TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

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TALKBACK #11: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Postby lhb412 » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:37 pm

This isn't a perfect movie, but it is a film that's made better by the sheer inventiveness of a whole lot of little things: bizzare camera angles, splashes of vivid color amid the normal blues and grays of the film, animated sequences, ect.

Harou Nakajima really turns in a heck of a performance as Godzilla in this film. Freed by the campiness of this film he really gets to over-act... in a good way of course.

Was the teenage boy Ken's brother and the girl his girlfriend, or was she his sister and he her boyfriend, or - just what was everyone's relationship to each other?
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Postby Legion » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:49 pm

I love this movie.

It was my favorite one as a kid, I went though a phase as a teenager (when the Heisei films were new) where I didn't like it all that much and rediscovered it a few years ago for the crazy little masterpiece that it is. It's really no wonder that Hedora has become a huge cult favorite in Japan.

There's a great scene at the very beginning when Ken first walks into the frame. Right behind him is Mout Fuji - looking great as always - but then the camera tracks around him so we see the city off in the distance, covered in a haze of pollution. It gives you a clear indication immediately of the world these characters live in.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:44 pm

I was going to actually start by saying I love this movie, but Legion started that way......Holy Crap I love this movie. The only copy I had when I was younger was from a marathon Scifi had before GINO came out. It was just soo neat. I love the way Hedorah looks and acts and that strange monster call he has. This thing is in my top 5 Showa films and just general G-films.

It was also great to meet Banno at G-Fest a couple of years back. Got him to sign my DVD. It was so cool. Godzilla vs Hedorah is also one of the G-Films along with Monster Zero and vs. MechaG 74' that I just throw in randomly because it's just so perfect.
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Postby walshiam » Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:17 am

Godzilla vs. Hedorah is not one of my faves but if we're talking Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster, it ranks as 2nd right behind GKOTM. Loved it when I saw it in a theater in 72 and love it even more now.
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Postby Xenorama » Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:39 am

i didn't see this in the theater in 72, but the poster sure scared the hell out of me. if there's one thing AIP could do, it was make a damn great poster.
it was on tv in early 73, which is where I saw it the first time. making it my second Godzilla movie ever.
it was the first time I'd seen "hero" Godzilla and I was hooked. at age 7, you too will believe a monster will fly.
i was happy to have the Sony disc, but am even happier to have a redubbed one with the AIP dubbing- and now I even own one with the AIP credits! just like watching it in the theater.

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Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:19 am

I loathe this film (sorry to those of you who love it)

but I find the characters uninteresting, the story convoluted, and the action sequences dull

there's some redeeming aspects to this film but overall it just lacks any sort of focus

I also find the monster battles to be particularly lackluster...don't get me wrong, i actually love how godzilla and hedorah approach each other with some trepidation during their first battle, but then they continue to do so...leaves the battles without any real tenacity

I will say that there are SOME amazing sequences in the film, most notably hedorah getting high or eating or whatever off the smoke stacks, and the 'pit' scene is cool, except that i would have liked to have seen godzilla get out...
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Postby INVINCIBLE HASTUR » Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:10 am

Love it.

This one can TRULY be called a Classic. Even though very, very different Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster ranks with some of Toho's best 60's Godzilla films.
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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:25 am

I'm really kind of "meh" on this one, to be honest. There is certainly something to be appreciated in its inventiveness, and it definitely has its moments, but it seems rather dull to me as a whole.

One of the things I most appreciate about this one is Nakajima's aggressive (if cheesy) performance as Godzilla. As another poster already pointed out, the campy nature of the film gives him a lot of room to really bring out his "superhero" Godzilla. The overall dark tone of the picture lends itself well to the message, as does the creative camera work. I also like the various designs for Hedorah--very creepy and imaginative.

What really keeps this movie from working for me is the sense of "unevenness." You've got some cool stuff, mentioned above, and some lame stuff, such as the infamous flying scene, a musical score that goes from cool and atmospheric to a bizarre, drunken sort of vibe, and a message that is pounded out in a way that just doesn't strike me as effective.

Not that bad, but not that great in my book.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:35 am

Hedorah is really the only reason I ever watch this film. Like others have said this films is a trippy, surreal expierience..but I like the film for what it is, but honestly the only two showa Godzilla movies I watch less are Megalon and Revenge, I just rarely feel the need to re watch this movie.
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Postby Reaper G » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:46 am

This was my first Godzilla movie, so I have a certain affection in that regard, but I really do love the against-the-grain feel of GvH. And yeah, this was Nakajima's best performance.
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Postby lhb412 » Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:35 pm

I really do feel like a lot of thought was put into Hedorah's biology.


BTW: Do you think VP Cheney ever said "The fate of the world depends on those electrodes" ?
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Postby SciFi Geek » Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:35 pm

I jam to Save the Earth whenever I have the chance to listen to it. The more reason to love this movie more! I love, I love the AIP dub and the International version of the film as well. Which leads me to ask what is the actual name of the song sung in the film.
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Postby kent » Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:11 pm

I didn't know what to make of this film the first time I saw it. It was so bizarre. I even laughed at the flying scene which, then, made me feel like I wasn't a true G-fan. :lol: For a while I didn't care much for it but have grown to love it more with time.

The music, in some areas, is appropriate, but I've always wondered how would Ifukube score this? I am inclined to believe that if he scored this film, the whole experience would be much better.

It's a fun Godzilla movie. Nothing too spectacular although I do like the fact that it did try to be different in some ways.
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Postby skiddish » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:59 pm

This is definitely one of my favorites.
I saw this one at the theater in the 70's.

Hedorah is the scariest monster Toho has ever created. They out did themselves with that suit design.
Those big red eyes were really creepy. Especially the tadpole form as it plowed through the water. Coming at you.

Compared to the T.V. shows that aired back then. Like Isis, Shazzam, Wonderbug, Ultra Woman and Dyna girl,etc.
G vs. H really wasn't that much more psycaldelic than anything else created back at that time.
It was a pretty strange decade. But we thought things were just groovy. 8-)
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Postby lhb412 » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:48 pm

kent wrote:I didn't know what to make of this film the first time I saw it. It was so bizarre. I even laughed at the flying scene which, then, made me feel like I wasn't a true G-fan. :lol: For a while I didn't care much for it but have grown to love it more with time.



Nothing wrong with a few laughs. I laugh, or at least have an enormous smile on my face, every time I get to the "Shee" dance in Monster Zero.

Of course, now that I have most of the films subbed I also get a lot more of the humor actually in the script. For instance, all of the Controller of Plaent X's compliments have this sort of sarcastic streak to them.
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Postby G2KMaster » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:44 pm

I also love this film. It's originalness was cool and a flying Godzilla is OK by me. Wrote a making of here...

http://www.kaijuphile.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19400
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:33 pm

My favorite comedic moment in this movie is in the international dub.
"What a beautiful house it is"
....err thanks for adding to the scientific explanation Miss.
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Postby Daimajin » Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:16 am

Despite all the bashing and criticism that this film gets, I can't help but love it, the psychedelic 70's entry in the Godzilla saga is amazing imo, the plot, the fights, the score & effects are all gold! an amazing film with high re-watch value for sure. I don't care what anyone says Yoshimitsu Banno did an amazing job on this film& with a very unique & original approach.
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Postby kent » Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:22 pm

I watched this movie for the first time in about a year yesterday and I believe I loved it more than I had over the years! That seems to be happening to me lately going back to Friday when I watched the '98 Godzilla film (I have loved that film so much I didn't think it could be possible to love it more already), Godzilla Vs. Hedorah yesterday, and, today, Godzilla Vs. Gigan (hope you're getting reading to do the Talkback for this film soon Ihb :wink: )

I even bought my first Hedorah figure earlier this afternoon on eBay! The movie is a whole lot of fun despite some of the obscure and goofy elements!

I don't know exactly what it is, but these films have gotten to be more fun in recent memory... I'm not complaining either. :D
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Postby G2KMaster » Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:08 pm

Which Hedorah figure (please do not say Bandai Creation)?
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Postby kent » Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:26 pm

I honestly have no clue as I can't tell from the box, but here is a pic of the item I bought...

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Postby G2KMaster » Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:34 pm

Read this review (at the end):

http://www.vinylmaddness.com/BandaiCreation06.html

Well, you should have gotten Bandai Japan's version.
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:57 pm

Hey, if he's satisfied, who cares?
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Postby G2KMaster » Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:14 pm

Just letting him know before the package comes to his house...
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Postby Garasharp K7 » Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:49 am

Love the imagery in this film, like the shot of Godzilla silhouetted against a red sky, the various shots of polluted waters, the nifty animated sequences, (I don't think they take anything away from the film at all) and every shot involving Hedorah. That monster pretty much dominates every scene he's in.
There's another nice scene where you hear a melancholy gutar tune over a shot of the countryside. The colour starts to slowly fade from the image 'til one last loud chord and suddenly the screen is vibrant with colour again. I thought that was a nice touch.
I also dig the movie's pacing too - while it's not as fast or energetic as Honda or Fukuda's films, it's far from being slow and it certainly isn't dull. The film's got more of a relaxed feel to it in places, and the battles are more drawn out; Godzilla is often cautious when fighting Hedorah, since any time he gets a good hit in he's seriously damaged as a result. Hell, he doesn't really get to rip into the smog monster until the beast's good and dead. :)
It's been said that Tomoyuki Tanaka accused Banno of ruining Godzilla with this film, but I'd disagree. Godzilla is still very much a badass here, and the film itself is still bucketloads of fun in my book.
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