TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Gwangi » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:18 am

I think we've all had relatives who were condescending towards Godzilla movies. Believe me, I've had those experiences!

Anyway, over the weekend, I did have some cake and ice cream and celebrated both our 50th! The cake however, was one of those little bity ones I bought at Carl's Jr. while the ice cream was a very small container of Haagen‑Dazs vanilla chocolate chip. It was still a feast for my mouth, and a feast for my eyes watching DAM! :mrgreen:
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Benjamin Haines » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:30 pm

I started seeking out Godzilla movies in 1998 so I never knew Destroy All Monsters as a hard-to-find Godzilla movie. I first saw it when I rented ADV's VHS from Hollywood Video. Hm, I've been a Godzilla fan for 20 years now.

Between that VHS and ADV's 2004 re-release of their DVD (which included the first kaiju OST I ever owned on CD), I only watched Destroy All Monsters with the international dub for a long time. I used to find it dull but it's grown on me as I've gotten older. I only ever watch it with the Japanese audio or the Titan dub these days.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby H-Man » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:08 am

The Titan version is great. I still have some love for the dopey international dub but I'm not sure how anyone can prefer that to what Titan did. I mean they basically took the same dubbing script (evident when you compare the dialogue in both dubs to the Japanese version) and managed to mostly match the actors' lip movements while also clarifying some of the inane dialogue Frontier came up with. ("Remember that typhoon?" Uh... no?)

It sucks that the Media Blasters presentation of the Titan dub is so bad, though I understand they only had a 16mm print. There's no one definitive way to hear the classic dub. There are bootlegs from scratchy 16mm prints, there's Media Blasters version with wobbly audio, and there's an unauthorized Australian disc from ~2004 which is a few minutes short (removing any trace of blood or violence). My go-to version to watch has audio combining the Australian Siren DVD and the Media Blasters Blu-Ray (where necessary) synced to the Toho HD transfer. It's not perfect but it beats the official options.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby O.Supreme » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:30 pm

^You paint such amazing pictures in my mind. So sad that unofficial fan restorations are now getting to be better than official product. What's even sadder is I do not have the time or ability to seek them out. :( . I am glad however in that, I was worried for a time that some things would be lost, such as the titan dubs, and various alternate versions not released officially. Looks like fans with more time and expertise are making sure that doesn't happen, and that's a good thing. Hopefully, eventually, even a technically deficient person like myself will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labors, with great respect and appreciation.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby lhb412 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:51 pm

^^ Most domestically-produced dubs used the international dub as a basis, right? Even as recently as Godzilla 2000, which worked off the international dub script instead of a from scratch translation of the Japanese (which explains a few inconsistencies, including the perplexing last line).
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby H-Man » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:34 am

I don’t know about “most” but some certainly did: Son of Godzilla (based on changed character names), DAM (some of the nearly identical lines from the English versions are totally different in Japanese), and Yog (here Titan or AIP even reused dubbed dialogue from the Hong Kong dub). I’m probably blanking on others as well. G2K is an excellent example too, and one verified by Schlesinger. I just don’t know what exactly the US screenwriters in the ‘60s had access to.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Giganfan » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:17 am

This movie is every bit as special to me when I watch it today, as it was when I first saw it. I remember, I was 6 years old, in 1991, and I had just seen a "boot" of Godzilla vs, King Ghidorah. Back then, these two movies were truly the coolest, g****** things I had ever seen. Destroy All Monsters, to me, is THE quintessential Godzilla movie, of all eras. It's basically Tanaka, Honda, Arikawa/Tsuburaya and Ifukube in the most consistent creative rhythm, and creating an all-around iconic monster movie. It's got Godzilla, it's got Rodan, Mothra, Angilas, Gorosaurus, Minya, Manda, Kumonga, Baragon, Varan and of course, the whole thing does not work without the KING of evil monsters, "It's Ghidorah! Ghidorah, the space monster!" The raid on Tokyo sequence with Godzilla, Manda, Rodan and Mothra is some of the absolute best city-destruction sequences in the entire series, and Sadamasa Arikawa deserves major praise for his work here. Angilas really gets a chance to shine in this movie, but it's Gorosaurus that steals the fight, with that kangaroo-kick! And adding insult to injury, it is Minya who gets the killing blow! This is just awesome stuff to me! I'm not saying that the entire movie is perfect, though. The human drama is handled by Honda well enough, but in this kind of movie, does it really matter?! The only thing that sucks about Destroy All Monsters is that Baragon and Varan were pretty much left out of the whole thing, but for a few brief shots. Of course, I know the reasons why, the Baragon costume had been altered so many times for the Ultra-Man TV show, it wasn't ready for DAM until the end of shooting. It's Varan, however, that I'm really bummed about, because obviously, the Varan costume from '58 had to have been destroyed by 1968, and they didn't even bother to make a new one. He's just a little, flying/floating prop in the background of a couple scenes. Hell, the people in the movie don't even acknowledge the existence of poor Varan! It makes me want to put in Varan's movie afterwards, just to see Varan.

Anyway, yeah, I'd say Destroy All Monsters is one of my absolute favorite Godzilla movies, up there with the original, Ghidrah, G On Monster Island, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Terror of Mechagodzilla, Godzilla '85 and Monster Zero.
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"It was HUGE...It was...IT WAS LIKE A MONSTER!!! Suddenly the rocks rose...ALIVE!" - Godzilla 1985
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby eabaker » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:17 pm

Giganfan wrote:The human drama is handled by Honda well enough, but in this kind of movie, does it really matter?!


Yes.

The human drama gives context, significance and resonance to the monster action. It is an essential component.
Tokyo, a smoldering memorial to the unknown, an unknown which at this very moment still prevails and could at any time lash out with its terrible destruction anywhere else in the world.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby lhb412 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:19 pm

^ I'd like to add that the weak human drama in Destroy All Monsters causes me to rank the film just about last in terms of the '60s movies. Every other '60s Godzilla film has more compelling characters. I don't hate the film, mind you, but it's my favorite era for these movies and something has to be last!
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:46 am

I'll take it a step further and say that the lackluster human drama lends to me not really liking the film much at all. It's solidly in my lower-tier, and only outranks two Showa movies in general for me.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby O.Supreme » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:35 pm

I almost feel as though I guess there is something about me that makes me less of a fan...see I've never really cared about the human characters that much. I know it sounds almost amateurish, and noobish, but I really only care about the monsters most of the time (and I'm 42 and have been watching these films since I was 3). It wasn't until Wiki sites became prolific that I came to know most of the actors names. More monsters really does make a more entertaining movie (to me at least), and is probably why DAM is easily my all time favorite. It's also a heavy human plot that makes films like Final Wars so weak IMHO. You could take that 125 minute film, cut 35 minutes of human plot out and make it 90 minuets and it instantly becomes way better.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby lhb412 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:53 pm

^ Well, there is no right or wrong way to enjoy something, right? It's all preference. It's just that for me I'd rather a film that was compelling in all senses, not just the monster aspect. Saying things like 'who cares about the human scenes?' strikes me as giving up and accepting substandard work, which invites decline if it's the majority view.

But I have to say, when I was a kid I unabashedly loved these movies, then as a teen I'd seen a few classic movies and was more attuned to what's trendy in film styles and put an asterisk beside kaiju film saying they were nostalgic favorites but obviously flawed... now that I'm thirty and have seen numerous film's I've come round again and am impressed that Godzilla movies, even at their worst, tend to be enjoyable. That's a level of quality that you can't sneeze at. So many films are unwatchable!
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:18 pm

I'll go on record that while I really prefer the movies to have strong human casts and stories, I very rarely remember the characters' names.

Godzilla vs Gigan has my favorite cast...and I know Kubota is a name.
Motrha vs Godzilla has Torahata, and Kumiyama. And that's my favorite Godzilla movie.

So, yeah...I love a good human cast, but like, I don't know names.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Giganfan » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:59 am

Let me put it this way, at this point in my life, I have become SO familiar with every, single Godzilla movie, from-start-to-finish. Some of them, I can watch, from-start-to-finish, no problem. Others, I just turn on in the background, while I'm doing other stuff, or I fast-forward to "the good stuff". I don't think it's a sleight against any of them, that's just what works for me. Now, in the case of Destroy All Monsters, I admit, saying something like "does the human drama even matter?" was perhaps a bit too crude a statement to make, and I regret using it. The film is pretty solid, well-paced, and well-balanced, in that the human drama does to overwhelm, nor does the fact that there are eleven monsters in it. There are one, or two scenes I may not be too keen on (the break-into the Kilaak base on the moon takes forever, and the SY-3's battle with the "Fire-Dragon" is weak, compared to the monster rumble that preceeded it), but for the most part, DAM always struck me in a positive way.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby lhb412 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:36 am

jellydonut25 wrote:I'll go on record that while I really prefer the movies to have strong human casts and stories, I very rarely remember the characters' names.

Godzilla vs Gigan has my favorite cast...and I know Kubota is a name.
Motrha vs Godzilla has Torahata, and Kumiyama. And that's my favorite Godzilla movie.

So, yeah...I love a good human cast, but like, I don't know names.


In some movies I remember names, but more often in the Showa series I'll go by the actor's name because of the 'stock company' feel those movies have.
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