|Godzilla vs. Hedorah|
|Produced by||Toho Company Ltd.|
|Directed by||Yoshimitsu Banno|
|Music by||Riichiro Manabe|
|Alternate Titles||Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster|
Godzilla vs. Hedorah (ゴジラ対ヘドラ?, Gojira Tai Hedorah, lit. Godzilla Against Hedorah) is a 1971 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Company Ltd. and the eleventh installment in the Godzilla series. The film was directed by Yoshimitsu Banno with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano. The score was composed by Riichiro Manabe. This film was released to Japanese theaters on July 24, 1971.
Tomoyuki Tanaka, who produced the first 22 Godzilla films, was in the hospital during the time the film was made. Upon recovery and actually seeing the film, it is said that he told the director of the film he ruined the Godzilla series and that he would never direct at Toho again.
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. 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, 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 mt. Fuji.
Ken goes to a party at Mt. 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 hat 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.
- Main Article: Gallery:Godzilla vs. Hedorah.
- This was the first, and only, time Godzilla flies. He uses his atomic breath as jet propulsion. Banno reportedly added the scene to provide a light moment in what is otherwise a fairly dark movie compared to many of those which preceded it.
- The Godzilla suit used predominantly in this film is the same "SoshingekiGoji" suit used for the last two films, Destroy All Monsters and All Monsters Attack.
- Hedorah was portrayed by a man named Kengo Nakiyama, who, 13 years later, would play Godzilla himself in The Return of Godzilla and reprise the role for the remainder of the Heisei series films. (By that time he had changed his name to Kenpachiro Satsuma.) He also portrayed Gigan in both Godzilla vs. Gigan and Godzilla vs. Megalon, respectively.
- Hedorah is the last monster that Godzilla battles in the Showa series that acts independently and is not under the control of some other being.
- The film had a main theme called Save the Earth, which was sung in English. The Japanese version of the song was called "Give Back the Sun!".
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