TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Discuss the original series of Godzilla films! From "Terror of Tokyo" to Puppy-faced Super-hero, the Showa Era had something for everyone!

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Postby jellydonut25 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:30 pm

MekaGojira3k wrote:Well, my cousin (who turns 4 pretty soon) has recently gotten into Godzilla. He's seen Godzilla's Revenge, Godzilla King of the Monsters, Mothra vs. Godzilla, and Destroy All Monsters. His favorite is Destroy All Monsters. I may not be a big fan, but he certainly is. I just think it's further demonstration of how much the build up of DAM colored my viewing and initial disappointment with the film.
perhaps....but i'd like to think that years later, having seen these movies all DOZENS of times, my views aren't colored by initial interpretations that much...especially since Monster Zero was my least favorite Godzilla film as a kid by leaps and bounds and as an adult it's one of my favorites.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:41 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:
MekaGojira3k wrote:Well, my cousin (who turns 4 pretty soon) has recently gotten into Godzilla. He's seen Godzilla's Revenge, Godzilla King of the Monsters, Mothra vs. Godzilla, and Destroy All Monsters. His favorite is Destroy All Monsters. I may not be a big fan, but he certainly is. I just think it's further demonstration of how much the build up of DAM colored my viewing and initial disappointment with the film.
perhaps....but i'd like to think that years later, having seen these movies all DOZENS of times, my views aren't colored by initial interpretations that much...especially since Monster Zero was my least favorite Godzilla film as a kid by leaps and bounds and as an adult it's one of my favorites.


I'm not talking about how I view the film now, I'm talking about my initial reaction as a kid. I mean, it's a difference of 6 years or so between the age I saw it and when he's seeing it, but he's pretty pleased by the film in a way I've never been, even when I was younger.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Hybrid Gojira » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:55 am

Just finished rewatching DAM.

There is a certain charm to the Showa series you just don't see in the Heisei. The characters, the pseudo-science, the aliens...all of it works here. There are some absolutely gorgeous shots in this film. Manda's attack on Tokyo with Godzilla simultaneously tearing apart the city is great. The miniature work is really awesome....much better than some of the matte shots we get in the Heisei series with sparks thrown in. Some of the effects work is a little uneven, but overall I enjoyed this movie much more than the last time I watched it.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby jellydonut25 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:10 pm

I agree with everything you said about Showa vs. Heisei...and that's exactly why I don't particularly care for this film. A lot of the charm that's so evident in so many of the Showa films is lacking here.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Hybrid Gojira » Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:20 pm

Yeah, the first time I watched it I was underwhelmed so I get where you're coming from there.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Dr Kain » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:31 pm

In 1968 Toho wanted to give the Godzilla franchise a sendoff as they had planned to end it. As such, what better way than to make a movie featuring every monster seen thus far in Toho’s catalog?

“Destroy All Monsters” has a simple plot, as it is about another race of aliens called the Kilaak who want to take over the Earth. The monsters have been gathered up on a single island so the Kilaak invade Monster Island and take control of the monsters. It is up to Dr. Yoshido, the military, and the captain of the SY-3, Katsuo, to stop their intrusive plot. There is not really much to be said here. The plot is standard fare, only with using the whole island confines as a reason to put all of the monsters together in one place. There are some oddities in this whole concept though, as some of these monsters, such as Baragon and Varan should be dead. Also, why is Mothra part of this? Wouldn’t the fairies and islanders from Infant Island be against this? Or did they all die out? Finally, how did they manage to get all of the monsters there to begin with?

Moving on, not only does the plot leave holes big enough for Rodan to fly through, it is very poorly paced. Within the first few minutes the control center on Monster Island is taken over and the monsters are sent out to destroy various cities for a few more minutes, then there is a big attack on Tokyo about twenty minutes later, only for there to be nothing afterwards until the last twenty minutes or so of the movie. The Kilaak invasion is flawed and the monster attacks are also brief. It feels like Toho did not know what to do with all of these monsters as some of them are there for nothing but a shot in the background on the island. Hell, Varan does not even participate in the final battle. If you blink during his two appearances you will never have even know he was in this thing.

The characters are not much. The biggest stand out point for a few of them is that they are played by veteran Godzilla actors, especially Katsuo and Yoshido. If you have seen the previous five movies befor this, then you already know these actors. The only one that is new is the woman who plays Kyoko, but her character is one dimensional and really only there to act as the reason for everyone learning about the newest Kilaak control device that she did not even need to be there. A brick wall could have done her job just fine.

The selling point of this movie is the monsters, which is strange considering how little they are actually in this thing. Their designs are also standard fare with Godzilla really being the only one that has a new look. Rodan and Anguirus are the same as before. Gorosaurus and Baragon look the same, but they are hardly in the thing to really tell if they have new costumes or not. While it is nice to see Varan in color, he is not even on screen long enough to notice the details of his costume in color. Ghidorah looks fine but his eyes seem just to be a dead pan black color that were painted on as there is no life to them. That is probably the biggest issue with Ghidorah here as he is lifeless. Not to mention he is defeated so easily that he seems to have been brought in just to have a big bad guy to attack the good monsters.

Godzilla’s new costume is bad. Someone at the gym should have told him to go home because he was done when it came to losing his fat. He is skinny, but he also lost all of his muscle structure he had in the past. Sure, he has been losing his muscle tone with each new costume, but now he really does look like a rubber suit now instead of a monster. The worst crime is his head. It looks like they pulled all of the fur off Cookie Monster’s head and gave him a scaly eyebrow ridge. He just does not look threatening at all, but more like “Godzilla, the Friend of Children.”

The effects in the movie are also quite subpar. The miniature sets don’t look horrible, but they look cheaply made in some areas. And I did not know the harbor in Tokyo was designed the same as the one found in New York City. You learn something new every day. :-p Most of the battles take place in the country side, which also gives a sense that their budget was limited. Either that or they spent the majority of their money on their moon bases. The best part of the movie is probably its score, as Ifukube’s music does fit with it and there are some really great tracks here. I think my favorite is the one when Katsuo and his gang are trying to melt the Kilaak controller off of its base so they can take it. The fast paced piano rhythm is just fantastic there.

In the long run, there is not too much to say about “Destroy All Monsters” that does not end with disappointment. Toho promised so much with having all of their monsters in one movie and yet delivered so little. The movie could have been fine with just Godzilla, Rodan, Anguirus and Mothra in it. In fact, where did Kumonga come from? He just appears out of nowhere at the end of the final fight with Ghidorah. Varan had no business being here at all and it seemed like even Toho could not even be bothered to make sure they had their monster suits available as we clearly see Gorosaurus attacking Paris even though the news reporter says it is Baragon a minute later. The pacing is bad and the characters are just rehashes of those from past movies. It is a shame that all of this potential was wasted on what I’m going to assume was an extremely limited budget that was too little for what Toho had initially planned to do.

In fact, as of this moment, both attempts to do a huge monster mash movie has ended up in failure, meaning that either the world is not able to handle such a feat or no one is willing to give it the attention one truly deserves. “Destroy All Monsters” is nowhere near the worst Godzilla movie ever, but a movie that promises as much as it fails on is nothing more than average in my book. As such, I give it a 6/10.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Gwangi » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:47 pm

Dr Kain wrote:In fact, where did Kumonga come from? He just appears out of nowhere at the end of the final fight with Ghidorah.



I don't think that mattered at all, because it was actually fun to suddenly see Spiega (he will always be that name for me), a big huge ugly spider, but on the good guy side (and I had seen this movie before "Son of Godzilla" so Spiega was a brand new pleasant addition for me).

And if one looked at it, this movie would mark that last time that we would see a good looking Rodan (the one in GFW was adequate, but the one in G. vs. Mechagodzilla II was dreadful) and a good looking Ghidrah (sorry, but later renditions just don't cut it).

10/10 AIP Version
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Psycho Soldier » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:23 pm

Come to think of it, I wouldn't mind seeing a non-villainous Kumonga show up again at some point. I don't know that Toho would allow such a thing, but at least the idea is there.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Dr Kain » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:56 am

Gwangi wrote:
Dr Kain wrote:In fact, where did Kumonga come from? He just appears out of nowhere at the end of the final fight with Ghidorah.



I don't think that mattered at all, because it was actually fun to suddenly see Spiega (he will always be that name for me), a big huge ugly spider, but on the good guy side (and I had seen this movie before "Son of Godzilla" so Spiega was a brand new pleasant addition for me).

And if one looked at it, this movie would mark that last time that we would see a good looking Rodan (the one in GFW was adequate, but the one in G. vs. Mechagodzilla II was dreadful) and a good looking Ghidrah (sorry, but later renditions just don't cut it).

10/10 AIP Version


I'm going to disagree there. Rodan's design in GvsMG was great. It's just that the way they treated the monster was terrible as he did nothing for the plot of the movie at all.

Curious, does the dub at least fix the monster name issue?
Last edited by Dr Kain on Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby walshiam » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:57 am

There's only one word that adequately describes this movie...........EPIC.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Rodanex » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:53 am

Dr Kain wrote:
Gwangi wrote:
Dr Kain wrote:In fact, where did Kumonga come from? He just appears out of nowhere at the end of the final fight with Ghidorah.



I don't think that mattered at all, because it was actually fun to suddenly see Spiega (he will always be that name for me), a big huge ugly spider, but on the good guy side (and I had seen this movie before "Son of Godzilla" so Spiega was a brand new pleasant addition for me).

And if one looked at it, this movie would mark that last time that we would see a good looking Rodan (the one in GFW was adequate, but the one in G. vs. Mechagodzilla II was dreadful) and a good looking Ghidrah (sorry, but later renditions just don't cut it).

10/10 AIP Version


I'm going to disagree there. Rodan's design in GvsMG was great. It's just that the way they treated the monster was terrible as he did nothing for the plot of the movie at all.

Curious, does the dub at least fix the monster name issue?


Nope. They pronounce it Rad-On.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Xenorama » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:12 am

it's pronounced ROE-dan in the AIP version.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Dr Kain » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:13 am

Rodanex wrote:Nope. They pronounce it Rad-On.


I meant the name issue with calling Gorosaurus Baragon.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby jellydonut25 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:32 am

I don't think any version of the film fixes that flaw, because it's a flaw in the script. Baragon was the intended monster originally (hence why it's burrowing), but the suit was too crappy, so it was only used in a couple brief shots and Gorosaurus replaced Baragon, but the dialogue in the script was either never fixed or was already filmed.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Gwangi » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:37 am

Yup, in AIP, the reporter states Baragon as the monster in Paris.

Also in AIP, Minya and Varan are nameless. Kumonga is known as Spiega. And there is one time when the T.V. reporter refers to Ghidrah as "Ghidoorah".
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Goji 84 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:18 pm

Jelly is correct about it being a scripting issue. Both English dubs, and the Japanese version have the "Paris, by Baragon" mistake. The German and French dubs also have the same mistake, IIRC.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby briizilla » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:20 pm

"Rodan....is flying"

Might have to bust the blu ray out tonight...
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Russzilla » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:39 am

jellydonut25 wrote:I don't think any version of the film fixes that flaw, because it's a flaw in the script. Baragon was the intended monster originally (hence why it's burrowing), but the suit was too crappy, so it was only used in a couple brief shots and Gorosaurus replaced Baragon, but the dialogue in the script was either never fixed or was already filmed.


Just covered this movie in the Guess the Godzilla Image thread. I always read that the suit was out on loan to Tsuburaya Productions or it was just too far gone to be used. I kinda wish that Baragon was able to have been used in the Paris scene, but it still wound up being a great scene with Gorosaurus. As for the script dialogue, I just chalk it up as being another Toho "flaw" during their great run of Showa movies. As for the movie itself, I still LOVE this movie. This was THE Godzilla movie to watch as a kid. I never missed an airing on CDF. This movie had it all. Monster action from beginning to end, a great cast, a stay in your head Ifukube theme, etc. And I just love Godzilla, Manda, Rodan, (and Mothra's) attack on Tokyo. It was a welcome scene after seeing no city destruction in the previous two Godzilla movies. (Ebirah and SOG)
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby jellydonut25 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:24 pm

This was one of my recent random watches. I enjoyed it a fair deal more than I have in recent years, but it's still got some issues....in fact, I found that at roughly the 30-minute mark I had to take a nap (granted I was sick).

Though one thing I'll say, I never saw the AIP dub until I was much older, and it might just be my preferred way to watch the film.


End of the day though, the characters are lacking, the villains are probably the worst in the Showa series...saved somewhat by a few truly remarkable sequences. It's just about an average Godzilla film.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby eabaker » Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:27 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:End of the day though, the characters are lacking, the villains are probably the worst in the Showa series...saved somewhat by a few truly remarkable sequences. It's just about an average Godzilla film.


The characters are definitely shy of some dimensionality, but I find their across-the-board coldness to at least be an interesting break with the series' norm.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Russzilla » Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:08 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:This was one of my recent random watches. I enjoyed it a fair deal more than I have in recent years, but it's still got some issues....in fact, I found that at roughly the 30-minute mark I had to take a nap (granted I was sick).

Though one thing I'll say, I never saw the AIP dub until I was much older, and it might just be my preferred way to watch the film.


End of the day though, the characters are lacking, the villains are probably the worst in the Showa series...saved somewhat by a few truly remarkable sequences. It's just about an average Godzilla film.

The AIP dub of DAM is one of the three best dubbed Toho monster movies ever if you ask me. (the other two being Mothra vs. Godzilla and King Kong Escapes) I agree with you about the Kilaaks/Kiraku. They didn't make such good memorable villains. (a race of space women?? Ehhhh) I personally think the cast did a good job with the characters they portrayed. Guess that's just me though.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby tbeasley » Thu May 15, 2014 3:07 am

DAM feels a lot more exciting looking back on it than while watching it. It's a lot like Battle in Outer Space and War of the Gargantuas where the spectacle overwhelms the human drama, or the human scenes simply aren't as engaging as the special effects. There's a lot of cool stuff but the human cast is so by-the-numbers. Akira Kubo's character is such a boring macho tough guy leader compared to the pulpy charisma of the astronauts from Invasion of Astro-Monster. The aliens are also a little bland compared to past Toho invaders. Yukiko Kobayashi's brainwashed character somehow seems more sinister and cunning than the actual Kilaak Queen.

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.

It does have a nice ending with earth's monster living in peace, though. It's a sweet close to the Showa era.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby lhb412 » Thu May 15, 2014 9:40 am

tbeasley wrote: The aliens are also a little bland compared to past Toho invaders. Yukiko Kobayashi's brainwashed character somehow seems more sinister and cunning than the actual Kilaak Queen.


Her and Tsuchiya (dispatched far too quickly) are the highlights of the human cast in this one.
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Gwangi » Thu May 15, 2014 10:31 am

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!
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Re: TALKBACK #9: Destroy All Monsters

Postby Gojilove » Thu May 15, 2014 4:58 pm

Its not nearly as fun as a film as the title would lead you to believe. But the climax is just so damn classic.
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