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Gojira tai Hedora

Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster
Godzilla vs. Hedorah / Frankensteins Kampf gegen die Teufelsmonster

Japan 1971
produced by
Tomoyuki Tanaka for Toho
directed by Yoshimitsu Banno
starring Akira Yamauchi, Toshie Kimura, Hiroyuki Kawase, Keiko Mari, Toshio Shiba, Yukihiko Gondo, Eisaburo Komatsu, Tadashi Okabe, Wataru Omae, Susumu Okabe, Haruo Nakajima, Kenpachiro Satsuma (as Kengo Nakayama), Teruzo Okawa
written by Yoshimitsu Banno, Takeshi Kimura (as Kaoru Mabuchi), music by Riichiro Manabe, special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano

Godzilla, Hedorah

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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An amphibian creature (that eventually also learns to fly) threatens the coast of Japan, sinking many a ship, and soon scientist Yano (Akira Yamauchi) and his son Ken (Hiroyuki Kawase), who can be no older than 8, find out that the creature the boy soon dubs Hedorah feeds on pollution - and is at one time actually seen sitting atop a factory sucking the smoke from its chimney - and emmanates even more pollution, like toxic gasses that not only kill instantly but also leaving behind no more than bones ...

Enter Godzilla, who has taken it upon himself to defend Japan once more and fight Hedorah using his bare fists and radioactive breath - but at the beginning, not even he seems to be a match for the creature, and he is seen losing their first fight ...

All hope's gone ?

Nope, because scientist Yano and son find out they can destroy the creature by completely dehydrating it. So the army builds some massive electrodes to create an electric field and dry Hedorah out ... but then the lines are cut during the Hedorah-Godzilla rematch, and when the army has finally lured Hedorah right between the electrodes, there is no power ... enter Godzilla, who activates the electrodes by whiffing out his famous radioactive death ray breath that activates the electrodes ... and dries Hedorah to pure ashes.

So the monser is gone, but is pollution ?

 

Quite probably the weirdest movie of the Godzilla series, and not one of the better ones (if certainly not the worst): Though it's always a honourable endeavour to make films with an ecologic message, monster movies are probably not quite the best genre for doing so, especially if the message is carried as bluntly as it is here. Funny thing is, the film uses quite a few techniques from avant garde cinema to deliver its message - including psychedelic back-projections, interspersed animated clips and split screen mosaiques - rather than just rely on genre mainstays, which doesn't make the movie any better (in the traditional sense) but certainly much more bizarre. Plus, in this film we can see Godzilla fly for the first (and fortunately also the last) time, jet propelled by his own radioactive breath - which looks quite ridiculous because this way he can only fly backwards.

All in all, this film has been hated by Godzilla purists for decades, and it's easy to see why, but as a fan of trash surrealism I can't but recommend the film despite, or rather because of its shortcomings. You just mustn't, I repeat, must not take it seriously.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD