Hedorah: The Smog Monster
 By far my favorite rampaging monster ever to lock horns with Godzilla,
Hedorah (derived from Hedoro, or "vomit") is a noxious, disgusting mass of
chemical waste who goes through a number of strange transformations from a
slimy tadpole to a slimy flying saucer and finally an oozing sludge-heap that
looms above even Godzilla, dooming Earth not only to choking horror, but even

  Or is that "pits" as in "pits Godzilla against the Smog Monster?" Who knows,
it's an antique movie poster. They were legally required to make as little sense as
 My first encounter with Hedorah was actually in the torturously boring
Nintendo game, "Godzilla II: War of the Monsters", where the young me
was thrilled to learn that Godzilla's gallery of friends and foes included a
slime-creature, still one of my most
preferred categories of creature.
 It was at a  local comic shop's overpriced flea-market booth that I ran
into Hedorah for the second time in my childhood, and the beautiful
Bandai vinyl figure would come home with me for a hard-earned but
well-spent thirty dollars; actually less than a third of the toy's current value
on a collector's market...not that I would ever sell him.
 It honestly surprised me to learn that Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster
was considered by hardcore fans to be one of the worst Godzilla films and
responsible for temporarily "killing" the franchise in Japan with its
heavy-handed environmental message, psychadelic musical sequence and
inexplicable animated segments.

  Funny...those are more or less why I always considered it one of Japan's
greatest acheivements.
 Sadly, Hedorah was all set to have a hand in the climactic "Final Wars"
film, but the director thought his costume looked too "hokey" and nearly
cut him out of the entire film. A twelve second sequence that impales him
on a giant lobster is all that remains in the finished product, and we will
never know what mind-blowing action may have commenced in the
promotional shot above.
 At least we know that Frank Zappa appreciated our toxic friend.