Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster or Godzilla vs. Hedorah (ゴジラ対ヘドラ Gojira tai Hedora), is a 1971 Japanese science fiction kaiju film produced by Toho. Directed by Yoshimitsu Banno and featuring special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano, the film starred Akira Yamauchi, Toshie Kimura, and Hiroyuki Kawase.
The 11th film in the Godzilla series, the film had a strong anti-pollution message with director Banno being inspired after visiting a polluted beach near Yokkaichi.
The film was released theatrically in the United States in 1972 by American International Pictures (AIP).
The microscopic alien lifeform Hedorah feeds on Earth’s pollution and grows into a poisonous, acid-secreting sea monster. After it attacks Dr. Yano and his young son Ken, scarring them both, Hedorah’s toxic existence is revealed to the public. Ken has visions of Godzilla fighting the world’s pollution, and insists Godzilla will come to mankind’s aid against Hedorah.
Hedorah evolves into an amphibian form, allowing it to move onto land to feed on additional sources of pollution. Hedorah is confronted by Godzilla and Hedorah only an amphibian at the time is easily overpowered by Godzilla and retreats into the sea but returns shortly thereafter in a flying saucer shape demonstrating new, even deadlier forms which it can switch between at will.
Thousands of people die in Hedorah’s raids and even Godzilla is overwhelmed by Hedorah’s poisonous emissions. As hope sinks, a party is thrown on Mt. Fuji to celebrate one last day of life before mankind succumbs to Hedorah. Ken realizes that Godzilla and Hedorah have come to Mt. Fuji as well for a final confrontation.
” …there may be something undeniably silly about a film that climaxes with two men in rubber suits wrestling on a miniature train set, but the eco-disaster that frames the action is notably ahead of its time.” Kindertrauma