Japanese culture and old school horror are mixed in this classic movie. This Showa era film was made with Godzilla as the hero. This incarnation of the radiation created monster had the ability to think for himself. "Godzilla vs. Hedorah" is the eleventh of the series. It was also created to be all original, fresh villain and no stock footage.
The movie was directed by Yoshimitsu Banno. He also wrote the script with Takeshi Kimura. Toho Company produced it, as they had most of the original Godzilla films. Tomoyuki Tanaka, the man who had been the producer since the beginning, was in the hospital for all the filming. The movie was distributed in America as "Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster" by American International Pictures.
This kaiju film, or strange beast film, has a strong anti-pollution slant to it. Hedorah starts out as a microscopic life form that grows by feeding off the pollution of the Earth. It grows to the point it can travel between areas of pollution. After several attacks on cities by Hedorah, Ken Yano, played by Hiroyuki Kawase, the young son of the scientist Dr. Yano, played by Akira Yamauchi, convinces everyone that they need Godzilla to come and fight off the beast. They are finally able to get the legendary beast to appear. Godzilla defeats Hedorah and it goes back into the sea.
Hedorah comes back. Where first he was in amphibian form, he comes back looking like a flying saucer. Hedorah's poisonous emissions are winning the battle, killing thousands and beating Godzilla. They head to Mount Fuji for the last battle. Dr. Yano devices a weapon, but has no way to power it. They now have to rely on Godzilla to fight Hedorah and power the device.