It was 42 years ago today, that Japanese audiences were introduced to one of Godzilla’s weirdest foes – Hedora, aka The Smog Monster, in Yoshimitsu Banno’s GOJIRA TAI HEDORA (1971). American audiences would see this as GODZILLA VS. THE SMOG MONSTER the following February. This featured the first in a wild series of new ‘powers’ that Godzilla would add to his arsenal as the Showa Era of Godzilla films came to an end. He used his radioactive breath to propel himself through the air, like a rocket, or jet. Yes, you read that correctly, Godzilla flew. Thankfully, this was also the last time he’d achieve self-induced flight. I think this beats turning himself into a super-magnet or a mile-long ‘flying’ drop-kick hands down on the ridiculous scale, though still comes in just under the whole “talking with word balloons” bit. How far the mighty had fallen. Oh yes, this one had a nifty opening credit song, ‘Save the Earth!’ in both versions.
Happy Birthday, Hedora!