DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (1968) – The Dungeon Review!

I have seen Destroy All Monsters several times over the years and it never fails to thoroughly entertain me! Like the original Godzilla it has a special place in my heart. Destroy All Monsters will be the only favourite I will be reviewing during Toho March; every other film I watch will be a first viewing.

The United Nations Science Committee has managed to contain all of the monsters on the Island of Ogasawara. Monsterland as it is coined is equipped with top-notch security to insure the monsters are unable to escape by air or water. Everything is controlled from a secured spot underneath the island. But something goes horribly wrong and security is compromised. The monsters are set free and all the scientists have seemingly disappeared. After central command loses contact with the Monsterland facility Yamabe; captain of the Moonlight SY-3 spaceship and his crew are called in to investigate. They discover Dr. Otani and the other scientists have fallen under the control of a mysterious alien race of females called Kilaaks. The Kilaak Queen appears before them revealing she is controlling the monsters and insists they surrender. Meanwhile, the monsters have laid waste in far off cities around the globe!

“The major cities of the world are being destroyed one-by-one by the monsters; Moscow by Rodan, Peking by Mothra, London by Manda, Paris by Baragon. And here’s a special news bulletin. Godzilla is now in New York City. The city is being invaded by Godzilla!”

The Kilaaks eventually attack Tokyo but thanks to Captain Yamabe the UNSC once again gain control of the monsters. But the Kilaaks pull out a hidden weapon in the form of King Ghidorah.

“Ghidorah is a space monster. The monsters from earth cannot win!”

What ensues is the mother of all finales with flaming UFO’s, alien chicks, a spaceship captain hero, ray guns, mucho destruction and chaos and eleven unique and incredible monsters. Eleven freaking monsters! There are so many reasons to love Destroy All Monsters! The bullet pace wastes no time getting into its story and we get a glimpse of the monsters right off the bat. There is a ton of action, an insane amount of destruction and a huge multi-monster battle! The fantastic score, the impressive practical effects, the charming campy quality of the spaceships and the Kilaak women themselves are all a treat! I really don’t understand how anyone can find this film dull!

If I could tinker with any aspect of Destroy All Monsters I would extend the scenes of the monsters destroying the various cities. These scenes are awesome! I would also give some of the monsters more screen time. Some of the monster’s appearances are ridiculously brief and they don’t really contribute to the action. Kind of a waste is all. But really, Destroy All Monsters is just fantastic the way it is! The practical effects really are terrific! I figured it was only right to include a picture of all the monsters. Descriptions of these bad boys just can not replace screenshots! The eleven monsters in this film cover a good cross-section of Toho’s collection up to 1968. I included short bios for each monster just for the hell of it. Destroy All Monsters is an action packed, shitload of fun that I really can’t recommend more highly!

You know him, you love him, he is Godzilla; a 50 metre high, massive dinosaur-like creature who has regenerative power and shoots atomic rays.

One of the smaller monsters in Toho’s collection; Baragon is only 20 metres high. This compact creature is a wicked burrower and jumper and you best watch out for his heat ray!

Gorosaurus is a 35 metre high theropod with a kangaroo kick and burrowing abilities. He has some interesting gnarly looking skin that has a bubbly texture I rather dig.

King Ghidorah is a 100 metres high, three-headed flying space monster! If that isn’t enough he flies at mach speeds and spits gravity beams from all three of his nasty heads! This guy is just bad-ass!

Minilla is a miniature version of Godzilla. Is he the son of Godzilla? With no female Godzilla stomping about it is hard to say whether this little guy is just an adopted orphan or a blood relative. He may look a bit cute and harmless but this little guy blows radioactive smoke rings and fires atomic rays.

Like Baragon, the considerably larger 60 metre high Anguirus has strong jumping and burrowing abilities. With that mass, you know this guy is going to do some damage!

Rodan is a 50 foot tall pterosaur who flies at mach speeds with hurricane-inducing wings. He also has the ability to harness his own wind power to blow out a powerful blast of air at his enemy.

40 metres in length, Mothra stays in his larva stage for the duration of Destroy All Monsters. Mothra’s powerful ample bulk and cocoon attack gets him by quite nicely thank you very much.

Varan is relatively small compared to his peers at a mere 10 metres. He has flying and gliding abilities but sadly gets very little time here to strut his monster stuff.

Kumonga is a giant 45 metre spider that can launch webs and shoots poisonous stingers. He is also pretty cool looking.

The longest of all the creatures at 150 metres is Manda. Manda is a giant snake-like creature with a constricting body that can wrap around and squeeze its enemy to death. At that size he could squeeze and crush some pretty large objects!

Dungeon Rating: 5/5

Directed By: Ishirô Honda

Starring: Akira Kubo, Jun Tazaki, Yukiko Kobayashi, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Kyôko Ai, Andrew Hughes, Chôtarô Tôgin

18 Responses to “DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (1968) – The Dungeon Review!”

  1. Holy shit; I remember watching this as a kid but having no idea what the name of it was. I’m talking about 20 years passing by since I’ve seen this.

    Thanks so much for sharing! Now to track down a copy. 🙂

    • goregirl Says:

      Gory Greetings!

      Destroy All Monsters is so much fun, and well worth revisiting! I think the DVD is pretty readily available. I actually rented this from the library!

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  3. The first Godzilla film I saw was Godzilla Vs the Thing(still my favorite Godzilla film) at the drive-in,and I was a Godzilla fan from then on. I was fortunate enough to see Destroy All Monsters on the big screen as well,and went completely bonkers over it. The ultimate Toho monster rally! Great review,Goregirl!

    • It will always be the original Godzilla for me! It is the only one of the bunch that lacks camp. The original Godzilla was extremely well made with a magnificent atmosphere and a genuine sense of menace that I think is lacking in the later efforts. That said, I am also crazy about the camp and love practically every Toho film I’ve seen in varying degrees! I loved Godzilla vs Mothra and Mothra 61(adore the little twin fairies and their awesome Mothra song) and Destroy all Monsters is an absolute shitstorm of fun!!

      • I totally agree the original Godzilla is a great film.I remember the first time I saw the film on Chiller Theater way back in 1965. I just recently saw the version without Raymond Burr,and it is excellent.I can’t think of a Toho film I dislike either,and I too love the twin fairies!.

  4. Victor De Leon Says:

    Loved this post! I dig the Bios you included. I must show these posts to my Sons who are giant fans of Kaiju. Destroy All Monsters is epic on so many levels.

    • Did you introduce them to TOHO? My dad was a massive horror and sci-fi fan and introduced me to Toho, Corman, Hammer and the like! I think it is AWESOME that a new generation of kids still love these films. They are quite irreplaceable aren’t they?

      • Victor De Leon Says:

        Yes, I introduced the boys to Toho, Hammer and the Universal monster films as well. My youngest, Chris, is a huge Hammer and Toho fan. He has just about every Toho flick on his laptop and on dvd. It is quite awesome to watch your own kids love and cherish the same things we grew up with.

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