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Hedorah: Showa-era Version by Enshohma Hedorah: Showa-era Version by Enshohma
Name: Hedorah
Aliases: The Smog Monster; Hedrah
Portrayed By: Kenpachiro Satsuma (suit actor)
First Appearance: "Godzilla vs. Hedorah"
Original Premier Date: July 24th, 1971
Species: Extraterrestrial / Pollution Mutation
Kaiju Portrait Order: #42

Unless The Kaiju Portrait and its spotlighted subject are super obscure, I'm going to ease off on the extensive articles.

And focus the aforementioned on my personal thoughts towards said characters, while allowing outside links to do most of the exposition work for me. Even if said web-sites don't go into the same kind of extreme, or nonsensical details like I often do.

Tohokingdom's Hedorah Profile: www.tohokingdom.com/kaiju/hedo…
Wikipedia's Hedorah Page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedorah

Now with that out of the way, onto main meat of the article.



If I was to do a Top Ten List of my all time favorite Kaiju and other Giant Monsters, well it'd be very difficult for me to do so, on the account that I love a lot of these characters. And with a fluctuating favoring of the various characters, depending on my feelings towards them at differing times.

And outside some guaranteed mainstays like Gamera, and a cheating tie between "Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman" (1958) and Itassis from "Power Rangers Mystic Force", I really wouldn't know how to place / number them, especially in an order off the top of my own head.

But the one monster who would make it to the top of my this list would diffidently be the walking heap of deadly pollution itself - Hedorah, the Smog Monster!

For the longest time, "Godzilla vs Hedorah" (1971, also known as "Godzilla vs The Smog Monster") was my favorite giant monster movie, with me even going as far as making a yearly tradition of watching it on late night Christmas Eve, with the front room Christmas Tree serving as a Hedorah-like effigy for full viewing effect.

But as I grew older and (relatively) wiser, the film's flaws of being ridiculously uneven in tone, became unavoidable. Fluctuating wildly between beautifully nightmarish, and just plain childish nonsense.

And far more irritating, was "Hedorah" turning out to be a rather slow paced movie; an almost common problem with Japanese films that painfully got worse in the 1970's and escalated onward to this very day.

Now don't get me wrong..."Godzilla vs Hedorah" is a pretty decent film, and interestingly weird enough to overcome the slow pacing issues. And as such, is more infamous in being so strange, as opposed to being one of the worst entries into the Godzilla film series. Or at least in my humble opinion.

But that stated, it no longer holds a special spot in my heart like it use to. And has now been replaced by arguably better films like "Mothra" (1960), "The Green Slime" (1969), "Godzilla vs The Sea Monster" (1967), and the majority of Ray Harryhausen's output from this same decade.

In fact, now that I think about it, "Godzilla vs Hedorah" would be excellent fodder for Internet comedy critic The Nostalgia Critic.

Quickly everyone! Let us bother Doug Walker with multiple requests for a "Godzilla vs Hedorah" episode, and make this pipe dream a terrifying reality! And don't give me the argument that The Angry Video Game Nerd did it already, because a short three-minute video can't do this film's idiosyncrasies justice.



Despite all this, Hedorah himself remains my top favorite Kaiju / giant monster. And why so, you may ask?

Because he's just so incredibly, destructively EVIL!

True, one could make the argument that Hedorah is a true alien entity, who works more on mindless instinct than sentient malice. And that may be quite true, seeing how simple minded Hedorah's actions can be, like easily being attracted to headlights on military jeeps. Or attacking waste filled industrial factories for food (he / it is a pollution mutation after all).

But than you remember that Hedorah actually giggles and laughs, however bizarrely, at the pain and suffering it inflicts onto others, particularly at his lone enemy and unwilling, victimized playmate Godzilla.

If I'd be so bold, I'd gladly compare Hedorah to a lower leveled, yet no-less monstrous creations of legendary cosmic horror and fantasy writer H.P. Lovecraft.

I know comparing any weird alien monsters as 'Lovecraftean' is an all too common mistake we modern fans make (myself included), because of basic similarities done unintentionally.

In other words, not taking into account that most creative minds and their related creations, probably have no idea Lovecraft even existed to begin with. And as such, simply came to similar conclusions through like minded science-based, or even fictional inspirations.

The title amorphous creature of "The Blob" (1958) being a very good example, even if H.P. Lovecraft did it first and spectacularly more so with The Shaggoth from his novella "At The Mountains of Madness".

But in all fairness, both The Blob and the Shaggoth were probably inspired by real life slime molds, single cell organisms, and related fantasies of 'living liquid', which has only recently become a recurring trope in fiction. And in turn, the more famous Blob being an even bigger inspiration for later slime monsters to come, like our mucky fiend Hedorah here.

But like the Lovecraftean horrors who are not overtly massive, cosmically indifferent Great Old Ones, Hedorah again, seems to have an evil intellect that pushes him above the aforementioned in character driven villainy. And why Japanese movie monsters have always been more unique and interesting than most of their more bland, foreign counterparts.



Now a malicious, giant-sized villain is bad news on its own, but being a walking, pulsating heap of toxic, chemical waste makes Hedorah all the more horrible. The guy just has to show up, and people start dying in mass by his mare presence, wither Hedorah meant them to, or not!

Sure, we can make the tired old gag that Hedorah in his flat, flying form, was basically fatally gassing whole crowds, with what amounts to 'jetting farts'...which I have to sadly admit is somewhat true. Even if Hedorah isn't built like any Earthly creature, and as such, he's just a biological jet engine, and nothing more.

But yeah...Hedorah is basically gassing, squirting, and 'leaking' his poisonous self all across Japan. And leaving behind a massively high death toll in its terrible wake.

The only living creature on Earth who can physically stand up against Hedorah, is of course Godzilla, who by this point of his Showa-era adventures (1954-1975), was starting becoming a more obvious hero, against pure evil Kaiju of Hedorah's ilk.

But even the mighty King of the Monsters doesn't have at all an easy time fighting Hedorah off. And royally suffers for it in turn. Seriously, the first two brief bouts, and the final, prolonged death duel between the two across the summit of Mt. Fuji, are more into Hedorah's favor, over Godzilla's.

And even though Godzilla does get some good attacks in the final battle, even going as far as in taking out one of Hedorah's eyes, he's still outmatched by the toxic mutant.

Hedorah may have ultimately lost and was killed in the end, but like James 'Clubber' Lang and Ivan Drago to boxing hero Rocky Balboa, The Smog Monster sure did give poor Godzilla one Hell of a acidic beating before the day was saved.

And one can argue that many of Godzilla's foes never got as nasty, or as brutal as Hedorah did. Including Godzilla's official arch-nemesis of King Ghidorah, and most of the separate incarnations of MechaGodzilla.

So yeah, another reason I love Hedorah...he can beat the snot out of Godzilla!



Which now brings me to how the original Hedorah was defeated, which both makes sense in its own fanciful logic...and kind of frustrating in its execution as well.

Hedorah is at his / its most basic of make-up, 'a walking pile of living sludge'.

And like real sludge, he can be dried out, although under circumstances as extreme as Heodrah's own extraterrestrial origins. And thankfully, humans in the original Godzilla continuity had access to various super-weapons and technology, resulting in the creation of two gigantic electrode walls, that would create a killing field of electricity to dry out, and finally destroy Hedorah.

Unfortunately, the depiction of the military in this film is bizarrely played for subdued laughs. With them being portrayed as fumbling and incompetent in getting The Giant Electrodes (www.tohokingdom.com/aliens_sdf… to work. Let alone luring Hedorah into the trapping kill zone, without loosing their men in rather embarrassing manner.

A far cry from the overpowered, but no less skilled monster-fighters of the 1960's monster movies produced by Toho Studios. And sharing way more in common with the ineffective military operations seen in the rival Gamera film series.

This also being another example of the film's uneven tone, with a brutal and grueling battle between Godzilla and Hedorah on Mt. Fuji, being juxtaposed with a comically ineffective Japanese Self Defense Force.

And so much so, that this makes me more than willing to forgive the plot conveniences of having the Giant Electrodes constructed at Mt. Fuji, where everyone seemed convince that Hedorah would visit there, like some old world conqueror...Which Hedorah totally does in the end.

And yes, the betrayal of the military is even more jerking for me than 'Flying Godzilla', but that's a tangent for another long-winded article from yours truly.



Now I could go into further detail about Hedorah's appearances beyond the 1971 film, along with the mushroom-based offshoot Neo Hedorah, from the 1997-1998 television obscurity entitled "Godzilla Island".

But let's face facts, and admit that I WRITE TOO F***ING MUCH!

And as such, I'll save that extended tidbit for another time.

There was also Hedorah's less than triumphant return in 2004's "Godzilla: Final Wars". But I'm going to act like most of the willfully stupid, and equally as difficult fan boys out there. And illogically pretend that this incident never, ever happened...

...That is until I do the eventual Kaiju Portrait based on GFW Hedorah, from which I'll have to man-up like a real scholar, and share my disappointment when I ever get to that planned illustration.

*SIGH*



Related Links and Recommended Artwork:

Original Japanese film trailer for "Godzilla vs. Hedorah": youtu.be/LVOR-463obk

The American film trailer: youtu.be/ELDVjutzan8

Behind the scenes footage from the film (man that's a big suit!): youtu.be/NljKz9RCcDc

Cinemassacre's brief review of the film: youtu.be/ox20l8LtE88

The rest of The Kaiju Portraits series can be found here: enshohma.deviantart.com/galler…
Add a Comment:
 
:iconalexgameanimeex35:
alexgameanimeex35 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
THIS FUCKING THING... IT GAVE ME NIGHTMARES, When i was about 5-7. Hot damn. Now this is how you make an inveremental PSA. Hey kids don't polute or there will be a monster made out of shit melting everything and everyone. :shudder: :projectilevomit: 
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:iconartdog22:
artdog22 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013
Nice job man.
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014  Professional Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:icontoonbat:
toonbat Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
One of my favorite giant monsters. Creepy as all hell, with multiple forms and a respectable foe, while still being a fun, super silly weird movie. Why the hell was she not a playable character in the videogames?
Reply
:iconartdog22:
artdog22 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013

He was a boss in Monster of Monsters for the NES. His theme is kind of spooky but awesome.

Reply
:iconspacezillazon:
spacezillazon Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
incredibly awesome job version.Yeah I agree with you
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:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Professional Artist
Thanks.
Reply
:iconspacezillazon:
spacezillazon Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
yw
Reply
:iconhedorah1971:
Hedorah1971 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's awesome!
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Professional Artist
Thanks so much man!
Reply
:icondrac2000:
drac2000 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013
very cool good job
Reply
:iconmightymorphinpower4:
MightyMorphinPower4 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013
Awesome work he one of my fave monsters
Reply
:iconbracey100:
Bracey100 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Love the detail synopsis of why you love Hedorah so much and Im with you, he's one of my all time favorites. I saw this when I was a kid in the 70's and frankly Hedorah scared the shot outta me. This movie was too bizarre in tone for me to understand as a child but Hedorah I understood. He was the most monstrous of all Godzilla's foes (maybe of all the Toho kaiju). His capacity for destruction was unrivaled...and he fucking melted THOUSANDS with his acid!!! Just be going from A to B he killed you and the corpses he left were very graphic to my young mind. Plus he was so freakishly alien and disturbing, no kaiju before or sense has lived up to his Lovecraftean design. He's like the god of shoggoths! It really pissed me off that he got treated so unfairly in Final Wars after he nearly killed Godzilla in the 70's.
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Artist
You and I were not alone, as a lot of people seemed upset with Hedorah's handling in "Final Wars". But the villain's recent appearances in the IDW comics almost makes up for that 15 seconds of lame.

Thanks so much for the comment here, as again, our shared thoughts for this character and why we love him. And indeed, Hedorah feels more Lovecraftean than all the post 1995 Ultra monsters that were directly inspired by such.

Crap, Hedorah feels more Lovecraftean than the barely seen cameo giants in American Lovecraft based films, as he just cause horror and destruction just by being there!
Reply
:iconbracey100:
Bracey100 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I agree on all those points. Thank goodness we have the comics.
Reply
:icontheofficaljvera:
TheofficalJVera Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
so cool!
Reply
:iconjose-ramiro:
Jose-Ramiro Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Coolness.
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:iconspacezillazon:
spacezillazon Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
amazingly great details,colored
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Professional Artist
Thanks so much, and a week has pass, so the final coloring is done and been uploaded!
Reply
:iconspacezillazon:
spacezillazon Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
yw,cool
Reply
:iconhedorah1971:
Hedorah1971 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I LOVE IT!!
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Professional Artist
Full colored version done and uploaded!
Reply
:iconhedorah1971:
Hedorah1971 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I saw it. It came out awesome man!
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Professional Artist
Hmmm...I wonder why? ;)

Full colored version next week for sure!
Reply
:icongroudan383:
Groudan383 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
"And remember kids, don't forget to recycle! If you don't, i'll come and dissolve you with acid :) "
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:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Professional Artist
That's line of comical dialog is worthy of a future picture!

Until than however, the finished colored version of my Hedorah portrait is now uploaded.
Reply
:icongroudan383:
Groudan383 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Really? You like it that much lol? Well, when/if you ever decide to draw it, you should make copies and put them on all the recylcing bins you see lol!

Yeah, i saw it. You really are amazing with colors. They really brought him to life and made him pop out. Really awesome job! :)
Reply
:iconkingshisa08:
KingShisa08 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Captain Planet vs. Hedorah sombody make it happen!!
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Professional Artist
Thank you very much! In April, I might end up doing this illustration, and with some extra guest stars stepping in for his child audience.
Reply
:icongroudan383:
Groudan383 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
No problem! I cant wait to see what you do. I wonder who is going to be his guest star audience lol. Perhaps Godzilla Jr.?

Speaking of which, when are you going to draw your dragon character Enshohma?
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Artist
I've been meaning to do my own kaiju Enshohma for ages, but can't because of my current work load, it's still on the back-burner. Unless you know someone with the program LiveTrace and willing to help me clean up some inks digitally, I might be able to get one done sooner.
Reply
:icongroudan383:
Groudan383 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I know. You've been meaning to do him for YEARS. I actually really cant wait to see how he comes out. I've always wanted to see a full body of him. Is he still going to have the cape lol?

Unfortunately, i dont know someone with that program. Perhaps you can make a journal asking for help?
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Artist
I probably will soon...and Enshohma has a massive pair of wings, over a cape...unless that's what you meant?
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconkaijuduke:
KaijuDuke Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013
Very cool design :3
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Professional Artist
Thanks so much, and I'll get back to you Monday night, as I'm terribly swamped at the moment my friend!
Reply
:iconearthbaragon:
earthbaragon Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I said it before, the shading on this looks so nice. Should really pop alot with the right shade of green :)
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Professional Artist
Actually, Hedorah turned out to be more of a collection of silvers and grays than straight greens. And as such, had my work cut out for me in the coloring process, which is now finished and uploaded by-the-by.

Also, thanks for the "Mach Baron" images, and will be replying to those letters soon enough!
Reply
:iconkingshisa08:
KingShisa08 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
GODDAMN! IS HE FREAKY!! BTW I don't think NC Would be up to doing a review on this movie, 1) the nerd had already done it. 2) his fan base is very touchy they jumped on him over a bad let's play video, and people got pissed off at him when he did the TMNT Review when ripped on master splinter's voice (the late Mako). But a guy can dream Kickass pic of Hedorah this was the only Toho kaiju that scared the living shit out of me!
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Professional Artist
Thanks so much for the comments here.

I'd have to disagree on most accounts. First off, yes the Nerd did it, BUT it was like a three minute short that only touches upon the film's many extended 'WTF' moments and plot issues.

And the Let's Play was bad for being boring padding (like a lot of the equally bad, but less remembered Let's Play). And the Critic's strength in is movies, and "Godzilla vs. Hedorah" is right up that particular ally, with more to offer joke wise than the other 'bad' Godzilla films do.

Mako...well, let us not speak of Mako, for he can destroy us from the awesome place that floats over the low income shanty town that we call Heaven.

*KingShisa08 and Enshohma both clap their hands together to create the glowing Mako smiling face*
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:iconkingshisa08:
KingShisa08 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
LOL that is so true but I'm just saying that his fan base is really touchy on most things.

the mako insadent, Thomas the tank engine even though he acknolaged that he never watched the show, and when he annouced that he was going to do matilda (which BTW is not that great in my opinion) got pissed at him for that.
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Professional Artist
I hate to say it, but fans are touchy on everything, and as much as I love the series, I would never take up Doug's job because of which. In fact, Doug / Critic did a really good jab at his fans with a wall-based gag in his "King and I" review.

And a gag that I could really relate, after my experiences with local comic shops.
Reply
:iconkingshisa08:
KingShisa08 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I haven't seen it yet I'll be sure to check it out
Reply
:iconearthbaragon:
earthbaragon Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well the Hedorah certainly turned out pretty amazing. I really enjoy the splashes of reds and yellows along the body. Really looks close to the actual suit design.

Hoping to get 2 more episodes done after work today. Like I said that show has some really interesting robots. Much more interesting stuff than say the critters that were being made in D17 :P
Reply
:iconenshohma:
Enshohma Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Professional Artist
The Red Baron villains have always been choice designs, and as much as I enjoy the D17 characters, I have to admit their designs are rather lackluster, along with an overuse of grays and silver coloring.

This Hedorah piece took me quite awhile to get right, and had to end up using toy photos to get the coloring right, even if I had to use more greens over the silvers of the original Hedorah.
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