You know guys it just dawned on me how kinda weird this film is you know? It's kinda trippy.
Ummm, so this certainly was a Godzilla movie. It had the roar and everything. I...got nothing. Yoshimitsu Banno's only directorial effort in the Godzilla series and the one disliked the most by producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, Godzilla Vs. Hedorah or the more generic term The Smog Monster is one of the most simultaneously fascinating entries and bewildering entries. The plot is primarily more about an issue than character dilemmas or intense sequences of events, specifically pollution. Back in the 70s there was a huge appraisal of the situation where the Earth was ecologically, reports were coming in of massive amounts of airborne pollutants in urban areas and littering was quite possibly a bigger deal than it is now. So Banno took a page out of Honda's book and wanted to make a Godzilla movie to bring up the issue, which is admirable, it really is I mean it was an issue in 1971 and still pretty rough today. I have no problem with that, but good God the movie is such a bizzare, odd, and all around unusual sequence of events that makes Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas seem resoundingly normal and even logical. So Hedorah I originally assumed was a monster bred by mass pollution, but found out just to make it even more surreal, that it originates from the one place that isn't corrupted by capitalism. Space! And thusly it goes on a rampage with Godzilla right on it's heels, who gives a hoot and wants to put an end to this putrid kaiju. There's too many odd occurances and moments to even fractionally bring up, all I can say is it's weird. And you know me, you know my tastes, so trust in me when I say this shit is out there man. I mean far out. Needless to say it wasn't well received when it came out but in recent years has gotten a serious second look at and a lot of people respect it for how bonkers it is which is fine. Even I can't say I hate it, but I'm far from loving it. While the effects are done quite well, with multiple forms of Hedorah to play about with and it has such a fascinating but properly disgusting design, and the film is shot well even with the menagerie of abnormalities in it, the music ain't pretty. It's like the one bad thing I can say about it, now I quite like the opening titles which is so transparent in it's Bond-esque presentation but the song is good. It has some psychedelic rock tunes thrown in which I personally love, but the rest just further cements how unashamedly wacko this film is. I almost urge people to watch this more than other entries of the Showa period just so not only can you experience the film, but just attempt to come to your own conclusion. I'm seriously blanking on a rating right now, so I must deduce my stance based on my ratings of the other films. Do I like it more than All Monster's attack? Objectively, no. But neither do I hate it or think of it as a shoddy production. I think I'm just gonna have to give it a solid 2 stars, 5/10, smack dab in the middle. Do I suggest you watch the film on any substances? A drug person can learn to cope with things like seeing their dead grandmother crawling up their leg with a knife in her teeth. But no one should be asked to handle this trip. No sympathy for the devil. Buy the ticket, take the ride, best of luck.