Destroy All Monsters (1968)

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Image realmofryan.blogspot.com

“Destroy All Monsters” (“Charge of the Monsters” in Japanese) was a Toho milestone.  It was to be their 20th kaiju movie, and it was decided that something special should be prepared.  A massive monster celebration was planned, with as many creatures as possible stuffed into one movie.  This was also originally planned to be the final Godzilla movie (obviously, this didn’t happen), so all the stops were well and truly being pulled out.  Godzilla, along with Anguirus, Mothra, Rodan, Minilla, and Kumonga put in appearance, along with Varan (“Varan the Unbelievable”-1958), Manda (“Atragon”-1963), Baragon (“Frankenstein Conquers the World”-1965), and Gorosaurus (“King Kong Escapes”-1967).  Finally, King Ghidorah appeared at the end to do battle with all of the monsters.  This was also the final Godzilla movie created by the four men who helped birth Godzilla in the beginning: Ishiro Honda as the director, Tomoyuki Tanaka producing, Akira Ifukube on music, and Eiji Tsuburaya directing the special effects.

In the (then future) year 1999, all of the world’s monsters have been rounded up and placed on Ogasawara Island, sometimes referred to as “Monsterland”.  They are kept on the island by a series of safeguards controlled by an underground base.  All is well, until a mysterious gas overruns the base and contact is lost.  The spaceship Moonlight SY-3 is sent to Monsterland to investigate.  The crew finds that the staff of the underground base have been mind controlled by an alien race called the Kilaaks.  The Kilaaks have released all of the monsters into various cities across the world.  Godzilla attacks New York.  Rodan invades Moscow.  Mothra destroys Beijing.  Gorosaurus appears in Paris.  While this is happening, the aliens make plans to invade Tokyo and establish it as a base.  As the attack happens, scientists discover that the aliens are controlling the monsters from an underground base on the moon.  The crew of Moonlight SY-3 head to the moon and do battle with the Kilaaks, defeating them and taking control of the base.  The Kilaak leaders are forced to play their trump card-King Ghidorah!  The space dragon appears on Earth and the monsters congregate to do battle.  The titans battle, and Ghidorah is eventually overpowered and killed.  The aliens attempt one last attack with a ship called the Fire Dragon, but the monsters locate the alien base on Ogasawara Island and destroy it, saving the world in the process.

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Image themorningstarr.co.uk

“Destroy All Monsters” is a treat for kaiju fans, and is a must-see for fans of the genre.  It has all the trappings of a “Crisis on Infinite Earths” style crossover with several different monsters putting in appearances.  Unfortunately, because there are so many monsters, it only stands to reason that some are pushed into the background.  Kumonga and Manda only have short appearances and do not participate in the big battle at the end, Baragon is relegated to a cameo appearance, and Varan has a total screen time of around seven seconds (and he isn’t even named!)  Gorosaurus, however, has a much bigger part here than just being Kong’s dinosaur opponent in “King Kong Escapes”.  In addition to the monsters, there are several space scenes featuring some excellent miniature spaceship work.  The SY-3 in particular is a nice looking ship.  While the movie is not without some flaws, it is absolutely required viewing for any Godzilla enthusiast!

Trivia

Originally, Ebirah, from “Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster”, and Magma, the giant walrus from “Gorath” (1962), were set to appear instead of Anguirus, Gorosaurus, and Minilla.  Anguirus’ appearance in this movie helped to make a popular monster with Godzilla fans, and would lead to him appearing again in “Godzilla vs. Gigan”.

Famously, a news reporter claims that Baragon is attacking Paris, when the monster is clearly Gorosaurus (though he is burrowing, a trait associated with Baragon).  Baragon was set to have more scenes, but the monster suit had gone through several modifications for Eiji Tsuburaya’s “Ultraman” TV series and was in poor shape, limiting the number of scenes it could be used in.

A fight scene between Godzilla and Manda was filmed, but not used in the final movie.

This is one of only two movies in which Mothra does not appear with her twin priestesses.  The other movie is “Giant Monsters All-Out Attack” (2001).

Gareth Edwards has stated that he wants to do an American version of this movie after “Godzilla” 2014 is released.  THIS MUST HAPPEN!!!

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Image blog.screenweek.it

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~ by Chris on April 25, 2014.

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