Thursday, February 7, 2013

DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (1968) movie review

Destroy All Monsters (1968) d. Honda, Ishiro (Japan)

To celebrate their 20th kaiju eiga (although that depends a little on which ones counted as giant monster movies), Toho plundered directing/special effects team Inshiro Honda and Eiji Tsuburaya’s warehouses for the entire range of their major mashers, eleven in all.

The plot, set in 1999 in keeping with the genre’s shift towards space opera settings, involves the monsters breaking out of Ogasawara Islands (aka Monsterland) where they are held captive, destroying most of the world’s capitals (or at least postcards of them) and running amok in most uncharacteristic fashion.

Likewise, the scientists who guarded them have been taken over by aliens called Kilaaks, who have planted tranmitters into the scientists’ necks (or earrings) as well as into the monsters. The female aliens operate from a base on the moon as well as from an underground headquarters on earth, with their final weapon being the unleashing of the dreaded Ghidorah against the Japanese monsters.

While there is action aplenty, there isn’t a lick of sense to be found anywhere – by this time, it seems that Godzilla (in his eighth outing), Rodan, Mothra, Anguirus, Kumonga, Varan, Baragon, Wenda/Manda, Gorosaurus, and the insufferably cute Minya (aka Son of Godzilla) have degenerated in mere vaudeville characters.

Purely juvenile fun with perfunctory effects, all effort having been concentrated on the titanic battle climax, located (naturally) on Mount Fuji.


  1. Minya aside, this is a pretty great Godzilla flick. After the 1954 original, it's easily my favorite.

    1. I used to think it was (look at all the monsters!), but for my money it actually falls pretty short of its own potential. Obviously I have a soft spot for the classic 50s - 70s era, but heresy though it may be, I tend to favor the 1989 - 1995 block of G-flicks as being genuinely "good."