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Home > Sci-Fi > 31 (Japanese) Monsters #4: Hedorah

31 (Japanese) Monsters #4: Hedorah

October 4th, 2010

Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster is frequently considered one of the worst Toho Studios monster films. Maybe it was because I saw it a lot back in the day, but I strongly disagree. Oh, sure, it’s from the “Godzilla, friend to children” phase. And yes, there’s that horrible moment when Godzilla tucks tail and uses his radioactive breath to rocket himself into the air, but…

Well, for one, it’s the only installment of the classic series–aside from the original Gojira–which treats its monsters as metaphors.

In addition, it’s just one damned freaky piece of celluloid. There are split screens, animated sequences and psychedelic montages. Fish-headed hippies dance to a rock beat. The twangy music score is…quirky. A lot of folks dismiss it for exactly these reasons, but coming as it did during the waning days of the Godzilla franchise, it’s at least trying.

And that brings us to…


Monster Island Nickname Sludge Muffin
Hails From Deep Space
Movies Appeared In
(not counting stock footage)
Hobbies Asphyxiating Hippies, Surfing
Quote “Kll-lllll-llll-llll-lllllllll!”

Hedorah may have come from the stars, but he’s really a monster of our making. His initial, tadpole-like form rapidly grows and mutates in Earth’s polluted environs. He metamorphs into a massive, slithering ooze; a smog-propelled flying saucer; and, finally, a walking nightmare towering over Godzilla himself.

While most of his Toho brethren avoid killing people on-screen, Hedorah mows down civilians by the dozens with his toxic emissions. However–and I swear that I am not making this up–he does not eat kittens. Another reason to love Hedorah.

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