This movie looks like it’s going to be monster-created-by-science vs. monster-waste-product-of-said-science. So prepare yourself. I can see some fart jokes ahead if this smog monster ends up like I think it will.
Starting off, we get a Bond-style song intro right after the pollution monster starts to surface. At this point, I’m not sure if the Bond films were any sort of influence on this franchise, but I really enjoyed the Bond films and seeing little touches like villain lairs and intro songs in this series is pretty neat. This series seems to borrow a bit from other films and make those pieces its own.
As usual, we have some humans and the ones in this entry are a family that—from what I can tell—has a scientist for a father. He goes off scuba diving to see if he can figure out why the fishing sucks and/or where this pollution monster comes from. As he’s swimming around, you can see all the castaway bits of trash on the floor of this body of water. We’re talking pollution as bad as we get shown things are today. It’s hard to tell if this is supposed to be a message about pollution, or if it really is just a fun jaunt into the world of monsters, but I do appreciate the originality of it all. Eventually, he has a run in with a swimming turd monster. Seems there is more than one of them. Our scientist makes it back but ends up with a nasty scar on his face.
Shortly thereafter, we are treated to a nifty cartoon representation of Hedorah. Oddly, it’s like this creature had existed before the current issues. They have the name right off like it wasn’t the first time they experienced this thing. So a bit of development here might have been good. Then, strangely, the scientist guy figures out that the small critters they keep seeing can actually connect and form larger creatures. So you can tell where this is going.
There is a point where we go to a bar for some drinks, which is not really explained other than it’s a precursor to an attack I suppose. This is some sort of hippie dance bar where the singer, who is a woman, has a skin-tight leotard thing on with, I kid you not, a clamshell strategically placed where you would use clam innuendo! Here we get Hedorah coming on shore to take a toke off some pollution belching smokestacks. Dance thing seems really random now right? Well, along comes Godzilla, burning the trash as he goes. Unfortunately, he runs into Hedorah puffing on his pipe. But wait! We’re back at the dance club, and the one dude is hallucinating like he’s from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. For whatever random reason he’s seeing the people in the bar with fish heads. I gotta say, this is a bit trippy for really no reason. It does add some charm though.
And here we go. Godzilla vs Hedorah, round one. Hedorah pops a zit and blasts some nasty discharge onto Godzilla. Godzilla responds with an atomic blast or three. The fight moves off into the water. Who will be the victor? Wait, more random cartoon goodness. We get a factory belching smog while it plucks all the greenery that comes up. Hedorah takes over from there. Not complaining, but this is really whacked. Then our scientist explains that Hedorah may have ridden in on a meteor. Somewhere along the line, someone should have written a coherent story for this because it’s all over the place.
On with the show and oh yeah, here it is: Hedorah does a fly over fart attack! It’s even shown to whither plants and corrode humans! You knew I was waiting for that very scene. Did I mention the flying Hedorah looks a bit like a stealth bomber? Continuing the potty humor, Hedorah hot boxes Godzilla, and Godzilla gives Hedorah a rectal exam. I can’t honestly tell if they knew the innuendo at the time or not but this is gold to me.
Overall, I would not say this entry was fun, which isn’t to say it’s bad. Quite the opposite. I really enjoyed this, but it wasn’t fun like Ebirah was. I don’t know how else to describe it. Entertaining maybe. This is still Showa Era, and it came in right after All Monsters Attack, but it’s got this weird hippie vibe throughout even though it tries to get serious here and there. The cartoon stuff was pretty cool. The bar scene was odd but still cool. There was even a point where everyone went out to the party end of the world style, which was interesting on its own. I guess the best thing to say is that this did its own thing.
One thing I’m not sure I’ve ever really commented on in my other reviews is regarding the costumes and creature designs. Godzilla is pretty much what you’d expect, but the design for Hedorah is really cool. The thing mutates throughout the movie into various forms like the blob for land and stealth bomber for air. There are a ton of little tentacles hanging off, and he physically takes damage as Godzilla fights him. So that was pretty cool to see.
I give this one 3/5 stars. It’s definitely worth a watch just to see how crazy things get.