Monday, June 20, 2022

Godzilla: Folly of Man

Welcome to my long neglected, mostly forgotten blog!

I needed a place to share my fanfiction idea for a Monsterverse Godzilla sequel featuring Biollante and Hedorah, so here we are...


A few things I felt needed to be said before we get to the story...

I realize that the subtitle “Folly of Man” probably isn’t the best, but that line from Blue Oyster Cult’s song – “History shows again and again how Nature points out the folly of Man.” – kept coming to mind as I was working on this.  

I wanted the tone for this one to be much darker, with horror elements sprinkled throughout.  Godzilla – though still benevolent – will be a bit more indifferent toward humanity.  As you will see, Godzilla will inadvertently cause destruction as he single-mindedly seeks to achieve his goal of maintaining nature’s balance – more akin to the 2014 Godzilla.  Hedorah will be the most horrific aspect however, deriving imagery from the original 1971 film.

I thought that Biollante and Hedorah would represent a cool dynamic, I envisioned them having an opposing “Yin and Yang” kind of relationship.  I also messed around with their origins a bit as you will see.  I decided to make “Hedorah” both a plural and singular entity at various points (similar to the Rodan in Godzilla: Singular Point), hopefully this isn’t too confusing going forward.  

I imagine the singular form of Hedorah to look like Matt Frank’s mutli-eyed redesign from 2021 (included below).  At one point, the surface of Hedorah’s flesh will come to resemble that of Shin Godzilla’s (Other Shin Godzilla elements are present as well).  Biollante is one of my all-time favorite kaiju designs.  I don’t imagine its design changing all that much.

I recognize that a common complaint for many Godzilla films what many perceive to be a lack of compelling characters.  I envision Dr. Chen and Dr. Ling - returning from 2019's King of the Monsters - along with new characters - the Biollante research team and the unnamed Apex geneticist - being the central focus on the human side of things.  I did not flesh out these characters (honestly, I don't have that kind of writing talent), but rather focus on the broad strokes of the story.

I would love to see a film with similar cinematography to the 2014 film – more low angle shots highlighting the scale of the monsters, please!  It would be great for Gareth Edwards to return as director.  He would probably be too “out there”, but I’d love to have Guillermo del Toro direct a Monsterverse film!

Note:  I've included a lot of artwork, photos, etc. as visual aides.  To be clear, these images do NOT belong to me.  All credit goes to the talented artists!

Sorry the whole thing got to be so, so long.  I got very carried away.  Also: apologies in advance for any typos.  Thanks to whoever gives the whole thing a read!

Flashback to 2021: The remaining leadership of Apex are reeling after the onslaught of Mechagodzilla.  Previously unaware of Walter Simmons’ top secret project, the board of directors pressure their various R&D departments to come up with something, anything that will salvage the company’s reputation.  

Thus, our attention turns to an overworked group of genetic engineers who have been experimenting with samples of Godzilla’s tissue salvaged from his battle with Kong in Hong Kong.  Taking note of Godzilla’s extraordinary regenerative abilities, the team attempts to splice the Titan’s genes with pollution-eating bacteria they had previously been working on with the goal of cleansing landfills, polluted waterways, and even airborne smog around the world.

Title Sequence:  A haunting main score plays over the opening title sequence similar to Godzilla 2014, Kong: Skull Island, and GvK.  We see a montage of vintage footage featuring scenes of pollution and commentators warning of a coming environmental collapse brought by mankind, intercut with "found footage" of Godzilla and the other Titans.  It would be cool to have some shots of the textures of Biollante and Hedorah similar to GMK's opening sequence sprinkled in to foreshadow the introduction of these new monsters.

Present Day:  Monarch is hard at work under the new leadership of Dr. Chen and Dr. Ling.  The twin sisters are doing their best to live up to Dr. Serizawa's legacy.  A division of the organization’s researchers have been studying the aftermath of the worldwide cataclysm brought on by Ghidorah’s awakening of the various Titans.  A special group of scientists was tasked with researching the unique plant life growing in the wake of the Titans as seen in King of the Monsters.  The plants have the ability to grow at extraordinarily rapid rates and have overtaken the destroyed cities.  Amazingly, one of the species found in Boston is particularly special as it appears to be sentient – able to communicate by emotions in a sort of psychic link.  Researchers believe that this may actually be a Titan itself, dubbing this newly discovered species Titanus Biollante.  

Since 2019, Biollante has grown to a gigantic size.  Referred to as a “she” based upon emotive interactions, the Titan appears as a huge flower blending in among the other hyper-growth plant life that has spread over the entire ruined city.  The scientists theorize that this is actually part of a natural cycle following particularly destructive battles between Titan species  – The ensuing decimation would be healed by a formerly dormant member of Biollante’s species as it takes on an as-yet unseen mobile form and spreads vegetation over the land.  The researchers are currently working with samples of Biollante’s sap and discovering that it is resistant against a variety of toxins – a trait that could be useful for medicinal applications and perhaps beyond.

The laboratory in which the Monarch researchers are working begins to rumble and it is revealed that the team are actually working offsite, aboard an aircraft carrier.  The vessel is part of a convoy of battleships escorting Godzilla.  The flanking ships have been able to complete biometric scans of Godzilla as he swims toward an unknown destination. Based on their findings, the monster is apparently preparing to go into state of hibernation and searching for a suitable place to rest and recharge.  It is mentioned that Godzilla has spread himself thin after fighting to restore balance against the MUTO’s and Ghidorah, only to be blind-sided by his recent territorial feud with Kong and the subsequent battle with MechaGodzilla.  

Meanwhile, the weary Apex geneticists have grown increasingly disturbed by the results of their experimentation:  The bacteria samples have grown into hideous black creatures resembling oversized tadpoles with bulbous red eyes.  Even more disturbing, the creatures have gained the ability to reproduce at an alarming rate upon consuming various forms of pollution.  Undeterred by the warnings of the scientists, the board of directors pressure the team to make their work public.  

Apex rushes to organize a publicized demonstration at an abandoned, seaside industrial zone marred by a variety of pollution.  Calling their creations Hedorah, they release the creatures into a polluted estuary.  The Hedorah miraculously purify the surface of the oily water.  The crowd’s gasps of amazement turn to horror when the clean water gives way to dirty sludge.  The Hedorah creatures resurface in exponentially greater numbers.  The Hedorah merge into larger, more terrifying second forms which slither onto land.  One group of Hedorah starts to consume the abandoned factory while the others turns their attention to the horrified onlookers.  The creatures spit acidic ooze onto the multitude, leaving behind only twisted, desiccated skeletons.

Monarch is put on high-alert and calls for “all hands on deck”.  The Biollante researchers rush to the command center to be debriefed on the emergence of the rapidly growing Titan-like creatures.  To make matters worse, Godzilla’s readings have spiked – the monster is apparently also able to perceive the new threat to nature’s balance.  Godzilla quickly changes his course, slamming into some of the accompanying ships.  The researchers hold their breath as the ship groans and violently tilts.  The vessel is nearly onto its side before it finally crashes back into its upright position.  Thankfully, the majority of the convoy sustains only minor damage and Monarch are able to begin mobilizing to intercept Hedorah.

At the industrial zone, the situation has worsened.  As the Hedorah consume more and more pollution, they further reproduce and congeal into larger and larger forms spreading ever outward to devour anything in their path.  The largest form has moved toward nearby factories with smog-spewing smokestacks and begins to settle over the chimneys to inhale the toxic fumes.  

Godzilla makes his grand entrance, emerging from the ocean and setting off another violent tsunami.  The monster lets out an angry roar as he approaches Hedorah, but then takes a moment to examine the creature before engaging.  Godzilla’s newest foe is truly an unnatural abomination – Godzilla seems to recognize this fact as he furrows his brow and snorts at Hedorah in a display of disgusted outrage.  Godzilla’s dorsal spines glow with crackling energy.  The monster sends a beam of blue incandescent light blasting into the bloated sludge creature.  Hedorah splits into pieces that splatter onto the ground with sickening thuds – only to slowly come back together into a singular amorphous blob rivaling Godzilla in size.  

Godzilla does his best to fight against the creature with ineffective melee attacks, slashing it and swiping at it with his mighty tail - the blows are absorbed into Hedorah's gelatinous hide, which quickly "heals" itself as more ooze fills any gaps.  Despite sludge seeping through his grasp, Godzilla finally manages to grapple onto the sludge monster.  Any time Godzilla  is able to rip it apart pieces of Hedorah they are actually individual creatures, able to slither back to the singular form, constantly regrouping and reforming.

Monarch arrives on the scene.  They begin working to evacuate any survivors and set up a perimeter around the monsters.  A surviving Apex genetic engineer is found among the survivors.  The scientist attempts to describe the serious threat Hedorah poses.  

Just then, the creature sends forth tentacles at a clearly fatigued Godzilla, covering the Titan’s body.  Godzilla howls in pain.  The monster struggles as the sludge engulfs him, inching ever closer to cover his head.  Hedorah starts to glow with a reddish, purple light from within.

The Apex geneticist explains that Hedorah is a hybrid spawned from Godzilla’s own regenerative cells and therefore Godzilla is powerless to stop the creature.  

Thankfully, Monarch’s latest Titan fighting weapons – sonic cannons (derived from ORCA tech) mounted on tanks – arrive and have some success in driving away Hedorah before it can fully absorb Godzilla.  The smog monster screeches before it separates and reverts into smaller forms, which retreat by seeping into drainage pipes leading to sewers beneath the industrial zone.  As the smaller forms recede, Godzilla collapses to the ground.

The battlefield is now eerily silent as Monarch is left to assess the situation.  Godzilla is completely exhausted.  The monster huffs slowly with whimpering and labored breaths, possibly on the verge of death.  Hedorah is gone, but as the Apex scientist explains, the creatures will be soon be reemerging elsewhere, strengthened by sewage and whatever other pollution they can consume.  

Indeed, the Hedorah continue to reproduce exponentially in the sewers.  The creatures spread out in various directions in a horrific montage.  One group of Hedorah is discovered by an underground construction crew in a sequence similar to a deleted scene from 2016’s Shin Godzilla:  The crew enters a cavernous subterranean room as sludge falls from the ceiling.  They shine their lights upward to find a horde of oozy blobs looking down at them with unblinking red eyes.   The men scream as the blobs descend upon them to consume their flesh.  At the same time, another Hedorah breaks through a wall and spills into a busy subway station.  In a scene reminiscent of the 1988 version of The Blob, the amorphous sludge surrounds a subway train and engulfs it completely, shattering the windows and seeping slowly in to drown the people inside.  Yet another group of the creatures have surfaced with the ability to glide through the air.  These flying forms leave darkened, red-ish skies in their wake.  More and more Hedorah emerge to consume pollution around the city and mercilessly spray acid onto hapless victims.

Monarch’s Biollante team believes that they have a solution in their plant Titan.  Their speculation is confirmed during a suspenseful experiment evocative of the blood test scene from John Carpenter’s The Thing in which a sample of Biollante’s sap is able to neutralize a Hedorah  tadpole, causing it to disintegrate.  Just then, the ground shakes as a drained, but determined Godzilla staggers to stand up.  The injured monster scans the area and lets out an angry roar.  Godzilla starts marching after his foe, determined to put an end to the threat once and for all - even if he dies trying.   

The Apex scientist warns that if Hedorah is able to completely absorb Godzilla then the monster would constantly consumed by Hedorah as Godzilla’s body regenerates in response, essentially providing the smog monster with a never-ending energy source.  Monarch acknowledges that they are powerless to prevent Godzilla from pursuing Hedorah, but point out that perhaps they can aid the monster in his fight.  

The Monarch team rushes to the overgrown city to harvest as much Biollante sap as possible.  Though they are successful in collecting enough sap from Biollante’s ancillary roots, they are shocked to find that the gigantic flower Titan has disappeared.  

A large intersection of freeway turnabout bridges is decimated as sludge slowly erupts from the soil beneath.  Hedorah forms once more converge into a singular monster.  The creature lets out a loud, chilling screech.  The call is heard by the other Hedorah forms and they turn toward the prime form’s location.

Godzilla’s march toward Hedorah continues, but he is intercepted by a fleet of Monarch aircraft.  The planes and helicopters target Godzilla, but instead of firing artillery, the monster is doused with fluorescent green Biollante sap.  Godzilla recoils and instinctively shakes like a wet dog.  However, somehow Godzilla seems to understand that the aircraft mean him no harm and he allows them to continue their work.  The Monarch team, though still concerned about Biollante’s disappearance, are confident that the coating of sap will allow Godzilla to have a fighting chance against Hedorah. 

 Godzilla arrives as additional Hedorah forms pile into the singular form.  The monster transforms into its most terrifying form yet.  The creature now dwarfs Godzilla, hunched over due to its own massive weight.  The digusting creature pulsates with multiple red eyes covering the surface of its oozing flesh.

Flanked by Monarch’s sonic tanks and HEAVs retrofitted with their own sonic cannons, Godzilla lets out a defiant roar and charges toward Hedorah.  This time Godzilla is much more successful – anytime Hedorah attempts to attack Godzilla with its tentacles, the smog monster recoils in pain at making contact with the Biollante sap.  Any attempts Hedorah makes to advance are thwarted by the sonic cannons.  Just when it seems that our heroes have been able to fight Hedorah to a standstill, the smog monster latches onto Godzilla and violently flings him like a ragdoll.  As he flies through the air, Godzilla inadvertently smashes the majority of Monarch’s sonic weaponry.  To make matters worse, the resulting explosions burn away Godzilla’s protective layer of sap.

As Godzilla begins to stand he is mercilessly inundated with sludge.  Godzilla’s roar is muffled and cut off as the Hedorah completely engulfs Godzilla, head and all.  Hedorah lets out a blood-curdling screech.  The creature once more transforms, this time taking on the likeness of a living apocalyptic volcano – a reddish purple light glowing ominously from beneath an exoskeleton composed of hardened layers of sludge.

The Monarch team looks on in defeat and despair.  Thunder rolls over head and the rain starts to fall.  And yet, they realize, this is no ordinary rain as yellow glowing spores are also descending from the heavens.  Just then, the ground below Hedorah shakes furiously.  Vines with mouth-like protrusions erupt from the soil, entangling the smog monster’s limbs.  Biollante emerges from same hole previously bore out by the singular Hedorah form, leaving behind a trail of hyper growth plants.  The embodiment of nature’s healing and mankind’s corrupting hubris face off and brutally smash into each other.  

Though much smaller, Biollante gets the upper hand initially, easily countering Hedorah’s attacks.  But as more and more Hedorah forms pile into the singular form, Biollante finds herself being pushed backward.  Screaming, Biollante lets out a belch of sap.  Hedorah’s singular form is severed and split in half from the top down, revealing a haggard Godzilla.  The monster roars as he emerges from the sludge.  

Godzilla – now covered in a new layer of protective sap –  seems to acknowledge Biollante, letting out a grateful grunt.  Godzilla looks over his shoulder toward Hedorah with a look of vengeful contempt.  Godzilla’s spines begin to light up – this time with a purple-ish glow.  Just as Hedorah had absorbed energy from Godzilla, the King of the Monsters was able to absorb energy from his unnatural enemy.  

Biollante and Godzilla roar in unison.  Biollante unleashes another blast of fluorescent green sap as Godzilla sends forth his most powerful torrent of atomic breath seen thus far, glowing with violet energy.  In a sequence similar to the Raiders of the Lost Ark face-melting scene, Hedorah disintegrates slowly, congealing into a gruesome, hardened husk resembling a deformed humanoid corpse.  The creature’s final defeated screech hauntingly echoes as Godzilla steps forward and stomps down on the husk. Hedorah’s remains crumble into a harmless cloud of dust.  The dust cloud fills the air and then gently wafts away with the breeze, revealing Godzilla and Biollante, who both let out a victorious roar.

The Monarch scientists remark that Godzilla and Biollante – like Godzilla and Mothra – share a symbiotic bond.  Each monster serves a role in restoring balance to Earth’s delicate ecosystem.  The Apex scientist laments – if only mankind could learn to live in harmony with nature.

Godzilla watches as Biollante turns toward Hedorah’s path of destruction, setting about her work of healing the land.  Godzilla again grunts before turning the opposite direction, heading back home to the ocean – His own work of restoring the balance complete once again.  

Mid Credits Scene:  Dr. Chen and Dr. Ling, along with the Biollante team are in conference following the aftermath of the most recent Titan incident.  They discuss the possibility of history repeating itself – that perhaps humanity has previously doomed itself to oblivion through interference in the natural cycles.  It’s possible that ancient humanity nearly eradicated itself along with the rest of the planet, creating a situation that the Titans alone were uniquely equipped to resolve and that humanity was only able to survive in the “fallout shelter” of the Hollow Earth as Titans like Biollante made the planet livable once again.  

The Apex scientist, now a member of Monarch grimly comments that maybe the uptick of Titan incidents are building toward something bigger – another worldwide Titan war that will serve as mankind’s final judgement.  Dr. Chen and Dr. Ling state that there is still hope as long as there remains benevolent Titans like Godzilla, Kong, Biollante… and Mothras.  The twin scientists reveal that the egg from the King of the Monsters end credits scene has hatched, bringing forth two Mothra larva!

After Credits Scene:  A group of eco-terrorists led by Alan Jonah have covertly infiltrated and seized control of the SETI Telescope Array in California.  The team has salvaged an ORCA device from one of the sonic tanks and have been able to connect the machine to the array’s systems.  Jonah appears unwell and unhinged.  His team has been sending out a signal to the stars.  The room becomes eerily silent as a response is finally received.  Over the loudspeakers comes a garbled roar belonging to... Gigan!


Now that you've read the story, I just wanted to share a few final thoughts...

I'm a sucker for mid and after credit scenes...  I really like the fantastical ideas of ancient civilizations and the Hollow Earth that the Monsterverse has introduced...  And I really want to see more Mothra!  

I was bummed that we didn't see Alan Jonah return in GvK, so it would be great to see him again as an unhinged villain at least once more.  Since extraterrestrial life has already been introduced with Ghidorah, I hope it's not too much of a stretch to get a Monsterverse version of Gigan - one of my favorite Toho kaiju!  

Ultimately, I'd really love for there to be an "Infinity War/Endgame"-esque event with all of our "hero" monsters facing off against a huge extraterrestrial threat.  The name for this event?  Why, "Destroy All Monsters," of course!!!

I wanted to acknowledge that I was only made aware of the excellent artwork and ideas by TrollMans on DeviantArt as I was preparing to publish this post.  I really loved their concepts of the various Hedorah forms...  And, of course, I love that they share my passion for the title "Folly of Man!"

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