Godzilla, Suspenders, & Short Pants

Movie night and my personal Japanese film odyssey continues.

This time I’m moving from riveting film noir to rubber-suited nuisances and from the remarkable to the regrettable. Tonight’s delicacy is Godzilla vs. Hedorah (aka Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster). Do you suppose there might be a sequel; Godzilla Visits the Island of the Plastic Bags?

Hedorah looks like a cross between a giant tadpole and something unfortunate you might find on your shoe after walking the dog…oh…and with bloodshot eyes. One of Hedorah’s main weapons seems to involve projectile vomiting. I’m usually a pretty open-minded kinda guy but I’m thinkin’ deliberate hurling does not go on the smiling side of the scoreboard for this epic. Ew-w-w-w-w.

I’m notoriously unashamed to admit my fondness for Godzilla flicks but there are some elements that regularly pop up in the films that are simply bewildering in polite society. This film has several of ‘em;

  • There’s a precocious child in suspenders and short pants. Wrong.
  • Godzilla is portrayed as a friend to humanity. Completely wrong.
  • There are scenes on Mt. Fuji for no reason at all. Film-makers seem to love shooting mountains. I’m guessin’ it’s because mountains are consistent in their line readings and always hit their mark.

Mercifully, Son of Godzilla is not in this flick, nor have there been any scientists in school-bus-yellow jumpsuits. School-bus-yellow jumpsuits…why not just write “EAT ME” on their backs? Perhaps Godzilla, Hedorah, Mothra, et. al. lack reading skills.

The film is given an unfortunate artificial jolt by a psychedelic (non-geezers, you may have to google that word) night club sequence that features hard-driving songs by The Honey Knights and The Moon Drops (Adam Luckey and Walter Tunis have all their albums) and random, drifting skeletons for no purpose useful to the telling of this tale. You can do that kind of stuff when you’re being psychedelic.

Oh yeah, the film’s bad, it’s real bad. I of course cherish every minute of it.

Well, maybe not every minute – suspenders and short pants – a terrible thing to do to any child.

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