Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

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edgaguirus
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby edgaguirus » Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:58 pm

There's an unusual line of Toho merchandising.
Kaiju are just like people- giant, radioactive people.

Megalon went into a bar and saw Gigan. Megalon said, " Again? I thought you gave this up."
" What can I say," Gigan asked. " I'm hooked."

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OneMillionTomsBC
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby OneMillionTomsBC » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:44 pm

DaiKamonohashi wrote:Just finished this last night:

Image


Dude, I really dig your watercolors. Your deviantart rocks!

I'm watching this one right now, actually. I paused (to write this) at the scene where all the people are throwing torches at Hedorah and it shows the things bouncing off his head and upper body, like all those puny humans were able to throw sticks some 60 meters in the air without olympian superpowers.....

This is one of my favorites because it's the grooviest of the series :lol: with the pollution message and the soundtrack and all those hippies in the club. I found reading about what happened during production was very interesting too, like Kenpachiro Satsuma coming down with appendicitis and having to undergo surgery while still in the Hedorah suit... I wholly disagree with those who believed it ruined the franchise at the time, it was much better than some of the movies that kept reusing footage from other films. I think every installment of the series can and has been as radical and off-kilter as it should be because the original idea of Godzilla and what he means is still very pure in the first film and all the sequels are just candy for sugar junkies. It can go as bonkers as it wants to, and I think it should.

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Shobijin
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby Shobijin » Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:23 pm

I never liked the horn theme, but smile when the rapid song comes when Godzilla flies (and the looks on the soldier's faces). It is not offensive to me at all. For some reason, the satire works, or perhaps it is part of the psychedelic theme and tone of the movie.

The doc is the only real human character in the film- the kid, other dude, and women didn't do anything for me.

This was always a mind-blowing movie for me. As a kid, The Smog Monster was gross and bizarre. He really gave my hero Godzilla a run for his money. I always seem to catch something I didn't notice before with every viewing. As an adult watching a Japanese version marathon, I have to say that this is the most unique Godzilla film so far.

It is dark, has a moral message, has super long battles (which I always wanted), a seemingly unstoppable opponent, shows human casualties, and great personality from Godzilla. Hedorah himself is such a wondrous beast that I can't take my eyes off him. Should have been a better part of Godzilla's rouge gallery instead of being a one-shot villain. And was he really a villain? It wasn't his fault. It was ours.

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby edgaguirus » Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:54 pm

Hedorah's problem was that his existence was dangerous to humanity. The creature is just going around feeding and growing, but doing so spread death and destruction wherever it went. It was one of those it's them or us situations.
Kaiju are just like people- giant, radioactive people.

Megalon went into a bar and saw Gigan. Megalon said, " Again? I thought you gave this up."
" What can I say," Gigan asked. " I'm hooked."

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby Zarm » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:04 am

Godzilla vs. Hedorah is just straight up tripping balls.

Do they still say tripping balls? Is it more accurate to remove the ‘g’; trippin’?

What the balls are- just as in the film’s false climax- is unclear, as is what exactly is being done with them… but my brain feels as fried as Hedorah. (Hopefully that means there is an equally-large, entirely-unharmed, even regenerated brain lurking just inside the first one?)

Godzilla vs. Hedorah is a trippy, on-acid movie; that much reputation and distant memory told me. But I was unprepared for just… for the… what the…

WHY IS THERE A BABY BURIED IN SLUDGE???!!! That better be a false foreground ledge to create the illusion of immersion I’m spotting, Toho…!

Oof; this is gonna be a long one. Okay, so… organizing my thoughts. Difficult, after a film like this has done its best to shred my cognitive power into gibbering little globules (much like Godzilla finally reduces Hedorah to) with tiny, surreal animated interludes interspersed among the bleached skeletons of my formerly-pristine faculties…

Godzilla vs. Hedorah is freakin’ weird. And this is one of those times where words cannot convey truly how weird. Random-cat-on-the-stairs-in-sludge weird. Girder-building-collapsing-in-silence weird. Ghostly-Fuji-elders-that-I-think-are-supposed-to-represent-an-older-generation-that-just-doesn't-get-it, showing-up-again-after-15-minutes-for-a-reaction-shot weird. Just… Ugh. I feel like I need to order some anti-psychotics. From the sudden appearance of dancing skeletons to the surreally-disturbing panel of talking heads that breaks up into colored lights…

The Stargate sequence from 2001: A Space Odyssey called, GvH… it says it’s worried about you. That you might want to tone it down a little; you’re giving it a headache.

Okay, madness draining; review-proper. Focus, Andrew. You can do this…

The editing for the film is abrupt and the appearance of the monsters is bizarrely perfunctory; they’re just there, with no fanfare or buildup. The film is actually quite creative with its inserts and asides- dream sequence overlaid with school reports, animated parody sequences… if it wasn’t so jarring and a bit of a sensory overload by the end, it would get top marks for unique presentation. But taken together, it’s all a bit too much; too many ideas and asides to really ever get a grip on the story. It comes across more as a series of vignettes- each joined already-in-progress and cut off prematurely.

I mentioned parodies; the whole thing feels like a parody of Godzilla films, in style and filming and even content… just completely lacking any sense of fun or humor. It’s like an alien that didn’t quite understand what parodies were produced a dead-serious lampoon without any attempt at irony or affection… just treated ‘parody’ as if it were another style of filmmaking for a serious narrative. Like this theoretical alien was trying to tell a serious, gripping parable to warn the earthmen of the terrible danger it foresaw, a modern-day Gojira-1954… only when it grabbed its manual of ‘How To Make An Earth Movie,’ it flipped to the chapter on ‘Airplane!’ and other Leslie Nielson parodies and thought it was reading about how to create a tortured masterpiece. All the style of such a satire without any actual satirical intent.

As a result, this film is just off-balance (in addition to the disgusting imagery and lingering shots of unsettling imagery being plain ol’ off-putting); it holds its audience at emotional and intellectual arm’s length, painting a drab-palette, smog-shrouded grey dystopia and then doing such bizarre things in it that it hardly manages to connect its surreal imagery to the real world and problems it’s trying to address.


The main characters of this disjointed piece are equally scattershot in their appearance. Especially in the latter half, they disappear for a long swaths of time, with characters reintroduced after gaps so large it appeared that they’d existed the film already. One of them even dies- something that I don't think we've had in the Showa series since the advent of color, more or less.

In fact, this movie has a huge body count. It’s an incredibly sadistic film, going out of its way to kill off characters that have no narrative necessity to die. Take the four men in the cable spooling truck that Hedorah falls backwards onto. There was just no need for that. It doesn't really advance the story; sure, the transformers aren't powered, but that could have simply been accomplished by not having any cable to spool in the first place! Instead, the film lingers on their screams as they die horribly- like the construction worker falling off a skyscraper, the random men with a game of Mahjong at the factory, random passersby, even the majority of the youth at the rally... there's a difference between demonstrating that your villain is a threat, and actually reveling in the horrible deaths of everyone that shows up on screen.

Maybe I'm still just affected by that baby in the gunk; it doesn't predispose me toward thinking the best of these the producers. That's just messed up, man.


Ken, our apparent protagonist (until he disappears for a large span in the middle, and most of the final battle) is a standard running, shouting kid character.

He's allowed to play with large knives on rocks, which seems like a different standard of parenting than I aspire to- but the attack by Hedorah and the potential death of his father, leaving him standing there crying out on the rocks to the empty waves, is one of the early effective-and-truly-chilling moments of the film.

Oh look, instead of just trying to gross me out with disturbing footage of garbage floating on water, the film is crafting an eerie mood and a sense of isolated foreboding and terror of the unknown, which is powerfully effective. I sure hope that the rest of the film proceeds in this manner…

…Oh, never mind.

Beyond that, Ken embodies many of the same traits that Ichiro did in the last film- outspoken, with bold declarative sentences, unwavering faith that Godzilla is the best-thing-ever, leaps of precognitive logic about what's going to happen next (because he just knows Godzilla better than all those clueless adults!), horribly short shorts… he just manages to have all those same traits without being an annoying little punk. And that way, he's basically who Ichiro should have been.

His father, Professor McPlotDevice, is an unintentionally-hilarious figure throughout the movie. While he does a workmanlike job of delivering tons of exposition- leaping to conclusions that are entirely unfounded, and coming up with ideas that he should have no reason to suspect will work until they've been tried and fortuitously do… but he is also apparently the only competent individual in all of Japan. Despite being acid-burned and bedridden, he's always dragging himself over to the phone to go check in on the project with the Army Corps of Engineers, or having himself driven out to the field site, because even though he contributes nothing but nagging, both he and all those around him act as if nothing could be accomplished without his invaluable supervision.

(One random nitpick about his laboratory scenes- the bit where he says that the tadpoles are growing because he placed them in muddy water, a.k.a. polluted water? I'm kind of hoping that was a translation error by Kraken Media, because muddy water is not actually polluted. It's water. And dirt. Just because we wouldn't want to drink it, doesn't mean it's not entirely natural and wholesome and of the Earth. That's not how pollution works.)


Yukio is undoubtedly our strangest protagonist- introduced for 30 seconds at the start of the film, then absent for long enough that his reappearance at the nightclub seems to be the introduction of a whole new character (Seriously, I didn't remember that he was at the start until after we'd finished watching the film). His desire to drive closer to the Kaiju battle seems to suggest someone too stupid to live, and if they were trying to foreshadow his eventual demise with his drinking and hallucination (the karmic sins of overindulgence that, in the language of cinema, often mean someone is fated for a bad end), I could kind of see that?

But after that moment he becomes a strong sympathetic character, acting as a big brother figure to Ken, serving as our perspective character for much of the middle act of the film, and trying to 'heroically' unite the youth against pollution and the degradation of the world. He certainly doesn't seem as if he's being set up as an undesirable who is going to meet a justified fate at the end. He kind of seems as if he's our hero, which makes his perfunctory, offhand, almost-incidental death so shocking.

Perhaps I'm not giving the film enough credit for subtle satire. Certainly, Yukio's idea of having a party before the world ends- that they can somehow ‘take a stand’ by simply playing music and dancing and having a self-contained, self-indulgent party- seems laughable to me, the epitome of selfish hippie obliviousness. But in the era of Woodstock, it seemed to me a completely straightforward and earnest suggestion. Maybe, the whole thing is supposed to be laughable- maybe it's a sharp critique of contemporary youth culture and its self-centered ineffectiveness, and for that thematic 'sin' that Yukio had to die.

I'm just trying to parse this out, because typically, in the language of film, such a demise is 'earned’ (in a way that makes emotional sense to the filmmakers, if not for something that actually deserves death in real life). Often times, the behavior the character has participated in ‘cannot’ be shown to be without consequences, or the forgiveness of said individual for their past deeds would seem, to the filmmakers, to condone their behavior. Therefore, death is an expedient way of saying “Even if your peers would forgive you, Fate has decreed that you must be punished!”

In Yukio's case, I just don't see any such motivation. His death doesn't even add anything to the plot; heck, we don't even see his girlfriend(? Sister? Wife?) mourn for a single second. It's almost lost in among the chaos. He’s just killed along with myriads of foolish, torch-hurling youths (who managed to hurl those things about 300 or 400 feet up in the air, it seems)… but even then, this is a scene which the trailer seems to portray as a heroic stand, even in the face of certain defeat. 'We will stand up even when we know that we can't win, because it's the right thing to do.' So there really doesn't seem to be a compelling, typical-comeuppance reason for the mass slaughter of Japan's younger generation in this film.

Lastly, the female characters in the film have the least roll, or personality- both serving primarily as guardians for Ken at different points in the film. Beyond that, we get a lot of minor one or two line characters, but no one else central to the drama- save the Kaiju themselves.


Hedorah is an impressive technical accomplishment. His design is striking, especially the glowing red eyes that we get from the beginning. He's a strange monster, to say the least, an alien who- due to the pollution theme- I think is often forgotten to be an extraterrestrial, and just seen as a strange metaphorical, magical creature embodying a vice; a demon of pollution, as it were. Despite the fact that they try and give a plausible scientific origin, the fact that he is the ‘pollution monster’- like something you might see on a darker version of Sesame Street- does make it hard to take him as a serious foe in the way that Ghidorah, Gigan, or the Kamacuras are. They seem like science fiction; Hedorah, by his nature, comes off as fantasy.

Still, his execution and complexity are head-and-shoulders above anything that we've gotten in the series since Kumonga, and set a new high-bar for the series. The functional eyes, the light and sparking effects (which I would associate more typically with the Heisei era; clearly ahead of their time), the sparkling sheen given to its final form, which resolves into oil-slick rainbows in bright light… all of these are fantastic touches. If the suit of the crawling and walking forms look a little less like layers of gray rags draped over the stunt man (as if someone had wanted to dress as the clichéd ghost-from-a-bed-sheet for Halloween, but only had a bunch of dusty old quilts up in the Attic to make it from), and if the flying form had looked a little less like a cross between a tadpole and an omelet, then I feel that this would have been one of my top favorite Kaiju designs.

As it is, the attempt to make him look slick and oily and melty really does just come off as rags and fronds draped over a stunt man. The overall body shape is uninspired- save for the lumpy, misshapen, asymmetrical head. The effects involved- particularly on that head- are stellar, it's just the execution from the neck-down that doesn't work so well.

As a kaiju, Hedorah is certainly a powerhouse. While his extreme durability seemed questionable to me on previous viewings, finding out he is merely a chemical compound with no centralized nervous structure, that he can regenerate from crumb-sizes pieces if they join together, and that his basic cellular structure is akin to carbon or diamond (though I still don’t get how that translates to a liquid sludge), it makes sense why he is so absolutely powerful. While I never bought King Ghidorah as a world-destroyer (it seems like it would take him several hundred years with his slow-flying, one-gravity-bolt-at-a-time methodology), Hedorah does feel like a true extinction-threat. He pours out jets of lethal acid (sometimes more fatal than others, depending on how many main characters are in the area) just to fly himself around. He feeds on all of our cast-off (and as Yukio says, all organisms produce waste, thus he’d have the ability to grow to an almost unlimited degree even if our industrial habits weren’t deplorable), the more he destroys, the more becomes food for him, and his very touch is death.

Except, when it's not, like with that one random cat. (Again, when the sledge and the acid are fatal, and when they're not, is maddeningly inconsistent the film.)

But the overall situation gets the point across; Hedorah is a corrosive, toxic, nearly-unstoppable menace in the ‘Zombie Plague’ mode- as everything that falls to decay because of him simply makes him stronger. The idea that Godzilla can hardly defeat him (and might not have, if he'd gone much longer), and only with the assistance of some unreliable technological wizardry- all serve to portray what a horrifying, mindbogglingly huge problem that pollution can be. It works as an emotionally-effective parable of how quickly the problem can grow beyond us if we allow our worst excesses to go unchecked. They will balloon to a size beyond our ability to handle.

In that way, the dark, almost nihilistic tone, the threat of another Hedorah appearing when it seems that the world barely survived the first one, and the unlimited potential for more to spawn manage to communicate an existential horror on the level of the original Gojira and atomic radiation itself! (Which… may be overstating its case just a tad.) :)

However, one has to discard or get past all of the rigmarole and trappings of bizarre filmmaking in order to actually get to that point. Previous entries in the Godzilla franchise, those tackling anti-nuclear themes, managed to weave their parables into the narrative in a way that communicated the horror clearly and concisely in compliment to telling a giant monster story. (The perfect balance of this is what makes the original Gojira so effective.) In this film, the plot and filmmaking style are actually the obstacles that one has to overcome in order for the message to come through clearly. It is a house divided against itself; a film whose style conflicts with its substance.


Godzilla himself is more intelligent and anthropomorphized than we've seen him to date- communicative, problem-solving, and serving as a kinetic projectile for the first (but not quite the most infamous) time. But we'll get to that.

In his first (non-dream) appearance, he seems a little too obsessed with taunting Hedorah; his chin-scratching gesticulation goes on for far too long. (I wonder if those gestures had a specific cultural meeting in Japan that would be lost on a western audience? They were incomprehensible to me, but their intent was clear). Then, it goes from lack of action to absurdity as we get to the Keystone Cops fast-motion spin… a bit of off-kilter seriousness that is juxtaposed with the seriously-atonal horrific death of innocent bystanders… and this won’t be the last time we get that strange juxtaposition.

Here, Godzilla is a full-on hero. He's a guardian of the Earth; a protector who explicitly shows up whenever there is trouble. His main showcase is, of course, the fight at Mount Fuji, as all of his previous engagements go rather poorly and end abruptly. Even at the mountain, he's used in a strangely scattershot way, almost as a plot device or a prop, more than a major combatant- apparently getting out of the mud-pit off screen, and disappearing for inexplicable lengths of time as those trucks interminably flash their headlights (in impossibly-perfect synchronization) at Hedorah, in a sequence that goes on far too long. (Or maybe an explanation for both the escape and the absence were shown, and my psychedelic-light-show-stupefied mind simply failed to process them in its numbed state.)

Still, though Godzilla’s presence is surprisingly spotty, this is a good and very desperate fight. Though Hedorah’s ray doesn't seem especially potent, his powerful acid is clearly putting a major hurt on Godzilla., and the damage to his eye and hand represent a more visceral, lasting damage as a consequence of the fight than we're used to seeing. (Negative points for film-flipping that causes those injuries to switch sides several times during the fight, though.) The battle is played as appropriately dire, and when Godzilla, burned and half-blinded, is stuck in a pit with Hedorah diarrhea-ing sludge down on him, it seems as if his defeat is a very real possibility.

And then we get Godzilla ripping out Hedorah’s ovaries, (my wife, extremely perturbed and trying to make sense of this scene, eventually concluded that this is what they are) and it seems like a Godzilla victory. Only then an equally-large creature bursts out of Hedorah’s corpse no worse for the wear (even though Godzilla clearly reached in and tore out things from well within this inner-creature’s volume)…

… And then we get into surreal territory so legendary that there's very little original I can say about it. Suffice it to say, when my wife is the one sitting there yelling at the screen “It wouldn't work that way!” as Godzilla takes flight using his atomic breath, then you know that something's gone a bit wrong. The sequence is delightfully loopy, but as an action climax- following an already-satisfying climax which could have been used to end the fight- it just kind of falls short. Indeed, Godzilla’s aforementioned problem-solving skills are fairly impressive, but the whole sequence of repeatedly dehydrating Hedorah goes on too long, and is rather anti-climactic.


The effects in this film were generally very strong, and the miniatures excellent- especially the fog-crowded landscape of smokestacks- but there were some notable exceptions. Godzilla popping up behind the water in Ken’s dream, as if he were a cartoon Sun coming up from behind the horizon, for one. The horrible, simplistic, jagged cartoon lightning bolts at the end (after we just had such a great lightning effect from Gabara in the last film). The first scene of Godzilla against the setting sun doesn't look that realistic (but I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say it was intentionally stylistic.) A few of the superimposed shots against the actual cityscape were not really accomplished as well as they were back in, say, Mothra vs. Godzilla- the same with the rear-screen projection with the transformers at the end. And while the animated figures of the tadpoles look great, the animated human figures at the constructions tie and transformer tower kind of cross into uncanny-valley territory.

Beyond those rare exceptions, the film manages a startling level of reality, and one wishes it something more vibrant and pleasant to watch had been the subject of the superb model-making and effects work. It is particularly surprising (and the previously-highlighted shortcomings more forgivable) when you consider that this film had a substantially lower budget than the last several films. One certainly can't fault what was accomplished in this short filming schedule with this low-budget! That's no mean feat, especially in the circumstances. Even the use of microscope footage is very effective, complementing the James Bond opening credits… and I honestly have no idea how some of those skeleton shots were accomplished.

The quality of the production is undercut at many turns by strange stylistic choices- not just the aforementioned extremely-abrupt style of editing that made every scene feel like it was being joined ‘already in progress,’ but moments like the ‘Bob Dylan’ sequence where everything goes black and white for a while, just because. Or the crazy montage of talking heads (straight out of The Dark Knight Returns; Toho oughtta sue frank Miller for copyright infringement!). Or the tendency to hold unnecessarily-long shots of prone bodies or death or some bit of floating garbage, especially the dead teenagers near the end. Or those odd, odd animated sequences.

The first is just kind of there; the second actually manages to make a fairly strong metaphorical point about the sinister ‘Circle of Life’ at work within the process of pollution, and the third seems to mix equal parts satire (presenting survival like a fashion show) and utterly disturbing horror, as two women end up horribly disfigured and we have an effective, but truly-unsettling transition to an area map of the toxic effects. I suppose I have to give grudging kudos for cleverness, as I do to many elements of this film… it's just that when they’re all taken in combination, the cumulative effect is too overwhelming- unbalancing the audience, to the film’s detriment.

Speaking of detriments, the score is awful. While the title song is kind of catchy, the orchestral score is… well, I once heard Godzilla’s theme in this one described as the ‘drunken lout’ theme, and I think that’s the perfect descriptor. It’s a bizarre choice- implying not a hero, nor a villain, nor an unstoppable force of nature… but a buffoon. A drunkard. It’s like a mockery, a parody, in completely non-humorous scenes. It’s a long way from Ifukube’s classic march- and, paired with the ‘high school football rally’ flying theme, it’s just… this is a REALLY weird soundtrack! It sounds like a Hana Barbara cartoon; if you’ve ever watched the animated Star Trek, it’s just like that!

Oh, and just as I praised the classic-media subtitling in all Monsters Attack, I have to shame Kraken Media here… no subtitles whatsoever for the song! This is a common irritant in the Godzilla films, especially Mothra films (I think Godzilla vs. Mothra; The Battle for Earth may get more of a pass from me just because they give us the lyrics in the subtitles for once!), but really, with the focus on singing in this one, would it’ve killed them to make a game attempt? That, combined with the international, English-titles beginning and end, always make me feel like I’m getting a neutered version of the product.


If this review seems oddly schizophrenic, by turns praising and condemning interchangeably, it's because Godzilla vs. Hedorah is a difficult thing to pin down. It's not just one thing; it's a multi-faceted work that contains so many disparate (and even conflicting) elements that it's hard to hold just one opinion of it, or rate it as a whole. It's an amalgam of so many different elements and tones that any kind of summing up or single conclusion seems too trite and simplistic to properly encapsulate it.

In the end, I have to give a grudging respect to Godzilla vs. Hedorah. It magnificently accomplishes all that it sets its mind to. It isn't a pleasant film, but it is sublimely effective in portraying its own vision. I don't like it, or enjoy it, but I can appreciate the artistry and the effectiveness of crafting a metaphor. If it didn't overindulge itself in stylistic chicanery, I think that it could be considered one of the top-tier Showa entries.

As it is, it simply makes too much noise, and indulges in too many bizarre asides, for its own good. Not badly-made, but badly-assembled. It distracts from its own message and its own strengths- throwing everything at the wall to see if something sticks. A lot more would have stuck if there wasn't so much obfuscation from attention-getting, but ultimately empty, editorial tricks. It is well-crafted, but ugly; unpleasant, but of top quality. It contains some of the best effect that we've seen, but also some of the strangest stumbles. It's like the design of Hedorah itself- brilliant originality, coupled with shoddy banality. So long as you only look at it from the neck up, it's quite an impressive achievement, but when you try to take in the whole thing, its flaws become readily apparent. It's a shame, because the good that's there is so good that it deserves better than to be buried amidst the failings... but the good and bad are, unfortunately, inseparable, and it all comes down to a matter of which one you see more when you look at it.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby Rodan » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:13 pm

Re: Editing and characters:

Last time I watched this with a friend, he pointed out that it almost feels like Godzilla by way of Wes Anderson. A lot less tightly constructed, obviously, but it seems hilariously accurate in terms of some of the things you've pointed out in your review above: the sudden, perfunctory appearance of the monsters; the well-intentioned but inscrutable adults trying to keep up with the children, and the deadpan humor of it (the father half-bandaged giving instructions in the back of a truck); strangely flat, symmetrical shots of the army men at their electrical machine in the middle of a field, etc. As serious as the movie's message is, everyone seems swept up in a great, bizarre comedy.

As it stands, vs. Hedorah is merely an interesting movie, but I think it's very nearly a great one.

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby InnocentClarke » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:23 pm

I agree pretty much word-for-word with Zarm's take on the film. But a few thoughts to add... One, I think that not only does the film indulge in too many bizarre asides, it honestly shouldn't have indulged in any at all. The film already had a unique feel to it between the dark tone, the colour scheme, the enemy monster itself, etc. It didn't need any of the trippy stuff to do a good job of being a distinct film in the franchise, and none of the outright weird moments add anything at all to the plot of the film itself. Thus, the film really does seem to have a problem knowing what it wants to do, something exemplified completely by the fish-head sequence in the nightclub. It literally has nothing to do with the rest of the film, nor does it make sense based on what you've seen so far of that character. All he'd done was drink a bit. What was his problem? It's never explained.

Furthermore, the bit of the last battle where Godzilla flies served only to highlight something I'd never actually noticed before in a Godzilla film: The limitations of the set itself. During that entire section, I was just looking at the back, sky-painted wall and going, "That's clearly the wall of the set." It tore me out even harder than the speechlessness-inducing flying did.

With that said, I did enjoy the film overall. I like how creative it decided to be with the look of the film, and how well the effects came out despite the limitations of the budget. Some sections of the film just give a relaxing vibe, even, such as behind the military characters where they were sitting with the control panel during the last battle. The lighting of it all is just gorgeous, making it probably the prettiest film in the Showa series to me, aside from the original. I also appreciated the battle between Godzilla and Hedorah near the docks, after Hedorah's hopped off the smokestacks. The fogginess of it all during the nighttime gives it an almost Lovecraftian vibe. Just excellent.

So hey, I came away not hating this film as much as I thought I would. I can't help but think it'd be worth me taking the video into some editing program and cutting it down a bit, though. About 5 minutes of the film are absolutely needless and just destroy the tone. Shame there's not really much to do about the soundtrack which is, as Zarm expressed... honestly pretty awful. But oh well, the film's pretty fun as a one-off.

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby ZinK » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:21 pm

This is my favorite Godzilla movie, it's so crazy and fun. It also features my favorite Godzilla villain, Hedorah.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby godzilla5417 » Thu May 04, 2017 2:53 pm

The parts were they start singing made me cringe, it's also very embarrassing watching those parts with other people around.
Besides that it's a fairly enjoyable Godzilla flick, although it has some boring bits.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby ToxicLove » Tue May 09, 2017 5:17 am

I tip my hat today to Mr. Banno for creating one of the few original and wild visions of Godzilla.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby Lain Of The Wired » Tue May 09, 2017 7:58 am

I think everyone should have a good Ol fashioned Hedorah rewatch today.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby Dr. Professor » Tue May 09, 2017 4:15 pm

Lain Of The Wired wrote:I think everyone should have a good Ol fashioned Hedorah rewatch today.

I just did exactly that.

What a fantastic movie this is. As a kid, it was really hard for me to appreciate the way this movie is, simply because I only cared about monster battles. In fact, today was the first time I've watched it since then. Godzilla vs. Hedorah is one of the most unique and fun movies in the entire franchise. A lot of people think that a lot of the elements in this film are too weird for a Godzilla movie. But that because they are weird. This movie is very weird. But that's why I love it. And Hedorah is frickin creepy. One of my favorites shots in the entire film is whenever they're using the headlights to lure Hedorah, and the lights are shining on his face from below as he just stands there completely still. It's beautifully ominous. I think it's such a shame that Banno never got to make that follow up that he's always wanted to do. That's the first thing that crossed my mind when I heard of his passing today. One can only imagine what it would've been like.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby godzilla5417 » Wed May 10, 2017 4:46 pm

Not to be harsh or anything like that.... but I think watching this movie once in a life time is enough.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby BooLugosi » Wed May 10, 2017 5:09 pm

I haven't watched it in a while but I adore this film. It's so bizarre. I think there should be more kaiju movies that have the weird, trippy aspects that this film has. I think that it definitely suffers from its writing among other things but I think that it is filled with excellent ideas.

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby LegendZilla » Thu May 11, 2017 2:12 am

Looks like some sad news has skipped our radar, so allow me to be the one to carry it out.

http://www.godzilla-movies.com/news/god ... dies-at-86
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby GigaBowserG » Thu May 11, 2017 3:41 am

LegendZilla wrote:Looks like some sad news has skipped our radar, so allow me to be the one to carry it out.

http://www.godzilla-movies.com/news/god ... dies-at-86


Other users were sharing condolences in other threads... for instance.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby MechaGoji Bro7503 » Thu May 11, 2017 12:32 pm

Gonna watch this later tonight in honor of Mr. Banno.

Will post more thoughts later. (To see if my opinion has changed)
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby MechaGoji Bro7503 » Thu May 11, 2017 5:38 pm

Just watched it again, and I loved it. Just like that kid im gonna do that Godzilla thing where you touch your face and move your hand forward twice:lol:.

I honestly found Godzilla flying to be badass. I actually like Hedorah more now, and his destruction scenes were chilling as ever. Overall around 7/10.

And, could all those Nebula places they mentioned be possible homes of the Space Hunter Nebula aliens?
"Bang on, mate.", - Murdoc Niccals 2018.

Dv-218 wrote:This is so sad, Alexa play "Bio-Wars".

Dr. Professor wrote:If I had a dollar for every "SAVE MOTHRA" joke, I'd be able to buy Legendary Pictures, renew the license for Godzilla, acquire the rights to the rest of the Toho monsters, and make a Godzilla film that totally bombs without even putting a dent in my bank account.

"Wake the fruck up Godzilla, we got a city to burn." - Goro Maki, 2016.

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby eabaker » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:28 pm

Just found myself wondering today, considering how long the market has really been limited to the Japanese version and the international dub, how many of the younger fans have no conception at all of the wonder that is the AIP dub of this movie? Popped to my mind specifically when I was quoting the "Superman beats them all!" line in another thread. To me, that's such an iconic moment in Godzilla franchise history, but to a lot of fans now it may be totally meaningless.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Postby Jeff-Goldblum1 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:52 am

Just rewatched Godzilla Vs Hedorah.

Always enjoy this one. Very interesting and unique film. All those things like animation sequences, song numbers, falling buildings in silence and freeze frames on Godzilla's silhouette. Just flourishes to make this feel more like an artistically expressive film than usual.

That ending where Godzilla tears out Hedorah's innards. Very gory indeed. Things you can do when using brown colored body parts instead of red flesh.
Last edited by Jeff-Goldblum1 on Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:52 am, edited 1 time in total.


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