Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Japan Release: 1971
Running Time:
85 minutes

Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Japanese Title

[Gojira tai Hedora]

Distributor: Production:


A local fisherman gives Doctor Toru Yano a strange find: a seemingly dead, tadpole-like creature. The odd organism was all the fisherman found while trying to catch shrimp, with the waters oddly absent of the crustaceans. Later, reports come in of a gigantic creature attacking an oil freighter out at sea. Upon seeing the footage, Yano's son, Ken, is convinced it's a larger version of the tadpole-like creature. To discover the truth, the doctor goes scuba diving near where the fisherman made his find. Ken waits for his dad on the shore, only to attract the attention of a smaller version of the monster that sunk the oil freighter. The small boy defends himself with his knife, which leaves no visible damage on the creature although it returns to the water. Ken's father is not so lucky: the beast horrifically scars part of the doctor's face. Seeing that the creature appears to be sludge-like, Ken dubs the monster Hedorah. The media covering his father's attack uses the name, while more reports of sea-related attacks pour in. Experimenting on the sample the fisherman brought him, the doctor makes a startlingly discovery. By applying some polluted water, the creature is rejuvenated. Yano is now convinced it's unlike any creature on earth, as its made of minerals and feeds on a normally hostile environment. Not much later, the creature evolves, sprouting legs as it goes ashore. The creature's rampage is shortened, though, as Godzilla arrives to face it...

Live Action Science Fiction KaijuGodzilla

Box Office - Stock Footage - DVDs - CDs - Pictures - Background - Concept Art - Cut Scenes - Reviews


International Title

Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Initial US Title

Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster
US Distributor: AIP (1972) / Time: 85 Minutes

Alternate Titles

Frankenstein's Battle Against the Devil's Monster

Hedorah, the Toxic Bubble


Aliens, SDF & Misc.



Directed by Yoshimitsu Banno
Writing credits Yoshimitsu Banno, Kaoru Mabuchi
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Music by Riichiro Manabe, Mari Keiko
Cinematography by Yoichi Manoda
Film Editing by Yoshitami Kuroiwa
Production Design by Taiko Inoue
Director of Special Effects Teruyoshi Nakano
Assisant Director of Special Effects Koichi Kawakita
Toru Yano, Doctor Akira Yamauchi
Yukio Keuchi Toshio Shiba
Ken Yano Hiroyuki Kawase
Miki Fujiyama Keiko Mari
Toshie Yano, Ken's Mother Toshie Kimura
Gohei, Fisherman Yoshio Yoshida
Commander Haruo Suzuki
Commander Yoshio Katsube
News Reader Saburo Iketani
Scientist Tadashi Okabe
Interviewer Susumu Okabe
Police Officer Wataru Omae
Helicopter Pilot Yukihiko Gondo
- Teruzo Okawa


Box Office

Release Date: July 24th, 1971 (Japan)
Budget: ¥90,000,000 / $250,000 (Rough Figure)
Attendance: 1,740,000 (Japan)

Toho Stock Footage

DVDs and Blu-rays

United States Region 1 Godzilla vs. Hedorah Tristar (2004) Order
United States Region 1 Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster! Godzilla vs Hedorah Kraken Releasing (2014) Order
Japan Region 2 Godzilla vs. Hedorah Toho (2004)
Australia Region 4 Godzilla vs. Hedorah Madman (2006)
United States Blu-ray Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster! Godzilla vs Hedorah Kraken Releasing (2014) Order
United States Blu-ray Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films Criterion (2019) Order
Japan Blu-Ray Godzilla vs. Hedorah Toho (2014)  

CD Soundtracks

Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Background and Trivia

  • Toho submitted the film to the US copyright office on May 3rd, 1989 with the registration number of PA0000426964. The movie was submitted with an English and Romaji hybrid title Godzilla tai Hedorah, and the international title, Godzilla vs. Hedorah.
  • Godzilla vs. Hedorah II, a sequel to the 1971 movie, was at one time considered. It would have featured a rematch between both Godzilla and Hedorah, and was to be the 1975 Godzilla film. However, producer Tomoyuki Tanaka was unhappy with the concept and it was canceled in favor of what would become Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975). Noted in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • Scenes of Doctor Toru Yano diving underwater were actually portrayed by the director, Yoshimitsu Banno, in a wet suit. Actor Akira Yamauchi was actually partially selected due to his similar physique to Banno. Mentioned in an interview with the in the 2001 book Tokyoscope: The Japanese Cult Film Companion (ISBN: 1569316813).
  • The film was mostly created while producer Tomoyuki Tanaka was in the hospital. Cited in Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo (ISBN: 0922915474).
  • The shooting schedule was a little over a month. Cited in Tokyoscope: The Japanese Cult Film Companion (ISBN: 1569316813).
  • Although denied by Yoshimitsu Banno himself in interviews, special effects director Teruyoshi Nakano claims he heard producer Tomoyuki Tanaka tell Banno that he "ruined Godzilla" after he saw the final product. Noted in Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo (ISBN: 0922915474).
  • Artist Yoshiharu Tsuge, whose work was appearing in Garo magazine at the time, was the initial choice by director Yoshimitsu Banno to create the film's animated sequences. According to the director after he offered him the job, Tsuge stated he had never seen a film and classified himself as anti-social, turning down the offer as he did not want to work in a group as animation would require. Noted in Tokyoscope: The Japanese Cult Film Companion (ISBN: 1569316813).
  • Although the child Ken Yano is alluded to having some connection with Godzilla in the movie, having a precognition of the monster's arrival multiple times, he has an actual psychic connection with him in the Godzilla vs. Hedorah manga. That said, the manga adaptations are known to take several liberties with the plot and characters. As a result, the fact that he has those powers neither confirms or denies that the child in the movie has them as well.
  • The club in the film was based on a real life go-go club called Mugen that was located in the Akasaka district of Tokyo. However, the pulsing, multi-color element of the club was actually inspired by a bar in Chicago. The effect was achieved through putting salad oil in a bowl and moving it around with fingers while placing different colored lights on it, which was then projected on the screen. Mentioned in Tokyoscope: The Japanese Cult Film Companion (ISBN: 1569316813).
  • Director Yoshimitsu Banno references two things for inspiring him on coming up with the idea of Godzilla vs. Hedorah. The first is Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring, an influential non-fiction book on the impacts of pollution on the environment. The second is after the director visited a beach near Yokkaichi, which was polluted with gross bubbles in the water and smelled of sulfur. Cited in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • Special effects director Teruyoshi Nakano noted the uneven tone of the movie and how that happened. Citing that after creating scenes such as people being burned alive and Godzilla losing his eye he started to become " uncomfortable with it". He cites this is why they "added the comical scenes", including Godzilla's flight. However, in retrospect, he notes "we probably shouldn't have done that" but related that Banno was looking for something extraordinary and so, even though the scene doesn't appear in the script, it was shot and added. Mentioned in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • The english version of the opening song, known as "Save the Earth", was recorded at a Los Angeles recording studio and supervised by Guy Hermic. Adryan Russ, who went on to become a singer but at the time was working at API as a secretary, performed the song. Noted in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • In a 1996 interview, singer Adryan Russ, who sung the opening son in English for the US version of the movie, notes that for "a long time I never told anyone that I did the Godzilla movie because I was embarrassed about it." However, she notes that: "Later on I learned that the movie has kind of a cult following. Now I think it's cool and I'm glad to be associated with it." Cited in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).

Concept Art


Miles Imhoff [AIP] Star Rating
August 21, 2005
J.L. Carrozza Star Rating
June 25, 2009
Alexander Smith Star Rating
August 5, 2012