Destroy All Monsters (1968)

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Credits for Destroy All Monsters
Destroy All Monsters soundtrack


Godzilla Films
Son of Godzilla
Destroy All Monsters
All Monsters Attack
Toho Company, Limited Monster Movie
The Japanese poster for Destroy All Monsters
Destroy All Monsters
Alternate Titles
Flagicon Japan.png Monster Total Advancement (1968)
See alternate titles
Directed by Ishiro Honda
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Written by Ishiro Honda, Takeshi Kimura
Music by Akira Ifukube
Distributor TohoJP
AIPUS
Rating GUS
Budget ¥200,000,000[1]
Box Office ¥230,000,000
Running Time 89 minutesJP
(1 hour, 29 minutes)
86 minutesUS
(1 hour, 26 minutes)
Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Rate this film!
4.16
(50 votes)

The mysterious Kilaaks appear! Shaking the universe, the great battle of 11 monsters! (謎のキラアク星人出現!宇宙をゆるがす11大怪獣の大激闘!) „ 

— Tagline

Destroy All Monsters (怪獣総進撃,   Kaijū Sōshingeki?, lit. Monster Total Advancement) is a 1968 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho, and the ninth installment in the Godzilla series as well as the Showa series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on August 1, 1968.[2]

Plot

At the end of the 20th century, the United Nations Science Committee has captured and contained all of Earth's monsters on an island located in the Ogasawara chain dubbed "Monsterland." The island is monitored from a special underground control center staffed by scientists who ensure the monsters stay secure and also study them. One day, a cloud of knockout gas suddenly appears over the island, knocking the monsters and the human researchers all unconscious. With communications with Monsterland mysteriously severed, the UNSC sends Katsuo Yamabe and the crew of the Moonlight SY-3 to end their patrol on the Moon and investigate Monsterland. When the ship returns to Earth and reaches Monsterland, it finds the island badly damaged and all of the monsters gone. Yamabe and his men enter the research base under the island and find the staff all alive, but acting strangely. Lead researcher Dr. Otani and Yamabe's own sister Kyoko bring the SY-3 crew further into the base and introduce them to a group of mysterious women wearing blue robes. The leader of the women reveals that she represents the Kilaaks, an advanced race of aliens that have come to stake their claim on Earth, and that they have used mind control to turn all of the Monsterland staff as well as the island's resident monsters into their servants. The Kilaak Queen demands that the human race surrender to her race immediately, or else they will be forced to annihilate human civilization. Yamabe and his men refuse and open fire on the Kilaaks, but find they are defended by a forcefield. The Kilaaks escape and order their mind-controlled slaves to kill Yamabe and his men. The SY-3 crew fights its way through the Kilaaks' servants and manages to escape the island with Dr. Otani. Otani is brought to a UNSC base and interrogated by Yamabe and Dr. Yoshida, but refuses to reveal any details about the Kilaaks' plan. While Yamabe and Yoshida are talking in another room, Otani jumps out of a nearby window and commits suicide. Kyoko and a group of Kilaak-controlled armed men arrive to recover Otani's body, but are attacked by the UNSC's special police force and retreat. The UNSC conducts an autopsy on Otani, and discover a strange device implanted in his head. They quickly determine that this must be how the Kilaaks are controlling Otani and the others.

In the meantime, the Kilaaks unleash all of their monster pawns in major cities across the globe. Godzilla attacks New York, Rodan appears in Moscow, Gorosaurus destroys Paris, Mothra terrorizes Beijing, and Manda assaults London. With the world's attention drawn away from Japan, the Kilaaks establish an underground base near Mount Fuji and direct their next attack at Tokyo. Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and Manda all attack Tokyo at the same time, catching its defenses completely off guard and annihilating the city with little opposition. While Tokyo is destroyed, the UNSC manages to capture Kyoko and free her from the Kilaaks' control. Unfortunately, Kyoko has no memory of the Kilaaks' plans and cannot provide the UNSC with any useful information. Elsewhere in Japan, an old man discovers a bizarre device inside a rock found near a village. The UNSC analyzes the device and learns it is used to broadcast the Kilaaks' mind control waves over a certain area. Many other such devices are found all around the world, but the UNSC learns the Kilaaks have begun broadcasting their signals directly from a base under the lunar surface instead. Yamabe and his crew board the Moonlight SY-3 and embark on a desperate mission to the moon while the JSDF battles several of the Kilaaks' monsters near Mt. Fuji. The SY-3 arrives on the moon and its crew infiltrates the aliens' hidden base. After a fierce gunfight, the SY-3 crew destroys the Kilaaks' control device and damages the base's environmental controls, forcing the Kilaaks to revert to their true forms, metallic slug-like creatures. This reveals the invaders' weakness: low temperature. The Kilaaks thrive in artificially high temperatures, but will revert to their true forms if exposed to lower temperatures.

With the Earth monsters all freed from the Kilaaks' control, the UNSC directs them all to the Kilaaks' base at Mt. Fuji, intending to put an end to their invasion once and for all. The Earth monsters all arrive, led by Godzilla. As they approach, the Kilaaks unleash their trump card: King Ghidorah. King Ghidorah lands in front of the Earth monsters and begins his attack. Godzilla, Anguirus, Gorosaurus and Minilla lead the counterattack while Mothra, Kumonga, Rodan, Manda, Varan and Baragon look on. Anguirus bites down on one of King Ghidorah's necks, but the space monster takes flight, with Anguirus still hanging on with all his might. King Ghidorah finally bites Anguirus on the neck with one of his free heads, sending him plummeting to the ground. Anguirus is buried in a ditch, and King Ghidorah promptly lands on top of him and stomps him into the dirt. King Ghidorah flies over to Godzilla and his other two attackers, while Anguirus shakes the dust off and re-enters the battle. The Earth monsters struggle against King Ghidorah until Gorosaurus delivers a devastating kangaroo kick to King Ghidorah's back, damaging his spine and causing him to fall to the ground. Godzilla and Anguirus seize the opportunity and begin brutally stomping on King Ghidorah's necks, causing him to cough up blood. When only one of King Ghidorah's heads is left breathing, it is subsequently strangled by one of Minilla's smoke rings. Mothra and Kumonga then cover King Ghidorah's lifeless body in webbing, leaving the cosmic terror no more. Refusing to admit defeat, the Kilaaks unleash a "burning monster" they call the Fire Dragon, which flies across Japan and burns everything in its wake. The Moonlight SY-3 gives chase to the Fire Dragon, and successfully shoots it down, revealing it as a flaming Kilaak flying saucer. Godzilla proceeds to the Kilaaks' base and blasts it repeatedly with his atomic breath, only for the base's shield to resist it. Godzilla then kicks through the base's shield and personally destroys the base, triggering a chain reaction explosion that consumes the entire base and opens a fissure under King Ghidorah's body, which falls in and explodes. The Earth is saved at last, and the alien invaders are no more. The monsters are all returned to Monsterland to live out their days in peace. Yamabe and Kyoko accompany Dr. Yoshida in a helicopter which flies over the island. From the helicopter, they observe several of the monsters living peacefully on the island, including Godzilla and his son Minilla, who stare contently and roar at the chopper as it flies by.

Staff

Main article: Destroy All Monsters/Credits.

Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

Cast

Main article: Destroy All Monsters/Credits.

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.


Appearances

Monsters

Weapons, Vehicles, and Races


Gallery

Main article: Destroy All Monsters/Gallery.

Soundtrack

Main article: Destroy All Monsters (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • Monster Total Advancement (Literal Japanese Title)
    • Charge of the Monsters (Alternate Translation)
    • Attack of the Marching Monsters (Alternate Translation)
  • Godzilla: The Grand Blitz Operation (ゴジラ電撃大作戦,   Gojira Dengeki Daisakusen?, Japanese Re-Release Title)
  • Operation Monsterland (England)
  • The Invaders Attack (Les envahisseurs attaquent; France; French Belgium)
  • Frankenstein and the Monster from Space (Frankenstein und die Monster aus dem all; Germany)
  • The Heirs of King Kong (Gli eredi di King Kong; Italy)
  • Extraterrestrial Invasion (Invasión Extraterrestre; Spain)
  • The Monsters are Threatening the World (Hirviöt uhkaavat maailmaa; Finland)
  • Starfield Monsters (Feza Canavarları; Turkey)

Theatrical Releases

View all posters for the film here.

  • Japan - August 1, 1968[2]   [view poster]Japanese 1968 poster; December 17, 1972 (Re-Release)   [view poster]Japanese 1972 poster
  • United States - 1969   [view poster]American poster
  • England - 1968
  • Spain - 1968
  • Italy - 1968   [view poster]Italian poster
  • France - 1970   [view poster]French poster
  • Belgium - 1970   [view poster]French Belgian poster
  • Germany - 1971   [view poster]German poster
  • Turkey - 1972   [view poster]Turkish poster

U.S. Release

American Destroy All Monsters poster

American International Pictures released Destroy All Monsters theatrically in North America in 1969. The Americanization was handled by Titan Productions, formerly Titra Studios. There were some minor alterations done to prepare the film for U.S. release:

  • Dialogue was dubbed to English (featuring the voices of actors such as Hal Linden).
  • Dialogue: The first line of opening narration was changed from "It's the end of the 20th Century," to the specific year, "The year is 1999."
  • Deleted: Opening credits; Moved to the end of the film and changed to white credits against a black background with the original Akira Ifukube cue.
  • Deleted: Establishing shot of sign in Japanese reading "Integrated Defense Headquarters" after the destruction of Tokyo.
  • Deleted: Shot of Minilla frenzying amid the monsters' attack on King Ghidorah.
  • Deleted: Shot of Minilla covering his eyes while King Ghidorah drops Anguirus.

This version has been largely replaced on home video and television by Toho's international version. While uncut and widescreen, it features an English dub track produced by William Ross' Tokyo-based Frontier Enterprises used to sell the film to overseas markets in 1968. When American International Pictures was provided with this dub initially, it found the dubbing to be substandard and handed the film over to Titan Productions in New York to record a new English dialogue track based on the Frontier script.

Destroy All Monsters was the last Showa Godzilla film to be released on home video in the United States. ADV released the film's international dub on VHS and DVD in 1999, coincidentally the year in which the English-dubbed version of the film is said to take place. In 2011, Media Blasters released Destroy All Monsters on DVD and Blu-ray with both English dubs and the Japanese language track, but Toho forced the company to pull the discs from circulation after about a month due to rights issues with the special features.[3] Media Blasters reissued the film in 2014 without the Titan dub or any of the special features.

Box Office

Destroy All Monsters had a budget of roughly ¥200,000,000 and received an attendance of 2,580,000 on its original August 1, 1968 Japanese release.

Reception

Destroy All Monsters has received acclaim among Godzilla fans. The New York Times did not review the film upon release, but film critic Howard Thompson gave it a positive review on a re-release at a children's matinee with the Bugs Bunny short, Napoleon Bunny-Part, in December of 1970. He commented that "the feature wasn't bad at all of this type. The trick photography and especially the blended sweep and skill of the miniature settings provided the visual splash. The human beings, with good dubbed English voices, were a personable lot as they wrestled with some outer space culprits who had rounded up Japan's favorite monsters and turned them against the planet Earth."

Among modern critics, Steve Biodrowski of Cinefantastique wrote, "In the end, Destroy All Monsters is too slim in its storyline, too thin in its characterizations, to be considered a truly great film. It is not as impressive as the original Godzilla, and it is not as hip as name Zero. But for the ten-year-old living inside us all, it is entertainment of the most awesome sort." Matt Paprocki of Blogcritics said the film is "far from perfect" and "can be downright boring at times" but felt that "the destruction scenes make up for everything else" and "the final battle is an epic that simply can't be matched."

DVD and Blu-ray Releases

ADV Films DVD (1999/2004)

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: English (2.0 Mono, international dub)
  • Subtitles: None
  • Special Features: None
  • Notes: The 2004 release is packaged with the film's soundtrack. Out of print.

Toho DVD (2003)

  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono, 5.1 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Japanese
  • Special Features: Audio commentary by Seiji Tani, three 8mm films (two for Destroy All Monsters, one for Atragon) and narrated storybooks based on them, theatrical trailer

Madman DVD (2006)

  • Region: 4
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese, English (2.0 Mono, international dub)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special Features: Theatrical trailer, trivia, poster gallery, Madman-produced trailers

Tokyo Shock DVD/Blu-ray (2011)

  • Region: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono, 5.1 Surround), English (2.0 Mono, international and Titan dubs)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special Features: Audio commentary by Ed Godziszewski and Steve Ryfle, galleries of posters, production stills, and behind-the-scenes images, Japanese, French, and American trailers, Super 8 digest version of the film (8 minutes)
  • Notes: All three versions of the film use the same Japanese video track. A dispute between Toho and Media Blasters over the special features resulted in these releases being pulled from circulation.[4]

Tokyo Shock DVD/Blu-ray (2014)

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono, 5.1 Surround), English (2.0 Mono, international dub)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special Features: None
  • Notes: Both versions of the film use the same Japanese video track.

Videos

Destroy All Monsters Japanese 1972 trailer
Destroy All Monsters American trailer
Destroy All Monsters American TV spot
Destroy All Monsters German trailer
Destroy All Monsters French trailer
1996 Sci-Fi Channel promo
Ad for ADV's VHS
AIP end credits

Trivia

  • This film has the greatest number of monsters to appear in one Godzilla movie in the Showa series, and the second greatest number out of all the films, only surpassed in 2004 by Godzilla: Final Wars. While the film stars many familiar faces from the Godzilla series, such as Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah, Minilla, Kumonga, Anguirus, and of course Godzilla himself, the film also incorporates several other monsters that had previously starred in their own films in separate continuities. These monsters are Baragon, Manda, Varan, and Gorosaurus.
  • Art depicting the original draft of Destroy All Monsters
    Originally, the film was meant to feature Ebirah and Maguma. Both were replaced by Anguirus, Minilla and Gorosaurus.
    • Very early scripts for this film called for Kamacuras and even Gaira to appear.[citation needed] Kamacuras makes a brief unintentional appearance in the film anyway; in a shot from Son of Godzilla meant to show Kumonga joining the assembly of kaiju at Mt. Fuji, a dead, webbed-up Kamacuras can be glimpsed in the bottom-left corner.
  • In Godzilla: The Series, there was a three-part story arc called Monster Wars. During these episodes, aliens known as the Tachyons appear and take control of the monsters of Earth, sending them to attack the planet's major cities. They are eventually defeated and their base of operations is turned into Site Omega or, as it is more commonly called, Monster Island.
  • Destroy All Monsters was intended to be the last Godzilla movie, but due to its success Toho decided to continue producing more films. However, the next film, All Monsters Attack, was comprised primarily of stock footage from previous films due to the massive budget required for Destroy All Monsters.[citation needed]
  • This film is one of only two films where Mothra appears without her Shobijin. The only other is Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack.
  • Of all the kaiju in the film, Baragon and Varan are the least prominent. Both monsters are only seen in two brief shots in the entire film. This is because the suits used for both creatures were in a state of disrepair during the shooting of Destroy All Monsters. The Varan suit was 11 years old and not in good shape, and the Baragon suit had been altered considerably to portray different multiple different monsters in Tsuburaya Productions' Ultraman series. Repairs on the suit continued even during shooting, and the planned scene of Baragon's attack on Paris had to be altered. Gorosaurus was placed in the sequence instead, meaning the monster gained Baragon's burrowing ability. In the scene where news of the monsters' attacks on the world's major cities is reported on TV, the news anchor states that the monster attacking Paris is, in fact, Baragon. This inconsistency occurs in the Japanese version and both English dubs. Baragon himself only appears in one shot during the final battle and later on Monsterland during the film's ending. Varan is portrayed using only a small prop that appears briefly during the same two scenes.
  • The 1968 manga adaptation of Destroy All Monsters includes several significant differences from the film, most notably Baragon, Manda and Varan directly taking part in the final battle against King Ghidorah. The Fire Dragon is also more true to its title, assuming the full-fledged appearance of a dragon made of flames, despite still being a Kilaak UFO within. Baragon takes the place of Gorosaurus during the attack on Paris, while Manda's rampage in London is also shown.
    • Minya can be seen holding a giant shark on Monsterland in the beginning of the manga.
  • Along with Invasion of Astro-Monster and Godzilla vs. Megalon (which take place in the unspecified years 196X and 197X, respectively), Destroy All Monsters is one of the few Showa Godzilla movies not to be set in the year of its release. Instead, it takes place at the end of the 20th century, specifically said to be 1999 in the English dubs.
  • In the movie Monsters vs. Aliens, the evil alien Galaxar commands his army to "destroy all monsters." If one listens to the commentary, the creators say that the line was put in as tribute to the Toho movie. They also called it the greatest movie of all time.
  • This film marks the second time Godzilla, Rodan, and King Ghidorah were under alien mind control since Invasion of Astro-Monster. This is also the only time Mothra was mind-controlled by aliens.
  • This film marks the return of Anguirus, who hadn't been in a Godzilla film for thirteen years. The character's new suit would go on to appear in Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Megalon, and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.
  • Gareth Edwards stated that if the 2014 American Godzilla film was successful enough to spawn a sequel, he would do a Destroy All Monsters-type sequel.
  • The 2011 DVD and Blu-ray releases of this film by Media Blasters remain the only official home video releases of a Godzilla movie to include two English dubs.
  • Destroy All Monsters was re-released at the Winter Toho Champion Film Festival on December 17, 1972 under the title Godzilla: The Grand Blitz Operation (ゴジラ電撃大作戦,   Gojira Dengeki Daisakusen?), alongside the kaiju film Daigoro vs. Goliath and a animated film called Panda! Go Panda!.
  • King Kong appears on the some of the French, Belgian, and Italian posters for the film, while the Gappa couple are featured on the Turkish poster.
  • Some of the trailers for this film include inconsistent roars for the monsters. In one trailer Mothra has a slightly altered Varan roar, Gorosaurus has Anguirus' roar combined with his own, and Manda has Rodan's roar. In another, Manda again has Rodan's roar, while Godzilla strangely possesses both Rodan's roar and Mothra's chirp.

External Links

References

This is a list of references for Destroy All Monsters. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

Era Icon - Toho.png
Era Icon - Showa.png
Movie
Era Icon - Godzilla.png
Era Icon - Minilla.png
Era Icon - Anguirus.png
Era Icon - Gorosaurus.png
Era Icon - Rodan.png
Era Icon - Mothra.png
Era Icon - Manda.png
Era Icon - Baragon.png
Era Icon - Kumonga.png
Era Icon - Varan.png
Era Icon - King Ghidorah.png



Comments

Showing 5 comments. Remember to follow the civility guidelines when commenting.

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avatar

Garfzilla

12 months ago
Score 0
My opinion: This film will never be as good as Final Wars, but it's still a great finale for many reasons.
avatar

Deathrock9

12 months ago
Score 0
It's worth watching just to see Ghidorah get beaten to a pulp. It's basically the kaiju equivalent of a 'you came into the wrong neighborhood' scenario.
avatar

ShodaiMeesmothLarva

12 months ago
Score 0
no more like "you came into the wrong planet"
avatar

Toa Hydros

13 months ago
Score 0

My Thoughts: Destroy All Monsters

Like many of the installments of the later half of the Showa series, Destroy All Monsters is a mixed bag.

Once again the human protagonists are likable, but not nearly on par with characters from past installments like Mothra vs Godzilla and Monster Zero. As for the aliens... While the concept of a race of beings made of living metal is cool, the villain aliens are lackluster in terms of personality.

The main weakness of this movie, however, is the monster action. While the destruction scenes themselves are well done, they're so few and far between, you can't help but become a little bored. The final battle against Ghidorah is the film's saving grace, though, and is easily the most entertaining part of the flick.

In the end, it's hardly the best of the bunch, but it's positive elements make it worth a viewing.
avatar

Deathrock9

14 months ago
Score 1
I like how after being beaten by Godzilla, Mothra and Rodan in his first film, then by Godzilla and Rodan in Invasion of Astro-Monster and a third time by Godzilla and Anguirus in Godzilla vs. Gigan, the Kilaaks send Ghidorah on his own to fight Godzilla, Rodan, Anguirus, Gorosaurus, Mothra, Minilla, Manda and Kumonga expecting him to win.