Godzilla vs. Hedorah (Gojira tai Hedorâ)

11/10/2016 16:51

Film: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (Gojira tai Hedorâ)

Year: 1971

Director: Yoshimitus Banno

Writer: Toshimitsu Banno and Takeshi Kimura

Starring: Akira Yamauchi, Toshie Kimura and Hiroyuki Kawase



This film begins showing us polluted water. We then see a boy, played by Toshie Kimura, who is a big fan of Godzilla, playing with his toys. We see his older brother, played by Hiroyuki Kawase. They are called in for dinner when Yoshio Yoshida, a fisherman approaches. Their father is a scientist, played by Akira Yamauchi. Yoshida shows them a weird tadpole like creature. Supposedly the fishing has gone down hill and that is all there really is to catch.

They are watching television that night and see there was a crash in the bay. Two tankers collided, but something attacked both of them. No one is sure what it was. We then learn that it is a monster known as Hedorah.

Out in the ocean, Godzilla is coming to land and finds sludge on top of the water that is moving toward him. He uses his atomic breath on it and it lights on fire.

Yamauchi goes scuba diving and comes in encounter with the Hedorah. It has red eyes and made up of sludge. He does hide from it. His son is on the beach and also has a run in with Hedorah. He stabs it with a knife and it cuts strip but moves around it.

He then finds that the tadpole has dried out and crumbles, like it is made of a mineral. He then gets the idea to test it in water. Nothing happens until he puts a piece in polluted water, then it comes back to life. He tries this again with another in the same water and they combine, making a bigger organism. He was also injured from his run-in, as he is now blind in one eye as it releases sulfuric acid.

The Hedorah in the ocean has evolved enough to leave the water and sucks the smoke from factory. It can now fly. Godzilla approaches and they do battle. The creature releases electricity and looks like it is dead. We then learn though that it is not.

Kawase does not want the world to end and decides to get his hippie friends together to create a group that is against pollution and to put an end to Hedorah that is growing. The problem is that it might be too little too late.

Can Godzilla stop Hedorah? Will man be able to find a way to help him or will this sludge monster continue to grow stronger until it can no longer be stopped?

I will say that this one is darker than most of the installment to the series, which I really liked. I understand that the directors and the production companies make films to get the most viewers to make money; I personally think that they hinder previous films to focus more on a younger crowd. I thought the battle scenes between Godzilla and Hedorah were good. For most of the film, Hedorah is taking it to Godzilla and I was wondering for a stretch if they were going to kill Hedorah or not. This film does have a great message to something that we are still concerned with today in pollution. It is even scarier an idea if that we could see a monster created from it that would poison everything much faster and put an end to mankind as we know it. The acting is also pretty good in this film as well. This film also makes the first time that Godzilla flies using his atomic breath.

Now I did have some issues with this film. I hated the odd scenes were we would cut to different cartoon drawings that are supposed to fill us in on what has happened as the film shifts a bit into the future. My problem with this is that it is out of place and not needed. I thought the story itself was a little bit boring. It does pick up as the film reaches its climax, but I personally wanted a bit more. I am also confused about the scenes in the disco club as well as why the hippies thought dancing out in the middle of a field when there are monsters about was a good idea.

With that said, this film did have a lot of potential to be good, but the director and editor made some questionable calls that hurt the film for me. The acting as wasn’t bad, the story was lacking a little, but it did have a good concept and message. I thought taking this film darker than some of its predecessors was a good idea, but there were just too many things that I didn’t like that were major. If you like the Godzilla films, I will recommend it to see it take on one of its toughest foes. If you’re out to just watch one, then I would avoid this one.


My Rating: 5 out of 10