Alternative Title: The one that was made on drugs, probably
Ask Godzilla fans what they think about Godzilla vs. Hedorah and you’ll get reactions ranging from “eh, it’s OK” to “OMG this is the worst!” One thing they’ll all agree on though, is that this film is balls to the wall, pants on head, writers with cocaine and a dartboard WEIRD. This movie runs like a fever dream. Full of things that you never expected, never thought you’d see, and after you saw them, you’ll wonder why the hell they showed it to you in the first place.
So this one follows up on Son of Godzilla, being a low budget, quick turnaround, child-oriented take on Godzilla, which is frankly where the series is going for the next while, so buckle in. Had a new director, Yoshimitsu Banno for this one. He got fired from the series after this. Longtime series producer Tomoyuki Tanaka absolutely hated this film. But Banno did come back to help out with the 2014 American Godzilla. So… that I guess. Anyways, this wasn’t a film that was set up to succeed, and then had some really weird and questionable decisions upon release, was reviewed horribly upon release, and had significant ramifications for that.
But, at the same time, there are some interesting things it does. It’s limited budget was used with purpose, Hedorah is legitimately threatening, and it has some neat parallels to some of the better Godzilla films, so it has some layers to it.
Also, Banno started this film with an ENVIRONMENTAL message in mind, inspired by seeing heavy pollution in the rivers and smog in cities. So there is an absolutely heavy ENVIRONMENTAL moral to this story. That being that the ENVIRONMENT IS GOOD and POLLUTION IS BAD. It will hit you over and over again with all the grace of a jackhammer. So, keep that in mind as you’re reading this. To be fair, this was made at a point where ENVIRONMENTAL conditions in Japan were absolutely horrible, and it got better in the years following this film, so maybe it was super called for and Godzilla vs. Hedorah is exactly what Japan needed to make a comeback. But in any case, there are few morals that will be slammed into your brain harder than this. It will crash and splatter everywhere. Kind of messy, in all. If there’s ever a point while you’re reading this that you’re thinking something other than how absolutely terrible it is that there’s POLLUTION in the ENVIRONMENT, you need to adjust your expectations and start over again. It doesn’t matter that nothing else in the film makes sense. ENVIRONMENT!!!Continue reading