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Throwback Godzilla: Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Can you smell kaiju in the air? Worse, it's a combination of several lethal weapons - evil slime, sulphuric acid, poisonous industrial gases, carbon monoxide, and possibly dead people (?). I dare say that this particular kaiju may be the only foe that Godzilla probably genuinely fears to some degree. The movie also somewhat alternates between pure kaiju action and sheer horror comedy. Here comes my second wave of Throwback Godzilla - Godzilla vs. Hedorah!

Like 'Godzilla vs. Mothra', I was only able to watch a poorly dubbed version of 'Godzilla vs. Hedorah' many years ago. It didn't help either that the movie was made way before I was born, which attributed to the unsatisfactory quality of the footage and such over time (remastering only came in much later). Nonetheless, that first viewing was somewhat sufficient to imprint inside my head. Now, haven't I mentioned that before somewhere? :P

The most apparent subject of Hedorah is how the effects of long-term environmental pollution has allowed the horrifying and rapid growth of a monster, and the subsequent terror it unleashes on humanity with deadly consequences. The often brutal and disturbing depictions of the subject matter are what make this movie rather difficult to watch without cringing. Besides, environmental pollution is extremely relatable to the world. Even though it's a kaiju movie, the amount of realism strewn throughout could easily tower over a lot of other movies.

Why do I say that Hedorah is an extremely fearsome monster? Firstly, its appearance reminds me of an enhanced version of The Blob, complete with menacing eyes and such. It also kind of resembles a huge glob of jelly that's been left out in the open for eons and for some reason it just refuses to disintegrate. In other words, it's disgusting. I mean, when Godzilla lands a punch right into Hedorah's body, the stuff that oozes out is enough to upset somebody's dinner. Yes, please try to refrain from eating if you intend to watch this movie. Your appetite might just go on a holiday.

Secondly, Hedorah's powers are so lethal that Godzilla has experienced a lot (and I mean a lot) of agony in this movie. The red laser beam from Hedorah's eyes has stung poor Godzilla a couple of times when he's blocking it with his hands. Hedorah's body is also a deadly weapon; Godzilla has suffered multiple burns from the pieces of (presumably) Hedorah's flesh thrown at him. Oh, did I mention that Godzilla has lost an eye as well? I don't think that I've seen another occasion where Godzilla has lost any part of his body.

Humans wise, the main protagonist has half of his face severely injured while snorkelling; while he's trying to get a proper look at an unknown gliding mass (later known to be Hedorah), the fishes are quickly poisoned by the toxics emitted from the monster. The next moment, he comes face to face with Hedorah and barely survives from the (implied) attack. The protagonist's wife also barely survives in an attack where she and her students are affected by Hedorah's toxic fumes as it flies past the school field. That reminds me, Hedorah can switch between various modes of transportation swiftly, which make it a lot more dangerous. While the death scenes aren't graphic (considering the time period the movie was made in), there's a couple of cringe-worthy moments.

That said, however, fans of colourful, exciting and intense battle sequences will be disappointed by the much darker, sluggish and somewhat repetitive kaiju action in this movie. Sure, there's a fair bit of comic relief somewhere, but I suppose the general idea is to provoke certain thoughts and feelings from the audience rather than to entertain. Environmental pollution is an ongoing threat in the world. Hedorah's presence reminds mankind of the frightening effects and consequences that come with a lack of care and concern for the environment. The opening song also taps on that idea.

If Godzilla could suffer so much from battling against a monster, imagine the scope of damage that would dawn upon the world.

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep ♪        

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