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Rated G
Copyright 1971 Toho Company Ltd.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Godzilla - The world's largest ecologist.
  • Hedorah - Cosmic monster brought to Earth by a meteor, feeds on pollution.
  • Ken - Dr. Yano's son, he seems to have ESP in relation to Godzilla.
  • Dr. Yano - Scientist of some sort, could be Marine Biology. Badly injured by a brush with Hedorah while diving.
  • Mrs. Yano - Mother of the family.
  • Groovy guy and girl - A pair of Japanese flower children, there is one less happy thought in the world after he is "sludged" to death by Hedorah.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Who needs Greenpeace when you have an environmentally conscious monster running amok?

The situation is looking bleak for Japan, everything is polluted or dying and the full horror of late 60's music is upon them. Researchers are trying in vain to find solutions to the many problems. Dr. Yano might be a brilliant scientist, but he can do little more than join in when everyone cries out, "We're doomed!" While diving (to mourn the destruction of coastal ecosystems) he encounters the evolving menace called Hedorah. Poor little Ken, standing alone on the rocks and calling out to his father, is one of the only poignant moments in what was intended to be a meaningful film. After this it gets silly.

Godzilla investigates what is befouling the waters and chases the smog monster away, it appears to be a seriously one sided battle. After dining on more sludge and flourocarbons the evil creature returns, more powerful and able to fly. Los Angeles might have poor air quality, but it does not have a floating muck monster that trails acid mist in its wake.

Meanwhile, Yano makes the important discovery that electricity will dry out and kill Hedorah. Under his supervision the military constructs a giant array of what appear to be mirrors, but they reflect electricity back and forth between them. It's science, or something passing for it. Neat!

Several silly things happen during the final battle and I'd be remiss to not mention two of them. The first involves Hedorah's nasty habit of spitting caustic sludge, at one point Godzilla ducks the first then stands up to take another right in the face. He slaps his hand over the muck and I could almost hear him mutter, "That was dumb, owwww." Of course the second is the world famous scene where Godzilla uses his breath to fly along like a rocket. Oh yes they did...

Often the lighting leaves much to be desired, though I am certain that was on purpose. The filmmakers were obviously trying to convey a brooding message about our planet's bleak future if the situation remained unchanged. Things could have been worse, imagine a later version entitled "Godzilla vs. El Nino."

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Monsters use oil tankers as beverage containers.
  • Pollution is bad, but 60's music is much, much worse.
  • Monsters use factories as bongs.
  • Putting a giant (and caustic) pile of crap in an airplane spin is not the best of ideas.
  • Rodan intended "The Thinker" to portray a severe burn victim.
  • Telephone booths make excellent bomb shelters.
  • Japanese women should leave Scottish fashions alone.
  • Mud wrestling is much less interesting when you are the only one in the pit, rubber suit or not.
  • Defensive driving courses should include tips on avoiding falling monsters.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 10 mins - Kenny, did you misplace your daddy?
  • 15 mins - Godzilla is using radioactive breath to clean up floating sludge. You do realize that this is like nuking New Jersey to solve their problems...
  • 26 mins - What drug is he on? Just for the record mind you.
  • 27 mins - Hedorah's muck burned off half of Yano's face and killed that one group of men, but this cat is unharmed? I mean sure, it looks miserable, but it should be looking like a cockroach after you spray it down with Raid.
  • 32 mins - Another one of those weird cartoons...
  • 46 mins - They actually found a way to include the artist's conceptual drawings in the movie.
  • 58 mins - Throwing torches at that thing? You all are either extremely brave or extremely stupid. Oh, a third possibility, extremely dead.
  • 77 mins - Three, two, one... ...liftoff! Hehehehe! (With all the aerodynamic and thrust concerns here this is ludicrous.)
  • 82 mins - Gives new meaning to "stomp a mudhole in his ass" doesn't it?

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note gvssmog1.wav Dr. Yano: "Godzilla?"
Ken: "Uh huh, you listen to what I say, I'm positive he'll kill Hedorah. He'll get him!"
Green Music Note gvssmog2.wav Announcer: "The appearance of Hedorah is causing rising alarm throughout all Japan."
Green Music Note gvssmog3.wav Scientist: "Hedorah created the sulfuric acid mist in its path and many people attempting rescue have been seriously injured. The mist affects mainly the throat and the eyes. The dead clutter the streets of the city of Fuji."
Green Music Note gvssmog4.wav Ken: "Hedorah's only sludge; we could dry it out."
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipgvssmog1.mpg - 2.8m
Liftoff! Arguably the silliest thing in any Godzilla movie is this scene. Faced with Hedorah's airborne retreat the King of Monsters decides to annoy every aerodynamics engineer employed by Lockheed Martin.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2 3 ... 6
Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster
Reply #1. Posted on September 22, 2000, 02:15:58 AM by James Cash
Now I love the Big G but OH how I hated the way they made godzilla out to be a big pet in the 70s movies!
In every one of Godzilla's 70s movies where there was some dumb little kid in it I would find myself praying that Godzilla would crush the little creep now as for Godzilla vs the Smog Monster there was one thing that made me sick(beside that damn kid)Godzilla flying on his own power!
Oh give me a brake but other then that a fair film!
Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster
Reply #2. Posted on September 22, 2000, 11:26:21 AM by Chadzilla
Just one thing that crossed my mind.  When the Big G gets knocked into the pit and Hedorah stands there and dumps all that thick black mud on him, it runs out from the monster's bottom side.  I am beginning to think that this is tantamount to Hedorah taking a dump on Godzilla.  My son agreed.  Whenever we get to this part he points to the screen and yells "The Pod's going black peep-pee on Godzilla!  Yech!"
Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster
Reply #3. Posted on September 23, 2000, 07:43:20 AM by Squishy
Yes, the "hedora=pollution" myth is prevelant (because of the overly-polite dubbed dialog in the movie) but wrong--sort of. In fact, the Japanese word "hedo" means vomit or puke, and the standard 'monster-suffix' "ra" is added by the kid. How's THAT for gross? I've never seen any movie so devoted to yuck.
Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster
Reply #4. Posted on September 25, 2000, 12:33:24 PM by Poo Bah
One of the all time goofiest movies ever made, and a sterling example of what has made the Big G a laughing stock: you have the somewhat serious scenes where the Hedorah is spewing gaseous sulfuric acid over cities, but that's balanced out by the bizarre hippie video and the insane scenes of Godzilla figuring out that "action-reaction' thing.
Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster
Reply #5. Posted on October 03, 2000, 05:06:12 PM by Chris K.
Though credited to be the worst in the Godzilla series (the worst credited ones were also GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND and GODZILLA VS. MEGALON), GODZILLA VS. THE SMOG MONSTER is actually a good film in a fun way. Let's be honest, a film does not have to be straight forward all the time. The destruction of Japan is very limited and the fight sequences are very slow, but it is still entertaining. The scene in which Godzilla was flying was very impressive and was amusing as well. Distributed by American International Pictures (AIP), this film was originally available for video by Orion Pictures (a subsidiary to AIP). But it is now missing and has not been out since. I prey it will be issued in it's original Widescreen Letterbox because the panned-and-scanned Orion print is just horrible. The dubbing was also convincing too.
Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster
Reply #6. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Megaloman
This is a fun fun movie.  People who whine about how Godzilla was turned into a super hero in the 70s obviously weren't kids then, or they would love all of these movies.
This is also one of the more interestingly directed Godzilla films.  While I wouldn't call Banno a "brilliant" director, he sure made a visually appealing film.
"Save the Earth", indeed.
And now there is the widescreen version that Sci-Fis shows, which truly proves there is good dubbing and bad dubbing.
The out of print home video may be pan and scan, but the dubbing is very nice.
Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster
Reply #7. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Chris K.
Here is some interesting trivia for Godzilla fans: When GODZILLA VS. THE SMOG MONSTER was in production the producer Tomoyuki Tanaka was in the hospital. Tanaka left the whole film for director Yoshimitsu Banno to finish on his own. When Tanaka was released from the hospital the film was finished. Tanaka reviewed the film and said to Banno, "You ruined the Godzilla series!" GODZILLA VS. THE SMOG MONSTER was Banno's first and only film.
Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster
Reply #8. Posted on December 07, 2000, 12:29:31 PM by Yuri Rentfro
This movie is screwey!!! Tanaka was obviously not present during this one.
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