either. Neither do I know why a lingering shot of a dirt-drenched cat— it looks real— was put in this film that, perhaps up until now, at least, seems to have been designed to appeal to children in some measure. It's one of those “uh huh, you used to have nightmares about that scene as well?” moments. As an aside (an aside occupying half a paragraph, whoops), did you ever have any moments like that? My best one was the final scene of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the film— I said, locating myself geographically, whoops again— the bit with the turban. Scared me forever and ever. Don't know why, it's more funny than anything else when I watch it back right now.
Now, here's where a fight is still taking place. Some of the heroes go outside and watch. Here was also where I chose to have a bit of a crisis about the agency of fictional characters, which I'm leaving here now for your viewing pleasure:
”The purpose of these characters' existence is to live in a Godzilla film. You wonder who they would be outside of that, you do, and you come up with nothing! It's unfortunate. Shin Godzilla is still best Godzilla, which is odd, because he has so many odd traces of Hedorah. The evolution, the worm-like regeneration.”
I put myself in quotation marks now, apparently. Perhaps I should even apply a colour to past me like I do when quoting film characters. Maybe later. I definitely did have a good point about Shin Godzilla, the best Godzilla film, though— really definitely see that one, but if you don't mind a tinsy bit of a spoiler, the version of Godzilla himself in that film is… Very Hedorah-ish. It's a wonder why Hedorah is such a forgotten creature and Shin Godzilla is, well, I've just made myself think whether or not Shin Godzilla is going to be forgotten just the same. I sure hope it isn't.
Sorry to say, but I entirely blanked out of this fight. A total waste of life. Oddly, there isn't even music. This felt so strange at the time that I went around looking at whatever other Godzilla fights I could and yes, most do have music. You never notice the need for dramatic trumpets and zaps and blasts during a daikaiju battle until they're all gone, sad face.
As Hedorah slinks off into the water— no chance it's getting defeated less than halfway through the film oh my goodness are we seriously only half-way arse arse arse please can I not even be consistent with how I spell harfweigh, alright, the issue is that this film is too long. That's it, I'm sure of it, I'm declaring it. Almost forty minutes in and not barely halfway. I'm not usually the sort of person who stays overly aware of runtime while a film is in motion; the reason's because I don't ever get all that fatigued watching this stuff. But, goodness. Cut twenty five minutes off. Picking bits off films and throwing them away hurts my soul more than anything— the idea of saving otherwise un-used bits for DVD extras cures my soul again— but with this one? I wish somehow twenty minutes could have been slashed off. Saved in some vault somewhere. Replenished the world as extra scenes some day in the far-off future of 2004, I mean, two-thousand and four some day. Just look at these images of Hedorah and an image edit I made in GIMP with two spare minutes, please, it's been absolute light years since something as genuinely useful as that was displayed on this page.
I'd like to thank myself of the past for being such a turd as to create this at some truly, deeply inspired point. The film? Oh, the film! It's progressing nicely as we actually get back to our Main main characters, who are having a great time performing some fake chemistry like a real family:
Also new: the clippage of the word Hedorah whenever any of the main characters seem to pronounce it. It turns from Hedorah all the way to Hed'rah. This is an important fact you will be able to use many times over the span of your lifetime and you are very welcome to do that. I will do my best to bring more facts such as these to your attention here on lus.googlesites.biz in the future. Toru seems to have developed a new hypothesis, phrasing it in a lovely way for Ken:
“It probably came from a sticky dark planet far far away.”
I'm a real fan of this suggestion. Even however many words— months later we've found ourselves, I still don't know if I can come up with a real idea as to what Hedorah might actually be. A terrible, haunting force, hanging over my life like a chandelier from a fraying rope, smash crash bash oh no, how will I publish the latest page of my wonderful website without first finishing Hedorah off. It doesn't help that the message of this film— the real one, the Save the Earth message, it's more relevant than ever and it's a real pain to ignore it. If/when the world ends in our lifetimes— I doubt I have any elderly readers— then, well, we'll be able to say it was all down to Hedorah. How about we be the sticky dark planet far far away; there's some incisive commentary for you, kapooie.
I've been thinking too. (Wow, thanks!) The fact that Ken named this monster is a little exciting, right? Good for him, naming a Godzilla villain while being an in-universe Godzilla fan. Ken is like a canon version of that kid who eventually got to name a later monster, Biollante, in a fun wee competition run by Toho.
…Having now done the slightest amount of research and returned with the most shameful introductory ellipsis I can muster, I feel hurt to now have to report that it was actually an adult dentist who developed Biollante, although a competition was still involved. I'm leaving this part in to encourage you to never trust me. In other news, did you ever see The Neverending Story?
I will be honest with this one, though: that image is a holdover from past me; I have no idea why I was drawing a comparison between Rockbiter and this big statue and agree with my more sensible and modern readers who see no resemblance. Thank you for your understanding.
Meanwhile, the film decides to go somewhere, gosh! I've been showing some images without context here and this little bit might actually explain some of them, if we're lucky: Hedorah, as the number-one voted-best symbolism-monster of nineteen-seventy-one force-of-pollution smiley-face, is poised to douse the earth in a spray of sulphuric acid. This is important. Toru tells us— he almost all-out tells the camera, it's impressive. It helps a lot of what happens next make sense if you keep this sulphuric acid thing in mind, which, given the state of absolute numb-brainedness this film may well be designed to lull you into, might just be unlikely. It sounds as though it should go without saying that you should remember the H2SO4-rain plot point; it would be no trouble with any other movie, after all. Keeping things in mind while watching Godzilla versus Hedorah is always trouble, though. Ken, for one, seems to be among those of us who had this whole I-am-unable-to-pay-attention problem and decides now is a great time to take a day-trip out on a rollercoaster where he happens to get a glimpse of— you'd never guess, it's finally here to wreak havoc— it's a fly on the lens!
No, not a fly on the lens, perhaps— but it is in spirit. What is this? Is this Godzilla? Why is this here? I love this and have just had the idea of a long-running series of giant monster battle films filmed entirely with shadow puppets? Orignl Contnent Lusse 2020 All mine please don't take my idea!! The odd part of the media response again is that when it's reported Hedorah is out and about and might end up clashing with Godzilla… It's not Godzilla they question, but only Hedorah? As in, everyone seems to take it for granted that, yes, of course Godzilla's out for a walk! We know that giant dinosaur I know he's not a proper dinosaur shut up nerds smirk smirk smirk. But Hedorah? There's no such thing as a Hedorah! To quote me from the past another time:
“Is Godzilla seen as just… Some guy. At this point in the Godzilla timeline? Some guy who walks around. And exists.”
Absolutely inspired, once again. And yes, that's the colour I talk in when I'm not wearing my special LUS costume with the serious grey all over, don't be mean. This article is such a one-off freakshow already, I may as well show my natural colours. We'll be back to normal next time, I promise.
The other issue with a lot of this is context. It's like that in the bit coming up. So, we've heard that Hedorah will be drenching everything in sulphuric acid, but it's not exactly clear that's what's going on when it finally takes place. We start off with a smash cut to that rollercoaster, Ken on it, all that good stuff. When he sees the Godzilla-smudge (which nobody else seems to be thinking much of, oddly— the streets are confusingly empty as Ken runs off to phone for help), he gets in a phone box to call his dad, tell him about the smudge. His dad tells him to come on home! But Ken stops answering the phone! Ken! Ken, what's wrong! Where did you go! Why isn't he answering! Well, easy, it's because:
Smashed window? The phone box has a smashed window? Then, a sudden explosion and we see Ken running off. Maybe we can assume that something, backwards-back-to-front-the-wrong-way-round-whoopee, blew a hole in the side of the box. But Ken was fine. Maybe this isn't even a context issue like I said. Maybe, maybe, someone repeatedly put the wrong shots in the wrong order. Did Hedorah cause the exploding phone box? How? Sulphuric acid? What?
Speaking of sulphuric acid, though, this is where that happens. Fun. It's another one of those notorious moments right here— it's this big group of dancers(??), I think, all practising their stretches out in front of The Building. One! Two! Three! Four! Hedorah, being a tremendous flying creature now because smog evolves at a greater rate than any previously known lifeform, he zooms overhead and kapow, suddenly, the whole group begins to fall over and retch and curl up on the ground as though gassed.
There's something about this that feels legitimately kind of horrifying. We really don't ever find out what happens to these dancers— this school? It might well be a school getting gassed— sorry, corroded— sorry, this 'sorry' joke is getting old. Something to remember. I suppose for the message of all this to really hit home— the 'save the earth' part, I mean— there had to be some part like this where things really hit a little more personally, as in, on the disgustingly tiny human level, but it feels so odd to see such gruesome human-scale pain in a film one would assume is about huge explosions and giant sludge creatures and Godzilla at his goofiest, his outright silliest of all. But look, I guess, here's a nice shot of Hedorah eating all the cars.
I like the new chrome-ish paint coat Hedorah's got going on. Very Blob-ish, too— a good coat of paint. The way this little bit is introduced is unusual too: those cars under there? We start under there alongside a couple of drivers and, as the sludge drips down the windscreen, it's very much a sudden cut to this giant creature enveloping everyone and everything. Terrifying! Nice! The strangest part of this for me is how weird it is that Hedorah is able to keep sneaking up on people. Does it move silently? I can't imagine that's possible, but it has to be. Doesn't mud make a noise when you jump in? I'm not embedding an image for this, but imagine an illustrative photograph of a fully grown adult jumping into a pit of sludge and not even making a noise— or, herpaps (I'm not fixing that typo because it's hilarious), herpaps making the tinsy-tiniest sploosh like a diver with perfect form. I feel as though I've had this thought too many times watching and writing this. Perhaps silence is part of Hedorah's whole thing. Whenever it isn't screaming like malfunctioning sonar, at least.
But finally, we hear the rubber glove down a cello that is Godzilla's scream and finally, finally finally the first proper monster fight of the film. In the day. Thank goodness. It starts off a little… Odd, with Godzilla dancing around for a while before finally hugging Hedorah out of the air— it's a UFO again, of course— tossing it to the ground and. I swear I didn't edit this image:
This confusing, distorted POV shot of Godzilla punching Hedorah to bits gives me weird feelings. There are fairly undeniable I beat u up until you become unconscious ASMR feelings about the whole split-second and it leaves a lasting impression. What if that's actually intended as an indicator of this film's greater aim? It could tie perfectly in with everything I said at the start of this— falling asleep, dreaming— perhaps in my experience, Godzilla vs Hedorah achieved exactly what it wanted. Whatever the case, here's a very disturbing, not to mention psychedelic (ah, whoops, mentioned) death scene for your trouble:
That is only halfway dead/transported-to-another-dimension, you're right— here, let's speed that along a little:
The rags really make it, I think. Where else would you see random bystanders visibly reduced to bones in seconds in a giant monster film? It doesn't help that Ken comes across the skeleton moments later and runs off after a minor eye-covering moment and scream. Traumatised children? Yes please, says Godzilla vs Hedorah. That's a 3.4/10 IMdB score from me. Check back for more classic movie scores and numbers next time on Lus— however many years away 'next time on Lus' is, right? Oh ho ho ho. Since we seem to be moving back and forth between images of Hedorah's rampage now, take a look at one that has slightly unfortunate connotations now that thirty-nine years have passed (wow, it's only been thirty-nine?):
I like how Hedorah flying— yet again, it's flying without a care despite the brutal ASMR session with Godzilla— I like how the effect of Hedorah flying directly through the building gets ruined by the timing of this screenshot. You're welcome for that! Let's take a look, anyway. That falling man. The building collapsing in on itself— in total silence, I should add. I feel as though this must be to do with the cloud (rain?) of acid that follows Hedorah like an invisible haze wherever it goes (also cancelling noise, it appears), but the way it all happens has the appearance of a controlled model demolition, papier-mâché collapsing on a time-lapse. Freakish. We move straight into another animation and a news reporter explaining how— they are so good at explaining, aren't they?— explaining how Hedorah's acid mist is now making rescue impossible here in Fuji City. A man has fallen into the river and so on. And yes, that's the monster fight over already.
There's this thing in Godzilla films. I know, there's probably been enough of me talking about things in this series of thirty-something films which, if we're being honest, can't possibly all share these same set of traits I keep ascribing to them despite not having seem them all but shh let's pretend they do for the sake of fun— there's this thing in Godzilla films. This fine balance between where the focus should lie; should it linger on the human-level carnage or the monster fights exclusively? I prefer the monster nonsense, but would admit there's definitely less to write when I get my way. The human part of these films gives life. I just want to see as little of it as possible, paradoxically, probably. If you say you worked out something is a paradox, you can sometimes fool people into thinking you worked out anything at all. Wow, that was fancy, send applause.
Godzilla vs Hedorah wiggles this balance around in ways I can't pretend to get. 'Save the earth' is not exactly a message best expressed by fighting a humongous incarnation of filth, not at all, but it's not as though that's what we have in mind when we're watching those parts (or, trying to make them out in all the murk). It seems like this theme would best be expressed through human interaction then, but— here, let's take stock of the human characters for a second— the important ones, I mean! Ken, obviously, our best guy, our hero, he's our man. There's Toru, who's Ken's dad, and makes a hobby of lying down with a bandaged face and announcing new Hedorah-removal plans from afar. Who else? These two understand Hedorah comes from pollution, but they don't go off making a big thing of it, the big thing that needs to be made. Why make this a film about pollution? Why include Godzilla at all? Why is this a Godzilla film?
Alternatively, we could just forget all that and, look over there, it's our friend Toru Bandageface with an explanation of nuclear fission says Godzilla vs Hedorah:
“When the atoms of a substance undergo nuclear fission, they create more atoms and emit a tremendous amount of energy.”
“Throughout the universe, explosions occur which are very much larger than the sun or hydrogen bombs.”
”Bang! That's wild.”
That was a fun short film, what a great ending! Ah, I'll stop with that. Everything in me fought not to make a two-frame GIF out of this. It fought harder when I suggested to myself how this would be perfect to include on the page itself, unfortunate corner-arm movement and everything. Unfortunately, I defeated myself and hands.gif rests right here as a sign of my great failure.
Once again. Bang! That's wild.
Ken immediately asks the title's question:
“Could it become more powerful than Godzilla?”
It's really great to think that this boy only thinks in comparison to Godzilla. It's maybe a side-effect of how this world works, really. You're not going to be successful as a character in a film called 'Godzilla vs' anything unless you're constantly asking that question. It's so lovely to have someone on Godzilla's side from the start like this, it really is. The question gets run around a little. Toru reminds us there's only one Hedorah— but is that really true? Isn't Hedorah's point that it's this conglomeration of muck and filth from all over? All us ugly, filthy people. We're all Hedorah. I'm Hedorah. Awoo.
Something more comes from this whole conversation than me resorting to nonsense as a replacement for actual thought! Finally— finally, finally, we begin thinking what Hedorah's weak spot might be. Obviously, the first answer would be that gigantic eye, right? He's a giant enemy turd, hit the weak spot for blah blah blah go for the eye, surely?
This is a screenshot from the intro cutscene to Resident Evil 2, sure, but I think the point about bulging red eyes being the most obvious weak point of anything silly enough to have them is still worth paying attention. Hedorah, frogs, people with conjunctivitis: aren't they all weakest when you go for the eyes? Ken, however, has another, equally fun idea: they should dry Hedorah out! Dry the sludge, dry the sludge! This film. What would that mean for Hedorah, anyway? Wouln't it be as if they mummified it? Dessicated it alive? Hedorah really meets a horribly cruel fate this way. But yes, of course they'll do that. Great plan, says the Ken Family.
Meanwhile, Ken's older brother— note from now: it turns out this man is not actually his brother, but he may as well be— is off doing the really important work. We're going to have a march, he decides. That'll stop the giant monster! The whole idea starts off with this defeatist idea about “Hedorah has won already”. It's more than a little depressing. I'm not sure if it gets better or worse once it becomes clear the real idea— the second part to it— is “let's get this march on the go already so we can have a dying party!” I have no idea why this is meant to be a good idea. Ken did better. Far better. One million people all together, burning, ouch, pain, ook, ook.
More television. Another 'professor'— I put 'professor' in quotes because who really knows what all these Godzilla professors have degrees in, they might well just be people wearing glasses, which I'd be on board with— this other professor claims Hedorah will create a 'negative world of death' (another great band name). Alongside, we're shown a series of screens with— ah, okay, you're capable of looking down at the image below, I don't need to explain everything. Somewhere in the middle of this— and I suppose it's clear by now as well— this turned from my usual style (“usual style” I say, having only published one page so far)— it turned from my usual style into some form of synopsis–commentary. We're too far in to back out of that sunk cost now, I'm afraid, but it does seem to lead to me explaining quite a bit of what doesn't need to be explained. Here, I'll do what I'm really here to do and give insight. I love claiming to be able to offer insight. That baby stuck in the sludge on one of the screens? That's the most heartbreaking little bit in this whole thing for me besides the bit with the cat (it's awful how cats have managed to appeal themselves to humans more than some human babies are able, but then that might just be something reflecting on me, whoops, I swear it's only a thing for me with movies).
It's lucky it gets shut off the screen so quickly. The television screens showing the larger response to this crisis is a nice idea, but it's so… Odd. The formation of screens. The unusual patterns flickering on and off them them. And the way they start flashing, multicoloured, everything— they do that.
We switch between this and Toru telling us about the new plan to defeat Hedorah with twin electrodes. I want to see the script, please, please let me see it, it must be so interesting. At the very least, I'd like to see a fake script. The original Godzilla had a pretty good one. We're really going all over the place here— article and film itself— here's something else interesting. Godzilla vs Hedorah goes all greyscale for a second or two as we head over to Ken's not-brother again. It's finally happening! The one-million people march! Or, rather… Not a march of many people at all. As far as we can see, it's just a couple of people sitting in a field, someone playing an electric guitar cordlessly and with no audio setup. Oddly, the music turns non-diegetic soon enough, so, let's call that one a film-y mystery for the moment and forever. It's a quite nice realisation how this 'march' was only ever a hundred people getting together all along. Not only that, but right here's maybe my favourite snippet of dialogue in this whole film and an instruction I obviously follow religiously every day of my life. We all should:
”Why complain about it? There's no place else to go and soon we'll all be dead. So, forget it! Enjoy yourself! Let's sing and dance while we can! Come on, blow your mind!”
The real cheeriness in this is what makes it stick— really, isn't it especially relevant advice at the moment toooh hohohhosorry, let's make up for that. Cough. At some point during all this, the word 'Hedorah' will invariably begin to sound more and more like 'Pedro'. Oh, oh, what a good thing to mention and to say and maybe that's not too interesting but anyway, look, what's that, over the horizon, look!
That's it— Godzilla toy in the distance, steadily breathing jagged fire at nothing in particular. Strangest of all, as the party continues and people dance around, crowded, Ken seems to be the only one who notices. The boy definitely has some extra-sensory Godzilla RADAR, there's no question— slight internal confusion over whether it's RADAR or radar, choosing to ignore— whatever the case, when he points it out to the closest person, that's it. There's half an hour left on this film but it's clear from this moment on we've reached the finale.
We're doing it! We're really doing it! Before we head directly into the final monster fight (and it's a good one, it really is), take a look at this hat–scarf–trousers bonus points x3 combobob:
May as well go ahead and launch a sister fashion-based site on some other Neocities subdomain, really, the amount I'm talking about clothes in this. Looking at this, I hope you can forgive my curiosity. It might have been clear from my putting so much into discussing a not-outright-fantastic giant rubber-suited monster-battle film from the long-long-ago of seventy-something that I put maybe far too much stress on spectacle as one of the most important aspects of drama. Sure, it's not properly poetic, I'll even accept that, but this is getting a little too highbrow and maybe you can just keep hold of your unities and high drama and theatrical elements and I can not have them invade my brain out of nowhere and here, just take your giant turd-monster roaming about the barren dream-waste of all the very worst seventies Godzilla.
That's not saying Godzilla vs Hedorah makes it into the very worst of seventies Godzilla— wow, even if I did think it was a bad film, it could hardfully (*hardly, but I'm leaving that typo so I can remember to reuse this new word some time in the future)— it could hardly reach the bottom of that category. Only, it's this wasteland. It keeps coming up. I'm imagining they shot all these fights in some far-off deserted area to remove any sense of scale from what would have been humans dancing around in suits, jumping about in soon-to-be-slow-motion battle routines, somersaulting and damaging their hip bones. Who wants to think of that, though? These are real giant monsters. Look back up there at those real-life giant monsters. Godzilla's theme sounds like it's melting, half-hearted and dead— play it in your brain and look back up at that. Back down here. More.
As the two monsters begin making noises— Hedorah's sentience is a fun thing to think about if you're into that— we move back to the humans (of course we move back to the humans) and to Toru especially. He's got the news. He's demanding the electrodes— the drying-out-Hedorah electrodes. Grr, he says urgently in Japanese probably. I don't know what the written Japanese equivalent to a slightly annoyed grunt is. 'Grr' is how you show anger in just about all books for children, I should probably take a look through some in Japanese. Maybe another time.
Toru— I notice it's not even occurring to me to call him “Ken's dad' anymore— turns out all it took was the written equivalent of a full-length commentary to properly develop one of the main characters of Godzilla vs Hedorah in my mind. Excellent. Anyway, then, Toru— he's extremely concerned over how the electrodes are being manufactured in Yokohama. Ew, he shrieks. Yokohama-made electrodes! No, the real problem is that's too far off to get them to Hedorah in any decent time. It's fun that the concrete response to this particular giant monster has been almost zero besides this single sick man constantly figuring things out for himself and only himself. That the electrodes have just… Gone into production already, straight from Ken's suggestion to dry Hedorah out, it's a bit of a surprise, and— actually, I don't care. Who does? This isn't important. There's been enough exposition on a fairly nothing plot here already. I'm finally able to show the undeniably fun stuff instead. Look at this instead. Hedorah laughing as it burns Godzilla with its big flashy lazer beam is awful. Not a good noise.
Everyone except Godzilla remembers to duck— torsos, flat on the wasteland ground. The party scatters, Ken watches— why was he at the death party anyway?— Godzilla smokes in a heap. Our beautiful poo-creature looks back, smirking. Hedorah isn't actually smirking, but it sure feels as though it is. At the gathered humans below. At Godzilla. At us. At me. There's something definitely funny about it. The tone this is all going for is a bit all over the place with the humans watching this from a safe distance like it's a film for them too.
Having dealt with big gross lizard, Hedorah takes it out on the partygoers, who've all begun throwing their flaming torches. Some more murder happens and they back off. Fun. Now that Hedorah looks most like a man in a suit— well, perhaps you might just say it looks like something in a suit if you want to be nice, or a model— still, now that it looks far, far more fake, easily visible headpiece and everything, you could say that a bit of the sci-fi appeal is gone. However, Hedorah quickly counters this potential suggestion by showing off some of its Xenomorph blood. Why did I just capitalise xenomorph? Whatever, however. That's cool. Godzilla gets back up, gives it a whack and:
Yeah, it's another one of those weird POV Godzilla Punches U shots— but this time he's gone for the tremendously obvious weak point! Perhaps that's what this type of shot represents. Hedorah's poor eye getting blurped.
I really have absolutely no clue what's going on with the resolution of some of these screenshots besides that it's a problem with the film, not my ability to take screengrabs. That, by the way, is turning into something a little difficult at this point. I thought I wouldn't do this, but this has gone far enough already; take a look at this:
Not cropped at all. This is the best representation I can manage in image form of how shady and strobing this fight is from this point on. Half this entire sequence looks like this. If you can tell me what's happening here, I'd be happy to include a summary in place of this sentence. Fun. It was also right here this film originally put me to sleep. We, no, we are going to push on past that. Only, with the knowledge going forward that it would be sort of nice if every substantial fight with Hedorah didn't take place in the pitch black and, thinking on it, with the same Godzilla roar playing and replaying on a loop, cutting off halfway, quarterway, all over the place, replaced back and forth by itself cut partway through the beginning and middle sections like Godzilla's an enemy taking damage in a three-dimensional nineties fighting video game— guh! Guh! Guh! This is getting a bit much.
Godzilla gets turtled. Godzilla Gets Turtled— that would be a fun imaginary film to write about— no, Godzilla gets lifted up in the air, dropped in a well-placed giant pit and has a gigantic poop taken on him. This is a little out of nowhere. Godzilla waggling around like a flipped turtle, buried in a slimy grave. Is. Not the sort of thing I think anybody watching this went to go and see. His burial roar is maybe the worst part of it, a little scary, panicked and upset. Steam breath.
In some non-Japan countries (“non-Japan” is way more fun than “non-Japanese”), this film was retitled 'Godzilla vs The Smog Monster'. This is not. “Smog”. Maybe someone decided the more accurate title just wouldn't be good for business.
Somehow, finally, managing to do something useful in one of these films— the Japanese military choose to appear just in time! Self-defence force? More like. Toy helicopter force. Ahahah, hohoho, examine this helichopper, please:
A minor tinkly bomb dropped near Hedorah later (note from future-future me: a what?), we go back to the humans. Of course of course we go back to the humans. Toru is there. The electrodes are already made and in place. They're diverting all electricity from the Kanto area. Oh, it's all such good news and what, did Godzilla make it out of the septic tank and manage to avoid drowning and he's coming over here and
“HEY :)” says Godzilla, lovingly. “Oh, Godzilla,” you reply. “<3.”
I somehow convinced myself this whole thing was a productive thing to do. The fight resumes, a new hope of zap-zap-zap-kablooming Hedorah to bits with the Yokohama-made electrodes filling Godzilla with determination. Probably. Really, it's all beginning to seem endless. There's a lot more tumbling about between the two monsters now, at least, and that's fun if you're into it. The battle's apparent location at the top of Mt Fuji might as well be officially announced as having changed to some field in the middle of nowhere by now— here's the desolate dreamscape from the beginning of all this, I suppose. The humans momentarily light up Hedorah with their headlights and oh, goodness, you do now get the littlest clue why most of its fight scenes are in the dark. It just… Doesn't look good in the light. It's not Hedorah's fault— it knows we still love it. The truth's the truth, though.
Here lies five–ten minute minutes of Hedorah staring at a set of blinking lights and slowly shuffling forwards. It's odd entertainment and there's not much to say about it. The idea is that it'll move towards the lights and get caught between the electrodes, where it'll quickly get all electrified to dust. At first, it really does seem to work!
At first. The man in the suit waddles closer, but that helicopter gets in its way! Oh no! Whacked out of the air! Oh no! Oh no! It's set off course just that little bit and starts off walking in the wrong direction, away from the Yokolectrodes. This is the word we use for Yokohama-made electrodes and I will make sure to use it in future pages here to encourage its adoption. We get some nasty looks at Hedorah's crusty eyelids, nictitating now— quite spooky, actually. After this little scare, Hedorah walks, stupid as you'd think a massive blob of poop would be, directly between the Yokolectrodes and zap, smash, it crumples. It keeps crumpling. Crumpling and crumpling. The electrodes turn off. A heap.
Now that it's safer to approach, Godzilla does so, cautious, cautious and, obviously, he decides now's finally his chance to remove the orbs. Sorry, The Orbs. Is that better? What do you mean, you don't know what The Orbs are? The Hedorah Orbs? You know, the Orbs Hedorah carried with it from its home planet, far-far-off in another galaxy? You have to know. Come on, haven't you been paying any attention? Of course you know what the Hedorah Orbs are. The source of Hedorah's power. They're like pearls but magical and spacey and probably dorodangoed turds of some kind. Anyway, that all said— Godzilla strips them from inside the corpse (what a good beginning to a sentence) and gives them the breath— this, what seems like Hedorah's death, is really very confusing. Despite this, I don't want to ruin my experience with the Mystery Orbs by heading over to the Godzilla wiki and finding out these are just Hedorah's gonads or whatever— that wiki can really ruin the imagination you can find in these films if you use it wrong.
Removing the orbs though, as is widespread knowledge and shouldn't Godzilla have known really?— removing the orbs is not enough and the flying Hedorah erupts from the crumpled pile like a snake from its shedskin (one word now, I suppose), taking the quickest zoom it can off and away, almost escaping. So, here's the best part of the film. Godzilla stretches like a gymnast. Arms either side. Hnng, says Godzilla, channelling energy towards his base chakra, nyoom, probably. I'm so tired.
Liftoff. Cue this up. Start reading (if you want, watching) with me. “Whoa, did Hedorah take off and YEAH THIS FILM WAS WORTH IT” announces past me, eyes lighting up and mouth stretching from cheek to cheek, creepypasta-style, finally brought real excitement and happiness by the major motion picture starring Hedorah the turd and its goofy sidekick, Godzilla, I'm here take this hi:
For a moment, it looks like Godzilla vs Hedorah round fifteen million but nope, body slam after the same, one by one by one, everything closes off. Held in place, Hedorah is finally electroded to bits and I delete my paragraph on whatever the symbolism in this might ever have been. The life gets electrified out of this creature.
The colours in all this— the brightly drawn lightning bolts; the glowing, hazy mist— it's all fairly wonderful. I could have watched this light show for so long instead. When the electrodes momentarily lose power, Godzilla breathes full-blast at one and it rebounds, rebounds, somehow drying Hedorah out with far more power than even before. It suffers a final deflation. So do I. it's all done.
Hedorah torn to shreds— my heart rising, it's all so close to an end— Godzilla is finally allowed a triumphant expression. As he plods away, we're given a parting shot of Mount Fuji— a reminder that all of this was somehow supposed to have taken place there? Shouldn't that have been the establishing shot? Where did the death party go? Ken's fake brother, however unnecessary a character he might have been, will remain in our memories as we last saw him: come on. Blow your mind.
The fight is over. Godzilla. Plod. We flick through different waterscapes, overcome with scum and pooling spirals of murky beige waste. The possibility of another Hedorah clearly exists. You can look into the unmade sequel yourself if you like— perhaps greatness might never have been captured again, perhaps our director Yoshimitsu— sorry, YOSHIMITSU BANNO, might have been accused of ruining Godzilla at the time— but here in the modern day, he's the second result in the Wikipedia searchbox for 'Yoshimitsu', right there after Yoshimitsu from Tekken. If that's not a successful outcome, yes, yes, hooray.
It's not the end. Ken's running outpaces Godzilla's plod— he's there just in time to scream a goodbye at the monster (don't worry, Ken, he'll be back and back and back) and like everyone who tries this at the ends of these films, to get ignored. The look on his face is a little too painful. Child actors are really impressive, sometimes.
Debriefing: this was not brief. In writing this, I may have experienced the longest single sit-down session with Godzilla vs Hedorah of anyone in the last almost-forty years. Despite its length, this was an enjoyable experience. You should watch this film, because despite the conceit I run with where I pretend this is me sharing the parts I liked about films with other people who have also seen them, I know realistically how that last part is unlikely and despite what evolved into an unnecessary fan commentary— goodness, am I a fan now?— I still don't think this even scratches the atmosphere this thing can create.
Watch it with other people, though. And hot chocolate, if you have any. And don't wonder what the message about pollution was; we're long past the due date for another Hedorah, unfortunately, not so much you can do there. And laugh at it. And don't you ever dare expect there to be anything like another one of these— no more versus Hedorah— no more as long as monsters stomp and plod and groan like rubber on cold and coiled-steel wire, no matter the cliffhanger and no matter the yet-another-ones. No, not another one yet.
That would be a nice set of parting words, but if I'm being truthful, that honour belongs with a quite randomly chosen Youtube comment I found and enjoyed for all the months on end I've spent putting this together. For Psychotic Serenity:
Long live Hedorah.