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!
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.
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