GODZILLA VS THE SMOG MONSTER
GODZILLA VS HEDORAH
(Gojira Tai Hedora)
The Hedorah creation has much potential as both metaphor and monster. Pollution had now supplanted the Bomb as the major anxiety in the Japanese national psyche and featured in one way or another in most of the Godzilla films of the 1970s. As we created it, Hedorah is our punishment, says one character with typical Japanese monster movie self-flagellation at one point. (Although the American version of the film creates confusion by then throwing in an entirely muddled explanation about Hedorah having arrived from outer space on a meteorite). There is a dubbed song about pollution: We have cobalt full of mercury/Too many fumes in our oxygen/All the smog now is choking you and me/Good Lord, where is it going to end?/... For tomorrow you and me, were movin, movin to the Moon now/We know what its worth to save the Earth/Come raise your voice.
The Hedorah monster with its cartoonish orange eyes is too absurd to be taken seriously. That said, some of the wild images of it sitting atop chimneys sucking up carbon fumes; or with it like a giant flying oyster, riding on jets, crisping people and buildings beneath it with its acid mist; it dive-bombing and sitting atop cars in a traffic jam with its orange eyes balefully staring, have their moments. The American version has thrown in a series of animation scenes, which illustrate the action but have nothing to do with the rest of the plot.
Hedorah later made a reappearance in Godzilla: Final Wars (2004). The other Godzilla films are: Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954), Gigantis the Fire Monster/Godzilla Raids Again/The Return of Godzilla (1955), King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1962), Godzilla vs the Thing/Mothra vs Godzilla (1964), Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Monster Zero/Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965), Godzilla vs the Sea Monster/Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966), Son of Godzilla (1968), Destroy All Monsters (1968), Godzillas Revenge (1969), Godzilla vs Gigan/Godzilla on Monster Island (1972), Godzilla vs Megalon (1973), Godzilla vs the Cosmic Monster/Godzilla vs the Bionic Monster/Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1974), Terror of Mechagodzilla/Monsters from an Unknown Planet (1976), Godzilla 1985 (1984), Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991), Godzilla vs Mothra (1992), Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1993), Godzilla vs Space Godzilla (1994), Godzilla vs Destoroyah (1995), Godzilla 2000 (1999), Godzilla vs Megaguirus (2000), Godzilla Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001), Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (2003), Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) and Shin Godzilla/Godzilla: Resurgence (2016). Both Roland Emmerichs Godzilla (1998) and Gareth Edwards Godzilla (2014) are big-budget, English-language remakes.