Destroy All Monsters (1968)
|“||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！)||„|
Destroy All Monsters (怪獣総進撃?, lit. Monster Total Advancement) is a Kaijū Sōshingeki1968 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.
At the close of the 20th century, all of the Earth's kaiju have been collected and confined in an area known as Monsterland, by the United Nations Science Committee, in the Ogasawara island chain. A special control center is constructed underneath the island to ensure the monsters stay secure, and serve as a research facility to study them. When communications with Monsterland are suddenly and mysteriously severed, and all of the monsters begin attacking major cities, Dr. Yoshida of the UNSC orders Captain Yamabe and the crew of his spaceship, Moonlight SY-3, to investigate Ogasawara. There, they discover that the scientists, led by Dr. Otani, have become mind-controlled slaves of a feminine alien race identifying themselves as the Kilaaks, who reveal that they are in control of the monsters. Their leader demands that the human race surrender, or face total annihilation.
Godzilla attacks New York City, Rodan invades Moscow, Mothra lays waste to Beijing, Gorosaurus destroys Paris, and Manda attacks London, which is set in to motion to take attention away from Japan, so the aliens can establish an underground stronghold near Mt. Fuji. The Kilaaks then turn their next major attack on Tokyo, and without serious opposition, become arrogant in their aims, until the UNSC discover the Kilaaks have switched to broadcasting the control signals from their base under the Moon's surface. In a desperate battle, the crew of the SY-3 destroy the Kilaak's lunar outpost and return the alien control system to Earth.
With all of the monsters under the control of the UNSC, the Kilaaks unleash their hidden weapon, King Ghidorah. The three-headed space monster is dispatched to protect the alien stronghold at Mt. Fuji, and battles Godzilla, Minilla, Mothra, Rodan, Gorosaurus, Anguirus, Kumonga, Manda, Baragon, and Varan. While seemingly invincible, King Ghidorah is eventually overpowered by the combined strength of the Earth monsters and is killed. Refusing to admit defeat, the Kilaaks produce their trump card, a burning monster they call the Fire Dragon, which begins to torch cities and destroys the control center on Ogasawara. Captain Yamabe pursues this new threat in the SY-3, and narrowly achieves victory for the human race. The Fire Dragon is revealed to be a flaming Kilaak saucer and is destroyed. Godzilla and the other monsters are eventually returned to Monsterland to live in peace.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Ishiro Honda
- Written by Ishiro Honda, Kaoru Mabuchi
- Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
- Music by Akira Ifukube
- Cinematography by Taiichi Kankura
- Edited by Ryohei Fujii
- Production Design by Takeo Kita
- Assistant Directing by Seiji Tani
- Special Effects by Eiji Tsuburaya
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
Weapons, Vehicles, and Races
- Main article: Destroy All Monsters/Gallery.
- Main article: Destroy All Monsters (Soundtrack).
- 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?, Japanese Re-Release Title) Gojira Dengeki Daisakusen
- 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)
View all posters for the film here.
- Japan - August 1, 1968 [view poster]; December 17, 1972 (Re-Release) [view poster]
- United States - 1969 [view poster]
- England - 1968
- Spain - 1968
- Italy - 1968 [view poster]
- France - 1970 [view poster]
- Belgium - 1970 [view poster]
- Germany - 1971 [view poster]
- Turkey - 1972 [view 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: 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. Media Blasters reissued the film in 2014 without the Titan dub or any of the special features.
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.
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)
- Special Features: None
- Notes: The 2004 release is packaged with the film's soundtrack. Out of print.
Toho DVD (2003)
- Region: 2
- Language: Japanese
Madman DVD (2006)
- Region: 4
- Audio: Japanese, English
Tokyo Shock DVD/Blu-ray (2011)
- Region: 1
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono, 5.1 Surround), English (2.0 Mono, international and Titan dubs)
- 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.
Tokyo Shock DVD/Blu-ray (2014)
- Region: 1
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono, 5.1 Surround), English (2.0 Mono, international dub)
- Special Features: None
- Notes: Both versions of the film use the same Japanese video track.
- This film has the greatest number of monsters to appear in one Godzilla movie of 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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 Monster Island 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 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?), alongside the kaiju film Gojira Dengeki DaisakusenDaigoro 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.
- Stream of the Japanese version (Crunchyroll)
- Stream of the International English dub (Crunchyroll)
- List of firearms used in the movie
- List of changes in the American version
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: 
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