TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby daikaijusaurus » Thu May 15, 2014 7:22 pm

I've been a Godzilla fan since early childhood, and I didn't get a chance to see Destroy All Monsters until I was a sophomore in college. For so many years I saw pictures and read stories about how awesome the movie was. For years I searched through TV Guides, video stores, comic shops looking for this movie with no success. The movie just didn't seem to exist in spite all the pictures and stories from books and magazines.

But when I finally did see these movie, I will never forget just how disappointed I was. Don't get me wrong, this movie does have a special place in my heart, but for me this was the weakest entry in the showa series. I have seen most of the Godzilla movies at least 50 times from beginning to end, but Destroy All Monsters I have only seen maybe a few times from beginning to end. Most of the times when I want to see this movie I just skip to the monster parts, as few as they may be but wonderful none the less.

The monster battles and destruction are absolutely beautiful, no arguments there, but for me this movie has the most uninteresting human scenes out of all the movies in the entire series. I enjoy the human scenes in Godzilla Vs Megalon, Godzilla's Revenge, and yes EVEN Final Wars a lot more fun and entertaining than Destroy all Monsters. Just my opinion :)
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Russzilla » Fri May 16, 2014 4:43 pm

Gwangi wrote:
tbeasley wrote:The movie is also surprisingly brutal... mind control devices are bloodily removed (those ear rings - ouch), Yoshio Tsuchiya (unconvincingly) jumps out a window, earth's monsters lay into Ghidorah, people controlled by aliens are fatally shot, etc.


No chance of seeing blood on the monsters (although Ghidrah does have a reddish color on one of its heads where Angilas locked his jaws on it), so we get to see plenty blood in the humans!

You can see blood squirting out of one of King Ghidorah's mouths as Godzilla is stomping down on his neck.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby tbeasley » Sat May 17, 2014 8:15 am

Ghidorah's back is bloodied after Godzilla takes a bite out of it too.
~ Tyler

This is indeed a disturbing universe.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Dorkzilla » Tue May 20, 2014 5:32 pm

I have a LOT of nostalgia for this film.

I remember my cousins coming over and we all watched it with the lights off and under the covers as kids.

Sure, from a critical perspective, the human characters aren't very interesting, and the story itself is a bit slowly paced, but it still holds a special place in my heart.
"Godzilla is a tragic love story about two romantic leads who went against all odds to find each other, only to be murdered by an obese serial killer with bad breath."
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby davezilla » Sat May 24, 2014 9:41 am

Rewatching DAM now and I remember that it simply is not one of my favorite films. Honestly I think the script is pretty weak. It's such a shame how bland of a film it really is. I remember reading about DAM in books but never seeing it cause it never seemed to be released on video and when I finally saw it I was like "That's it!" Sure the fight with Ghidorah and all the other monsters is a classic, it's just the other 80 minutes leading up to it...blah.

I think it could have been a longer film too. However, it needed a more solid script and more set up. All of a sudden the Kilaaks take over Monsterland base...and so easily. The aliens in this film are so boring compared to the alien invaders in other films like Monster Zero and GvsGigan. It completely lacks the magic of previous Godzilla films...even weaker ones like Ebirah have more magic than this. The human cast is oh so very bland. Just not interesting at all.

That being said I hope Gareth Edwards does make a Destroy All Monsters movie at some point. He could improve it. Sure it's a classic Godzilla film and there are some interesting monster action, but it's still an incredibly weak film. Give me Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster or Invasion of the Astro Monsters over this anytime
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Gwangi » Sat May 24, 2014 11:18 am

Even though it may not make one iota of a difference, to all of the detractors, I have to keep stressing which version did you watch? (and it is a good bet it was probably the dreaded international dub, which does lower the notch on this film – at lot!).

And while the Kilaaks may have not looked as menacing at the Xians, at least their approach is much more logical. Take over the island along with the scientist and monsters (and causing major damage around the world) before announcing your presence. In “Monster Zero” (a movie which I love), the Xians, with their mind control could have easily taken control of Godzilla and Rodan (without any permission) and with Ghidrah, could have started a surprise attack and catch the Earth’s defenses flatfooted.

And as far as the cast, they did fine on what was written for them. The plot does not call for highly developed Hitchcockian characters. If it helps the narrative, I’d rather see simple characters than overblowing them liked in Peter Jackson’s Kong movie.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby DannyBeane » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:14 pm

So I just finished DAM again and one thought I want to scream at my TV ever single time I watch this movie is how worthless Manda is. "SERIOUSLY MANDA GET YOUR CRAP TOGETHER! KAMAKIRAS AND EVEN GIANT CONDOR ARE MORE DESTRUCTIVE THAN YOU! IT TOOK YOU LIKE 2 MINUTES TO DESTROY A TRAIN BRIDGE!"
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby walshiam » Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:43 pm

My one and only problem with the film is when Gorosaurus was substituted for Baragon. It's still not clear to me how they screwed that up. I've read that the Baragon suit was in such bad condition that the substitution had to be made. Then why didn't they change the script to the correct monster's name?
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby lhb412 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:35 am

Just watched this.

You know, nothing increases the quality of this film more than watching only '90s and '00s Godzilla films for the past few months. While I think DAM is a lesser '60s film watching it this way just makes you appreciate the style and fun of the picture. It was really a special time and place to make these sorts of movies.

Also, once I fiddle with the color settings on my TV while watching Media Blaster's Blu-Ray I end up with a picture that I actually think is superior to the Toho transfers of many newer Godzilla movies. Gives me hope for further Showa Blu-Ray releases.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby canofhumdingers » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:00 am

Speaking of the bluray, I noticed something interesting just last night. So I've been going through the domestic Godzilla blurays available because I wanted to make a post compiling a list of the various US blurays that are sourced from Japanese transfers and thus necessitate tweaking your tv settings to get a decent looking picture that's not all washed out and faded. Most of the Toho HD transfers I've seen (G'84, GvsBiollante, GvsMG '93 for example) have a noticeable amount of video noise that was apparently introduced due to the outdated telecine machine used to make the transfer and really hinders the overall picture quality. I've had some decent success reducing this issue by actually turning on the DNR function of my TV (something I am normally vehemently against) to low or even medium in some cases.

Anyway, I was surprised to notice that the DAM HD transfer does NOT have this awful video noise. Once you get the brightness, black levels, and color tweaked properly it actually looks really good. Sure it's not as sharp as it probably could be but it's a heck of a lot better than any of the other HD transfers I've seen from Toho.

And it's saying something when I went straight from watching 2001: A Space Odyssey (a stunningly good looking bluray) to watching DAM and I was actually impressed with how well the picture quality of DAM held up in comparison.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby lhb412 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:18 pm

canofhumdingers wrote:Anyway, I was surprised to notice that the DAM HD transfer does NOT have this awful video noise. Once you get the brightness, black levels, and color tweaked properly it actually looks really good. Sure it's not as sharp as it probably could be but it's a heck of a lot better than any of the other HD transfers I've seen from Toho.


After watching Sony's Heisei and Millennium BD the picture quality for DAM looks pristine in comparison... once you adjust the levels, of course (I suppose we all have a Toho setting programmed in our TVs by now).
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Rody » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:04 am

Destroy All Monsters was one of my favorite films as a kid, but I hadn't revisited it in years. I remedied that tonight, though, and I'm happy to say I enjoyed it as much as I hoped I would.
That isn't to say I don't understand why others might feel less positive about it. The plot is shallow and slowly paced, and the characters are very flat and static. There are some pretty odd moments like the fire dragon sequence, as well. However, I think DAM does a fine job at capturing the scale of the spectacle it offers. All of the sets look beautiful, although the suits are hit or miss: the new ones look great, but the older suits are showing their wear. One feeling I couldn't shake was that DAM would work better in a serialized form; there are various small story arcs within the whole plot (e.g. the Mt. Fuji raid and the moon base attack), and I wonder if each of these parts would feel less tedious to many if they were presented independently and fleshed out more. I actually didn't mind the pacing of this movie, but that's probably all nostalgia talking.

Destroy All Monsters isn't quite one of my favorites, but it's a film I could easily go back to; it's a simple "pleasure food" monster movie for me.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby UltramanGoji » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:33 pm

I like DAM well enough, but it's definitely one of the weakest Godzilla films when it comes to the human elements. The characters aren't terrible, but they're not very memorable.

The special effects scenes are simply amazing and something I don't think we'll ever see the likes of again. It's this film that introduced me to some of my favorite monsters including Gorosaurus, Baragon, and Anguirus.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Inui Takumi » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:26 pm

I watched Destroy All Monsters for the first time earlier this week. For me, it was okay at best. None of the characters really stuck out to me. Even though it was more of a team running around, none of them felt distinct enough to remember. The plot was pretty minimal, which can work if done right. But there wasn't really a sense of threat or danger from the aliens as they were invading. They sorta just showed up and said "Yup, this island is ours. Step off." As far as alien invasion plots go, Monster Zero did it so much better and was a lot more fun.

The monster battles and special effects were also very middle of the road. I can usually give that a bit of a pass if the characters and plot are intriguing enough. But since that part was already lacking, I hoped that the monster fights would at least be entertaining. Aside from a couple of cool shots, there was nothing special about any of it.

I'd say that so far, Destroy All Monsters is my least favorite of the Showa movies that I've seen.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby battrafan » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:06 pm

One thing that bothers me about this film is the effects.

The miniatures really do look like miniatures, even beyond normal Toho standards.

Especially the monster attack on Tokyo, save for the aftermath showing the devastated city.

There are other movies that are somewhat similar in this regard(KK vs. G, KKE, WOG) but those films have a kind of overall goofy charm to them that helps me overlook it.

Plus most of the city scenes in those films take place at night, probably helps to cover up inadequacies.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby eabaker » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:51 am

Some of the miniatures do look flimsier than when Tsuburaya was at his best, but the compositions are so dynamic that I still get a kick out of those scenes.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby lhb412 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:01 pm

Some of the miniatures do look a bit flat in some scenes, but not in others.

Maybe it's because the secret is really in filming, composing the shots and whatnot and they simply had so much to do for DAM with all the monsters swarming Tokyo that the effects team just took the direct approach with maybe a bit less finesse to accommodate the volume of setups they had to make?
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