Monday, August 22, 2011

Godzillapalooza #11: Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (1971)

Godzilla vs the Smog Monster (1971)
Monster Profile:


-HEIGHT: .1 millimeter to 197 feet
-MASS: .1 metric ton to 52,800 tons
-SPECIAL POWERS: In a way, Hedorah itself is a weapon becuase it's made out of polluted crap, so it's dangerous to the touch. In addition, Hedorah can fly, shoot lasers from its eyes, and fling a sulfuric acid mist and acidic sludge.
-BACKGROUND: Hedorah is one of the most elaborate and different monsters of the Showa series. Hedorah is created when an alien spore combines with Earth's overpowering industrial waste. Simply put, it is a living pile of shit. Hedorah grows and feeds off of pollution and grows through various different stages during its life in the movie. Because it's made of sludge, Hedorah is impervious to physical attacks. It can only die if dehydrated. 

The movie starts with people finding these strange and unusually large salt-water tadpoles around Japan. Dr. Yano finds out that the tadpoles are made of minerals and are not normal biological creatures. These tadpoles, of course, merge together in the ocean to form Hedorah. Hedorah takes many different forms and continues to grow as it feeds on pollution and puffs on smoke-stacks like they're giant blunts. This won't be the last drug reference in this strange movie. To put things simply, Godzilla and Hedorah fight a few times and eventually Godzilla and the Japanese military defeat the Smog monster. Godzilla finds two yellow orbs (no idea what that's about) and then flies away using his atomic breath. I know, what the hell...

As you might have guessed, the whole theme of this movie is save the earth and don't pollute. I don't necessarily have that big of a problem with the theme, but the movie is just so bad it reeks worse than Hedorah must smell. Let me start things off by saying that Hedorah is totally disgusting. His roar sounds like a smelly burp and he goes around covering everything in what looks like diarrhea and turning people to skeletons. The monster fights are awful, Godzilla just waves his arms around a lot and gets coated in sludge. And speaking of awful, the music for this film has got to be the worst of the series.

There are so many parts of this move that are just completely weird and make you wonder who exactly the target audience is supposed to be. Where do I begin with the weirdness? There's tons of random, LSD induced cartoons placed throughout the movie and odd scenes with no sound or that don't seem to have anything to do with anything. There's lessons about galaxies and physics that make you go "Am I seriously watching a Godzilla movie right now?" Weirdest of all has got to be during Godzilla and Hedorah's first fight: this dude is drinking in a psychedelic club and all of a sudden he hallucinates and starts seeing fish heads on everybody. What the HELL?? Then before you know it, Hedorah's diarrhea goop flows in and out and covers a poor kitten in sludge. WHAT?! You've got to just watch this movie to truly appreciate the utter confusion. The movie's concept has potential, but God it's just so beyond strange, and not in a cool way, just a "WTF?" way. Shoot go ahead and check it out though, just for the shock value.

Best Part:
How am I supposed to seriously pick a best part of this movie? It's pretty much neck-and-neck with "Godzilla's Revenge" for the worst of the series (excluding of course, the 1998 American Godzilla). There's this one part when I was watching through the movie that I thought I'd like, but proved to be very anti-climactic. Some hippies and teenagers are having a bonfire party thing when Hedorah shows up. So I'm thinking "Haha sweet, Hedorah's gonna crash the party on some tree-huggers." But no, Godzilla shows up, and the two monsters just kind of have an old West stand-off while everyone watches and the horrible music plays. WAY later some of the hippies decide to try and fight and throw fire at Hedorah, who proceeds to throw diarrhea in their eyes and kill them. So I guess that's kind of satisfying... Ugh, this movie's just so bad. Just for poops and grins, here's a clip of the ultimate WTF moment from the Godzilla series and this film. I give you: Flight of Godzilla! Dear God...

My Ranking: #27

Up next, things get slightly better, but the recession of awfulness continues with... "Godzilla vs. Gigan"

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