Godzilla vs. Hedorah (ゴジラ対ヘドラ?, lit. Godzilla Against Hedorah) is a Gojira Tai Hedora1971 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Company Ltd., and the eleventh installment in the Godzilla series as well as the Showa series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on July 24, 1971.
The movie starts out with a long shot of polluted water where Hedorah rises slowly, the title shows onscreen. Credits roll with shots of sludge and garbage floating past on the water mixed with images of a woman singing "Save the Earth" in Japanese. We then come to the home of the Yano family, consisting of Dr. Toru Yano, a marine biologist, his wife, Toshie, and his son, Ken. A fisherman comes to their house with a large black-colored tadpole-esque fish. A friend of the Yano's, Ken, the Doctor, and the fisherman agree it couldn't be a tadpole for a few reasons (Size, area where it was found, color, etc.). The doctor asks where the fisherman caught it, and he said it was down where he normally went shrimping, saying it was strange he didn't get any. As the family and their friend are eating. a news report comes on about a large creature, similar to the fish they found, attacking two boats, destroying them. One theory put out was that it was a military weapon. A clear photo of the creature comes onscreen in the report. Ken exclaims it was the same as the fish the man brought earlier. They travel down to where the fish was caught in Suruga Bay, the doctor in scuba gear, the boy with a knife and pail. The doctor tells his son he'll be back in thirty minutes and dives in. Dr. Yano swims around for a while without finding anything other than garbage on the bottom of the water. As Ken cracks open oysters attached to the rocks in the water, finding nothing, the creature causes a wave to crash into him as it is swimming toward him. He holds his knife up in the air as it jumps above him, creating a large gash in its underbelly. It swims off, leaving Ken on the rocks, calling out to his father. The doctor soon sees the creature, it goes toward him and burns his face with acid. He is brought back home later on, having been treated for burns. In an interview with the press, they discuss the two creatures (as the one that attacked Ken and Dr. Yano was much smaller), Ken refers to them as "Hedorahs", however the name appears to catch on. They discuss how both of the Hedorahs were found in polluted water. Another news report states three more tankers were taken down by the larger of the two. A crude cartoon of a green-colored Hedorah drinking oil from the tankers among hundreds of dead fish is shown. In the background, smoke billows from several chimney stacks.
Classic Godzilla music plays momentarily on a picture of a sunset/sunrise as Godzilla slowly comes on-screen and roars. Various shots of polluted water appears again. Ken has a short monologue about nuclear fallout and waste being put into the sea as Godzilla sets fire to the sludge on the water (apparently for a report of some kind, as evidenced by his lines at the end).
Hedorah then appears in land form, and begins to feed on pollution from a factory. Godzilla appears and attacks Hedorah, only to find out that the monster is immune to his heat ray. Hedorah then retreats back to the ocean with Godzilla on his tail.
Ken is at an amusement park and rides on the roller coaster when he spots Godzilla. Hedorah, now in flying form, appears and attacks the city. Meanwhile, Dr. Yano studies Hedorah's blood to find sulfur. He realizes that Hedorah can only be defeated by high temperatures, and kills the small Hedorah he had locked in his lab by electrocuting it. The army is notified of this weakness, and proceeds to build a machine to kill Hedorah at Mount Fuji.
Ken goes to a party at Mount Fuji where Hedorah attacks. Godzilla attacks Hedorah, but it changes to its final form. Hedorah then defeats Godzilla, and the humans at the party begin to throw fire at it. Hedorah is about to kill them, but Godzilla intervenes. Godzilla fights valiantly, but is once again defeated by Hedorah, with the power lines getting destroyed in the process. The army lures Hedorah to the weapon, only to find out that they do not have power. Godzilla grabs Hedorah and activates the weapon with his heat ray, frying him. He removes two white spheres from Hedorah and destroys them. The weakened Hedorah tries to fly away, but Godzilla flies after him. Hedorah returns to land form, and is drug back to the weapon by Godzilla. Godzilla activates the weapon again and finally kills Hedorah. Ken says his goodbyes to Godzilla as he heads back to the sea.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Yoshimitsu Banno
- Written by Yoshimitsu Banno, Kaoru Mabuchi
- Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
- Music by Riichiro Manabe, Mari Keiko
- Cinematography by Yoichi Manoda
- Edited by Yoshitami Kuroiwa
- Production Design by Taiko Inoue
- Special Effects by Teruyoshi Nakano
- Assistant Director of Special Effects Koichi Kawakita
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Akira Yamauchi as Doctor Toru Yano
- Toshio Shiba as Yukio Keuchi
- Hiroyuki Kawase as Ken Yano
- Keiko Mari as Miki Fujiyama
- Toshie Kimura as Ken's Mother Toshie Yano
- Yoshio Yoshida as Fisherman Gohei
- Haruo Suzuki as Commander
- Yoshio Katsube as Commander
- Saburo Iketani as News Reader
- Tadashi Okabe as Scientist
- Susumu Okabe as Interviewer
- Wataru Omae as Police Officer
- Yukihiko Gondo as Helicopter Pilot
Weapons, Vehicles, and Races
Godzilla vs. Hedorah was released theatrically in the United States in 1972 by American International Pictures, under the title Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster. The film was dubbed into English, and no footage was cut. The opening song, Return the Sun!, is recorded over with new English lyrics and retitled Save the Earth.
Godzilla vs. Hedorah had a budget of ¥90,000,000 . When the film was released on July 24, 1971 in Japan, it received an attendance of 1,740,000.
Godzilla vs. Hedorah has received mixed reviews, with some liking it for its special effects and plot, while others dislike it for its bizarre content and inconsistent tone, which ranges from serious and disturbing, to surreal and weird, and to silly and goofy.
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