Humanity’s pollution of the seas has given rise to Hedorah, a giant sludgy tadpole creature that feasts on industrial waste and grows bigger and more powerful all the time. Godzilla, protector of Earth and small children, is already angered by the pollution, but concentrates his energies on defeating Hedorah. The first battle goes well, but soon Hedorah is back, bigger and stronger than before.
Godzilla is in full-on superhero mode here, in a film better known in North America as < ...>Godzilla Vs The Smog Monster. From the James Bond-style opening credits song to the odd cartoon interludes to the scene where Godzilla flies (!), this is one of the silliest of the series, and comes from a period when the once-fearsome monster was at his cuddliest. Our other protagonist, after all, is a little boy who has visions of Godzilla coming to the rescue. Not a highlight, by any means, but fans of the series (and I confess I am one) will still be thrilled to see the film in its proper form for the first time. And the environmental theme is still pretty damn relevant.
The sound is mono, but what it lacks in roaring resonance it makes up for in clarity. At least, this is true of the Japanese track. The sound of the English dubbing is very poor (it seems to have been recorded in an echo chamber) and should be avoided. The subtitles make a lot more sense than with previous dubbed versions of the film.
Throw out those old fullscreen VHS copies. The movie is at last presented in all its 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen glory. The opening stock footage has plenty of grain, and the film itself occasionally has some minor guitar string damage, but for the most part the print looks very good, with vibrant, exciting colours and minimal grain.
As with the other recent Godzilla releases, the only extras are some trailers, including the Tokyo SOS teaser and an ad for the Godzilla: Save the Earth game. The menu is basic.
A thoughtful, verbose, grown-up romance. Not too many of those around.
Special Features List