TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Discuss the original series of Godzilla films! From "Terror of Tokyo" to Puppy-faced Super-hero, the Showa Era had something for everyone!

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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby MekaGojira3k » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:07 pm

eabaker wrote:the thing that I like about that part is that nobody cares. Hedorah takes place in a very cold, ugly world, where individual lives have been rendered almost totally insignificant.[code][/code]


It's perfect, too, considering he planned the huge gathering on Mt. Fuji and nobody bothered to come, even in the face of obliteration, nobody is going to do anything.
Which is the commentary on mankind when faced with pollution or irresponsible use of nuclear energy.

I also love the coldness and ugliness of the world in Godzilla vs. Hedorah, and how, despite it, the child holds out bizarre hope that his savior Godzilla will win the day. Maybe that's the point, most of mankind has given up or can care less, but maybe the youth (the audience for the film anyhow) may see the error and correct it.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby eabaker » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:23 pm

MekaGojira3k wrote:
eabaker wrote:the thing that I like about that part is that nobody cares. Hedorah takes place in a very cold, ugly world, where individual lives have been rendered almost totally insignificant.[code][/code]


It's perfect, too, considering he planned the huge gathering on Mt. Fuji and nobody bothered to come, even in the face of obliteration, nobody is going to do anything.
Which is the commentary on mankind when faced with pollution or irresponsible use of nuclear energy.

I also love the coldness and ugliness of the world in Godzilla vs. Hedorah, and how, despite it, the child holds out bizarre hope that his savior Godzilla will win the day. Maybe that's the point, most of mankind has given up or can care less, but maybe the youth (the audience for the film anyhow) may see the error and correct it.


I posted some thoughts on young Ken Yanno's hopes in the face of that ugly world on TK awhile back, and I don't think I ever put them down here. Here's what I had to say in July of last year:

eabaker, but not on this board, on a totally different board, where I also go by eabaker, wrote:One thing I've been thinking about lately is the degree to which the emphasis on hallucinations and dreams, Ken's occasional preternatural foreknowledge of Godzilla's actions, and the fact that Ken plays with toys of Godzilla and other monsters (including King Ghidorah, truly an odd and terrifying choice for a kids' toy in a diegetic realm in which the monster actually exists) - particularly when you consider that this follows on the completely fantasy-driven AMA - suggest that the events played out may to some degree represent Ken's fantasies of a world saved by a fantastic hero. Is it possible that Godzilla never really comes? Maybe even that there isn't such a thing as Hedorah, but rather it is all a child forming the best explanation he can think of for - and dreaming of a solution to - the real horrors of his age which are beyond easy solutions? A child who sees his nation's (heck, his world's) leadership failing to adequately address problems which threaten to destroy their planet, and a rebellious youth culture more self-destructive and pathetic than genuinely revolutionary, and who hopes for a better class of hero to come along, someone he can truly respect and admire.

Ken is so small, but those bigger than himself - even his father, the most reasonable, useful adult in the movie - are totally ineffective against a threat bigger than themselves (like environmental destruction). Thus, Ken imagines that threat personified - and its personification must be gigantic - and so he needs to turn to his imaginary gigantic hero, the only force he knows of that is not too effete in the face of this great waking nightmare.

Maybe clever little Ken is only able to be so in control, listened to so much by a world that generally turns a deaf ear to those most in need, because the events as we see them play out are not the truth of his world, but the preferable sequence of events which he experiences in his dreams, his fantasies, or even his delusions.

Ultimately, I don't think an interpretation of the movie in which Godzilla and Hedorah are pure fantasy would hold up under scrutiny, but it doesn't need to. The seed is planted by little moments, and the comment is there: it is childish to hope for a lone savior to step in and save us from our own mistakes. The solutions must come from us, and we are not doing a very good job. This will not stand, ya know.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby Jorzilla » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:41 pm

I love the soundtrack to this movie. While it makes Godzilla sound like he's drunk, I think the point is to show how weary he is from fighting a monster that is literally eating away at his skin.

I really want to like this movie, and at times I do, but I generally find it pretty boring. I think it's the type of movie you need to watch in a group setting/theater so the energy levels are up.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby MekaGojira3k » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:43 pm

I guess that won't hold up to scrutiny eabaker, but maybe something half-way does. The idea that Hedorah DOES exist and Godzilla DOES exist, but maybe Ken's heroic bent on everything is just his brain trying to make sense of the horrible things happening around him?
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby eabaker » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:59 pm

Yeah, that makes sense. We're seeing real events, but we're seeing them in a way hugely informed by Ken's childish point of view.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby jellydonut25 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:40 pm

I like the part (from an ironic standpoint) where the party breaks out on top of Mt. Fuji, and everyone is going bananas and there's the uncle (as I have been corrected) just standing by himself, playing his guitar and who knows if it's part of the song the psychedelic band is playing? He's just standing there, strummin' along to some nonsense tune in his own head.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby Shin_Edda_Robo!!!!! » Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:29 am

The ending shot of Godzilla in this film is easily among my favorite's in the franchise. Godzilla going off into the distance/sunset/sunrise at the end of the film is a redone trope a whole lot. And I think most of these shots were done best in the Showa era (I did like that shot in Biollante though).

While in Terror of Mechagodzilla, there is a bit of melancholy because of the harsher tone of the movie (and for a 30 year old fan like me who knows this would be the last film in nearly 10 years).

In Godzilla vs Gigan, it feels like the heroes the won the tag team belts after being "OH GODZILLA! WHAT TERRIBLE LANGUAGE!" up by Ghidorah and Gigan and interference from a heel manager in the form of the Nebula Hunter M Aliens.

In vs Hedorah? Godzilla just seems and looks tired after a exhausting long battle. And he really looks like he got "OH GODZILLA! WHAT TERRIBLE LANGUAGE!" up too. Seeing him going off into the horizon lends that feel of sympathy and conclusion. I guess triumph too.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby Gojilove » Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:55 pm

I re-watched this yesterday, what I can never understand about this film - it is made during the "kiddie" era, like a lot of this film seems like it may be intended for children, but its so freaking horrifying at other parts, so many shifts.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby eabaker » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:47 pm

GoJiRa07 wrote:I re-watched this yesterday, what I can never understand about this film - it is made during the "kiddie" era, like a lot of this film seems like it may be intended for children, but its so freaking horrifying at other parts, so many shifts.


Well, yeah, it uses a lot of its "kiddie" elements in ironic ways, contrasting them against the genuine horror.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby Garasharp K7 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:01 pm

Don't forget a lot of tokusatsu shows (and anime ones too) at that time had similarly grim and surreal imagery. Kamen Rider would have monsters melting people into puddles of soapy goo, the various Ultra shows would feature episodes where kids might lose their parents to a rampaging monster - I watched an episode of Taro recently where a screeching killer rose bush sucked the blood out of someone's ear - victims and villains alike would die in massive explosions in plenty of Gatchaman episodes and while off the top of my head I can't think of any messy deaths in Spectreman, the show did have some pretty surreal episodes - and most of the monsters were pollution-based too. Oh, yeah, can't forget Doragory butchering that other monster in that one Ultraman Ace episode either.
'Godzilla vs. Hedorah' does have some pretty disturbing scenes, but it doesn't seem so out of place when you compare it to kids' shows that aired around the same time, or a few years later.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby MekaGojira3k » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:28 pm

Yeah, but its not common place violence, it's the juxtaposition of some distinct imagery that's really going to have the most impact with older audiences and ridiculous silly things. It's also the precision with which the more "kiddy" elements are placed, they're usually referenced or witnessed by Ken. I mean, I know what you're saying, but I think, especially considering the message, this usage is far more meaningful than following a trend.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby GFan » Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:38 pm

eabaker wrote:
MekaGojira3k wrote:
eabaker wrote:the thing that I like about that part is that nobody cares. Hedorah takes place in a very cold, ugly world, where individual lives have been rendered almost totally insignificant.[code][/code]


It's perfect, too, considering he planned the huge gathering on Mt. Fuji and nobody bothered to come, even in the face of obliteration, nobody is going to do anything.
Which is the commentary on mankind when faced with pollution or irresponsible use of nuclear energy.

I also love the coldness and ugliness of the world in Godzilla vs. Hedorah, and how, despite it, the child holds out bizarre hope that his savior Godzilla will win the day. Maybe that's the point, most of mankind has given up or can care less, but maybe the youth (the audience for the film anyhow) may see the error and correct it.


I posted some thoughts on young Ken Yanno's hopes in the face of that ugly world on TK awhile back, and I don't think I ever put them down here. Here's what I had to say in July of last year:

eabaker, but not on this board, on a totally different board, where I also go by eabaker, wrote:One thing I've been thinking about lately is the degree to which the emphasis on hallucinations and dreams, Ken's occasional preternatural foreknowledge of Godzilla's actions, and the fact that Ken plays with toys of Godzilla and other monsters (including King Ghidorah, truly an odd and terrifying choice for a kids' toy in a diegetic realm in which the monster actually exists) - particularly when you consider that this follows on the completely fantasy-driven AMA - suggest that the events played out may to some degree represent Ken's fantasies of a world saved by a fantastic hero. Is it possible that Godzilla never really comes? Maybe even that there isn't such a thing as Hedorah, but rather it is all a child forming the best explanation he can think of for - and dreaming of a solution to - the real horrors of his age which are beyond easy solutions? A child who sees his nation's (heck, his world's) leadership failing to adequately address problems which threaten to destroy their planet, and a rebellious youth culture more self-destructive and pathetic than genuinely revolutionary, and who hopes for a better class of hero to come along, someone he can truly respect and admire.

Ken is so small, but those bigger than himself - even his father, the most reasonable, useful adult in the movie - are totally ineffective against a threat bigger than themselves (like environmental destruction). Thus, Ken imagines that threat personified - and its personification must be gigantic - and so he needs to turn to his imaginary gigantic hero, the only force he knows of that is not too effete in the face of this great waking nightmare.

Maybe clever little Ken is only able to be so in control, listened to so much by a world that generally turns a deaf ear to those most in need, because the events as we see them play out are not the truth of his world, but the preferable sequence of events which he experiences in his dreams, his fantasies, or even his delusions.

Ultimately, I don't think an interpretation of the movie in which Godzilla and Hedorah are pure fantasy would hold up under scrutiny, but it doesn't need to. The seed is planted by little moments, and the comment is there: it is childish to hope for a lone savior to step in and save us from our own mistakes. The solutions must come from us, and we are not doing a very good job. This will not stand, ya know.


Haha, so like GAMERA SUPER MONSTER? That's a fun way to look at it.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby davezilla » Tue May 13, 2014 10:10 pm

Re-watched this movie tonight in glorious high definition and it remains one of my favorites. Sure I can see the complaints about it being slow moving including the fights but there is something magical about it. I love the otherworldy surreal cartoons, the nightclub scene, the songs, and depressing dark nature of it all.

Hedorah remains one of my favorite monsters. Anyone notice that the 70s was really an era that Godzilla films took a chance and gave us a bunch of glorious new monsters. Hedorah, Gigan, Megalon, MechaGodzilla, King Caesar, Titanosaurus....all of them pretty awesome in my book. I love the various stages of Hedorah and I still think a definitive set of the various stages with good detail is required.

I love some of the characters in this film. I like the kid in this film, I love him playing with Godzilla toys it's pretty cute. The professor father who gets injured early and is show walking around a little but is mostly confined to bed. I love how once he develops a way to destroy Hedorah he makes his wife make the phone calls AND even makes her pack up a bed in the back of their car just so he can stay in bed! LOL And the general up there has simply the most hilarious expression on his face the entire time. They finally get the wires back up and he's like "Idiot! It's too late now!" and it doesn't work and Godzilla seriously rolls his eyes. Hilarious stuff!

This is a great Saturday/Sunday afternoon popcorn flick and really is the start of the era I watched the G-man as a kid. I can't help but love it!
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby angilas » Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:07 am

davezilla wrote:Re-watched this movie tonight in glorious high definition and it remains one of my favorites. Sure I can see the complaints about it being slow moving including the fights but there is something magical about it. I love the otherworldy surreal cartoons, the nightclub scene, the songs, and depressing dark nature of it all.

Hedorah remains one of my favorite monsters. Anyone notice that the 70s was really an era that Godzilla films took a chance and gave us a bunch of glorious new monsters. Hedorah, Gigan, Megalon, MechaGodzilla, King Caesar, Titanosaurus....all of them pretty awesome in my book. I love the various stages of Hedorah and I still think a definitive set of the various stages with good detail is required.

I love some of the characters in this film. I like the kid in this film, I love him playing with Godzilla toys it's pretty cute. The professor father who gets injured early and is show walking around a little but is mostly confined to bed. I love how once he develops a way to destroy Hedorah he makes his wife make the phone calls AND even makes her pack up a bed in the back of their car just so he can stay in bed! LOL And the general up there has simply the most hilarious expression on his face the entire time. They finally get the wires back up and he's like "Idiot! It's too late now!" and it doesn't work and Godzilla seriously rolls his eyes. Hilarious stuff!

This is a great Saturday/Sunday afternoon popcorn flick and really is the start of the era I watched the G-man as a kid. I can't help but love it!

I too watched it for the first time in years in HD and while I miss the Save the Earth theme from my Orion tape the soundtrack is awesome still.
This is probably the most realistic alien invasion film we get out of the lot of them because its the only one that doesn't actually involve the invasion of humanoid(or cockroach/ape) aliens invading along with their supermonster (besides maybe dogora and possibly gtthm). Hedoras premise as a walking sludge monster that flies via nuclear propulsion, can be dried out and discharges airborne sulfuric acid is both scientifically plausible and pretty cool. It even helps explain away how godzilla could fly in an environment created by Hedorah.

Things that do need more explaining: how the heck does the kid keep spotting godzilla and/or hedorah coming and he's like the only person to do it each time. Is he psychic? Is it because kids can hear in a higher range? Who needs a monster meteorologist when you've for ken on the scene.

How does godzilla's ray activate the electric array without damaging it? Especially when its power is cut?

How does hedorah still have eyes after they were ripped out? Banno I still don't believe you or at least think your spfx guy did his own thing here. Those were eggs. Unless hedorah could regenerate eyes or had 4 sets he clearly transforms and the red eyes are back in the next scene for minutes.

How does hedorahs power continue to increase when he's exhausting it? He goes from gassing the women and knocking the kid down. The phone booth to turning people to skeletal remains even one guy in midair before he hits the ground in his descent from a scaffolding. Maybe he decided to keep the ante up after his next encounter with Godzilla.

The original million man march people aren't too bright. Torches? Really? After godzilla couldn't blast this thing to high hell with his nuclear blast you think it will run at 60m from your torches? You have got to be stoned out of your hippie minds.

I guess this must have been an artistic choice thing but the images on the monitors at time sure are quirky and people repeating the same thing in unison with Godzilla on one monitor is trippy as hell. It's no wonder this became a cult classic.

Anyway this film is really underrated and Hedoeah is an awesome opponent. I still think KG or MG would dry him out with their jagged yellow beams he's definitely a powerhouse not to be messed with that is up there with them but was unfortunately given the venom treatment in GFW. As much as I think his idea of Midora in the IMAX or feature length film sounds cheesy, Banno did such a good job with this and Tamara's reaction that "you've ruined Godzilla" following a flight that only needed some scientific explanation for why it could only be used there was so over the top that re watching this actually made me want to see what he's capable of 54 years later.

His dedication to wanting to "make up" for this decades later by bringing Godzilla to the west is admirable. And as the only of to his directors I've met I can say he seems like a very nice guy and very genuine, even putting up with my attrocious Japanese of a decade ago.

One interesting thing for fans with the new blu ray. In the trailer (which plays Ifukube's volcano theme from the prior years Japan's worlds fair which was reused for Gigan) they mark this as the directorial debut of the promising young "Yoshimitsu Sakano". Did Kraken just flub the translation?
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby Hybrid Gojira » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:07 pm

My Godzilla marathon continues. This film was my most recent watch.

I think this film has to be pretty divisive among the fandom. Some will love it, others will hate it. I'm somewhere in between. The score perfectly fits the weirdness of the movie and the guitar riff as the teens gather on Mt Fuji is actually kinda cool. The imagery in this film is just so different for a Godzilla film that it's at times off-putting. I like it for it is - a product of its time with a very specific point to make, but at the same point I'm not sure I like it all that much. There are some nice sequences and shots throughout the movie, but the monster fight is mostly boring.

Plus...Godzilla flies. That should have never happened.

The characters are bland and not much development is given to them other than trying to figure what Hedorah is. The movie seems to focus on the unique imagery placed sporadically throughout; to its credit, it works pretty well in that area.

Having just watched Megalon, I think this film is better made but it's about on the same level of "meh" for me.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby jellydonut25 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:26 pm

I don' like this movie.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby Shin_Edda_Robo!!!!! » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:52 pm

Vs Hedorah was a pretty ambitious film. As far as production values go, its leagues ahead of vs Gigan and vs Megalon. But Jun Fukuda is a better director, and in this regard his efforts in vs Mechagodzilla are better. I think its a better edited film than Terror of Mechagodzilla, and Hedorah is a powerful foe.

It's a love it or hate it movie; I love it.

If the movie had a bigger budget, it'd probably look like an even more psychotic Prophecies of Nostradamus, another movie Banno worked on.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby Gman2887 » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:22 pm

Shin_Edda_Robo!!!!! wrote:Vs Hedorah was a pretty ambitious film. As far as production values go, its leagues ahead of vs Gigan and vs Megalon. But Jun Fukuda is a better director, and in this regard his efforts in vs Mechagodzilla are better. I think its a better edited film than Terror of Mechagodzilla, and Hedorah is a powerful foe.

It's a love it or hate it movie; I love it.

If the movie had a bigger budget, it'd probably look like an even more psychotic Prophecies of Nostradamus, another movie Banno worked on.


I think Fukuda is a storyteller and Banno is just a director's director. There's really not a lot going on in Godzilla vs. Hedorah outside of the unique directorial style putting a new spin on preachy ideas. There's some really interesting visuals in the movie that Banno orchestrated. It makes the odd cartoons and lingering shots work fairly well. But the characters are amongst the driest, least interesting in the entire series and there's just barely enough storyline to justify the running time. It's not a particularly good movie, but there's enough here to think about. I enjoy it for what it is and see it as a standout movie in the series regardless of its quality.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby Goji 84 » Sun Sep 21, 2014 6:34 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:I don' like this movie.


I'm genuinely curious about why we need to be reminded of this every six months.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby walshiam » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:19 pm

Hmmmmmm.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby Mac » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:29 pm

Goji 84 wrote:
jellydonut25 wrote:I don' like this movie.


I'm genuinely curious about why we need to be reminded of this every six months.


Here are the dates that jelly has come in here to re-state (After his initial Jun 08, 2009 post) his opinion that he finds this movie boring, give or take a few posts where he expands upon it a few days later (like January 12, 2010):

Jan 07, 2010
Jun 02, 2010
Feb 07, 2011
Aug 27, 2012
Sep 17, 2012
Mar 19, 2014
Sep 13, 2014

Over an almost five year span, jelly has made seven posts about his disdain for this film. So, your math is a bit off, its way less frequent than six months. Please get your facts straight before baiting.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby MechaMinya » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:55 pm

An incredible, artful film. I am talking one of the top 4 Godzilla films.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby Goji 84 » Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:17 pm

I love how you went out of your way to disprove something that was clearly an exaggeration. Are you just completely devoid of common sense?

Why do we need to be reminded of this every other year? Much less in a post that would be considered spam if made by any other member? Or is there a new rule in place that states that moderators can do whatever the hell they want?
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:49 am

Goji 84 wrote:
jellydonut25 wrote:I don' like this movie.


I'm genuinely curious about why we need to be reminded of this every six months.

I've put an event into my calendar to remind me every six months.

As you can see from Mac's post, I've still managed to forget a few times.
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Re: TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby Rodanex » Sat May 30, 2015 3:17 pm

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