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！)
— Japanese tagline
The horror of every monster known to man ravaging the Earth!
— International tagline
The MONSTERS are in REVOLT... and The World is on the brink of DESTRUCTION!
— American tagline
Destroy All Monsters (怪獣総進撃 is a Kaijū Sōshingeki, lit. Monster Total Advancement)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.
Originally intended to be the last Godzilla film, Destroy All Monsters brings together nearly all of Toho's roster of kaiju, including many who had never appeared in the series before. At the close of the 20th century, all of Earth's monsters are contained on Monsterland: a facility in the Ogasawara Islands where they can live in peace without threatening humanity's safety. However, alien invaders known as the Kilaaks seize control of the island and its monsters, unleashing them in a destructive campaign around the world. Katsuo Yamabe and the crew of the Moonlight SY-3 find themselves on the front lines of the battle against the Kilaaks as they struggle to discover and disable the source of the aliens' mind control. But even when the Earth monsters are freed from the aliens' control, they must engage in a final confrontation with King Ghidorah, who is now under the control of the Kilaaks.
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. Soon after, the monsters begin to appear 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 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 the island. They find 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 sister Kyoko bring the SY-3 crew further into the base and introduce them to a group of mysterious women wearing silver robes. The leader 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 commits suicide by jumping out of a nearby window. 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.
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 Japan's capital 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. The triped-domed destroyer lands amidst the Earth monsters and begins his attack. Godzilla, Anguirus, Gorosaurus, Mothra, Kumonga, and Rodan lead the counterattack while Minilla, 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, 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. Refusing to admit defeat, the Kilaaks unleash a "burning monster" they call the Fire Dragon, which terrorizes the monsters before destroying the humans' control devices on Monsterland. 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 Moonlight SY-3 gives chase to the Fire Dragon, and successfully shoots it down, revealing it as a flaming Kilaak flying saucer. 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.
- Main article: Destroy All Monsters/Credits.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Ishiro Honda
- Written by Ishiro Honda, Kaoru Mabuchi
- Executive producer Tomoyuki Tanaka
- Music by Akira Ifukube
- Cinematography by Taiichi Kankura
- Edited by Ryohei Fujii
- Production design by Takeo Kita
- 1st assistant director Seiji Tani
- Director of special effects Sadamasa Arikawa
- Special effects supervisor Eiji Tsuburaya (ceremonial title)
- 1st assistant director of special effects Teruyoshi Nakano
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Akira Kubo as Moonlight SY-3 Captain Katsuo Yamabe
- Yukiko Kobayashi as Kyoko Manabe, Monsterland personnel
- Kyoko Ai as Kilaak Queen
- Jun Tazaki as Dr. Yoshida
- Yoshio Tsuchiya as Dr. Otani, Monsterland scientist
- Kenji Sahara as Nishikawa, Moon Base commander
- Kazuo Suzuki as Ogasawara Monsterland control center engineer
- Toru Ibuki as Tetsuo Ise, Monsterland engineer
- Minoru Ito as Minoru Kudo, Monsterland engineer
- Susumu Kurobe as Shin Kuroiwa, Monsterland engineer
- Hisaya Ito as Major Tada
- Yoshibumi Tajima as Security Commander Sugiyama
- Saburo Iketani as Toshio Fukuzawa, announcer
- Henry Okawa as UNSC engineer
- Andrew Hughes as Dr. Stevenson
- Nadao Kirino, Naoya Kusakawa as International Police detectives
- Wataru Omae as Arima, Moonlight SY-3 crew member
- Chotaro Togin as Okada, Moonlight SY-3 crew member
- Yasuhiko Saijyo as Fujita, Moonlight SY-3 crew member
- Seishiro Kuno as Tani, Moonlight SY-3 crew member
- Ken Echigo as Yoshikawa, Moonlight SY-3 crew member
- Ikio Sawamura as Elderly farmer in the village
- Yutaka Sada as Village police officer
- Kenichiro Maruyama as Moon Base engineer
- Yutaka Oka as Newspaper reporter
- Hideyo Shibuya as Newspaper reporter
- Yoshio Katsube as United Nations Scientific Committee engineer
- Kamayuki Tsubono as International Police detective
- Tadashi Okabe as TTV announcer
- Haruya Sakamoto, Rinsaku Ogata as Joint Defense Command officers
- Yukihiko Gondo as Command vehicle soldier
- Yoshiko Miyata, Kyoko Mori, Ari Sagawa, Rei Maki, Atsuko Takahashi as Kilaaks
- Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla / Joint Defense Command officer
- Hiroshi Sekita as Anguirus / Gorosaurus / Hospital doctor
- Teruo Aragaki as Rodan
- Susumu Utsumi as King Ghidorah
- Masao Fukazawa as Minilla (as "Little Man Machan")
- Tadaaki Watanabe as Anguirus (uncredited)
International English dub
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Burr Middleton as Captain Katsuo Yamabe
- Bud Widom as Dr. Yoshida
- Carole Wyand as Kyoko Manabe / Kilaak Queen
- Gregory Starr as Major Tada
- Robert Dunham as Okada / Security Commander Sugiyama
Titan Productions English dub
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Hal Linden as Captain Katsuo Yamabe
- Bret Morrison as Dr. Yoshida
- Paulette Rubinstein as Kyoko Manabe
- Bernard Grant as Dr. Otani
- Lucy Martin as Kilaak Queen
- Kenneth Harvey as Major Tada
- Jack Curtis as Arima / UNSC Technician / Newscaster
- Larry Robinson as Moonlight SY-3 astronaut
- Norman Rose as Narrator
Weapons, vehicles, and races
- Main article: Destroy All Monsters/Gallery.
- Main article: Destroy All Monsters (Soundtrack).
- Monster Total Advancement (Literal Japanese title)
- Monster Attack March (Alternate translation, used on Madman DVD)
- 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)
- Assemble All Monsters! (オール怪獣集合せよ！ Ōru Kaijū Shūgōseyo!, Japanese 8mm title)
- Monster Olympics (怪獣オリンピック Kaijū Orinpikku, Japanese 8mm title)
- Operation Monsterland (Early English title)
- The Invaders Attack (Les envahisseurs attaquent; France; French Belgium)
- Frankenstein and the Monsters 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)
- Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters (Australia)
- The Awakening of the Monsters (O Despertar dos Monstros; Brazil)
View all posters for the film here.
- Japan - August 1, 1968 [view poster]; December 17, 1972 [view poster]
- United States - 1969 [view poster]
- Thailand - 1968
- England - December 1969
- Italy - 1969; 1977 [view poster]
- Mexico - 1969
- Brazil - March 1970
- Belgium - 1970 [view poster]
- France - 1970 [view poster]
- Germany - 1971 [view poster]
- Turkey - 1971
- Egypt - 1971 [view poster]
- Finland - 1972
- Turkey - 1972 [view poster]
- Iran - 1977
- Spain - 1978
Some time after Destroy All Monsters was released in Japan, Toho commissioned Frontier Enterprises to produce an English-dubbed version. This international version of the film was subsequently released in some foreign territories, although it would go unreleased in the U.S. until 1996, when the Sci-Fi Channel would license Destroy All Monsters and Godzilla vs. Hedorah for broadcast.
American International Pictures released Destroy All Monsters theatrically in North America in May 1969. A second English-language version was handled by Titan Productions. There were some minor alterations done to prepare the film for U.S. release:
- AIP moved the credits to the end of the film. Instead of the futuristic design employed in the Japanese and international versions, AIP's credits play out in white text against a black background. The original Akira Ifukube cue was retained.
- Deleted: After the destruction of Tokyo, an establishing shot of a Japanese sign reading "Integrated Defense Headquarters".
- Deleted: A shot of Minilla frenzying amid the battle with King Ghidorah.
- Deleted: Another shot of Minilla covering his eyes as King Ghidorah drops Anguirus.
Although AIP chose to produce its own English version instead of using Toho's existing international version, both dubbed versions share dialogue that is notably different from the Japanese version. Significantly, the opening narration in both dubs sets the film in 1999; the narration in the Japanese version sets the film in "the end of the 20th century." Titan's script may have been based on the Frontier dub.
AIP's version of the film remained in syndication through the early 1980s. The film, however, would be the last Showa Godzilla film released on home video in the United States. Toho's international version would finally be released on VHS by ADV in 1998. 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 pertaining to the special features. Media Blasters reissued the film in 2014 without the Titan dub or any of the special features.
United Kingdom release
Warner-Pathe brought AIP's version of Destroy All Monsters to UK theaters in 1969, as part of a double feature with Killers Three. It received an X rating from the British Board of Film Censors, preventing children under 16 from seeing it. The international version of the film was first released in the UK in 1992, when PolyGram Video released it on VHS with Invasion of Astro-Monster and Ebirah, Horror of the Deep. 4 Front Video reissued the film on VHS in 1998. Sony released the Japanese version of the film on Blu-ray in 2019 as part of the The Criterion Collection's Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films, 1954–1975 box set, with the international English dub available as a secondary audio option.
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."
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.
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.
- Region: A/1 or B/2
- Discs: 8
- Audio: Japanese, English (international dub)
- Subtitles: English
- Special features: All bonus features on Criterion's Godzilla Blu-ray, 1990 Ishiro Honda interview by Yoshimitsu Banno, interview with director Alex Cox, interviews with actors Bin Furuya and Tsugutoshi Komada, 2011 interview with critic Tadao Sato, unused effects sequences from Toho releases including Destroy All Monsters, trailers, illustrated hardcover book with an essay by Steve Ryfle and liner notes on each film by Ed Godziszewski
- Notes: Uses a new English subtitle translation. Sony distributed a Region B/2 version of the set in the United Kingdom.
- 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.
- Originally, the film was meant to feature Ebirah and Maguma. Both were swapped out for Anguirus, Minilla and Gorosaurus. The first draft for this film called for Kamacuras and even Sanda and Gaira to appear. A later draft gave Sanda a cameo as a Monsterland resident.
- In Godzilla: The Series, there was a three-part story arc called Monster Wars. During these episodes, aliens known as the Leviathan Aliens 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, though he is mentioned to be stationed at Izu, guarding the Kilaaks' base of operations. 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.
- Minilla 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. As with the aforementioned films, the exact year in which Destroy All Monsters takes place is ambiguous. Narration in the Japanese version places the events at the end of the 20th century; the year is given as 1999 in both English language versions. Prop newspapers to be used in the film were reportedly printed with the year 1994, although this can't be seen on screen at any point in the completed film.
- 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, alongside the kaiju film Gojira Dengeki Daisakusen)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.
- Though the new SoshingekiGoji suit was used for the vast majority of Godzilla's screen time, the DaisensoGoji suit returned for Godzilla's aquatic attack on New York City, and the MosuGoji suit can be glimpsed in a shot recycled from Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster of Mothra spraying King Ghidorah with her webbing.
- The first episode of the 1971 Tsuburaya Productions series Return of Ultraman, directed by Ishiro Honda, is also called 怪獣総進撃. However, the 2020 American Blu-ray release of the series by Mill Creek translates it as the international title of Honda's next Godzilla film, All Monsters Attack.
- 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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