Starting a new segment here on the blog. Since I have decided to focus on that big thick boi, Godzilla, and related kaiju in the pantheon, this month I figured I would be remiss not to review some movies from the franchise. I will start with one of my favorites, Destroy All Monsters (1968).
A little background, this movie is the 9th movie in the Godzilla franchise and Shōwa series. The Shōwa series refers to the initial movies in the franchise produced during the Shōwa Period in Japanese history from 1954-1975. With a few exceptions, the movies from this time feature a comical Godzilla engaging in slapstick battles to make children laugh. Destroy All Monsters certainly fits into this mold, because the epic battle sequence at the end is certainly hilarious and the highlight of the film.
The film’s authors introduce the concept of Monster Island to the franchise, which is one of my favorite things about the movie. Monster Island, is where the United Nations has placed all the planet’s kaiju so they may be studied and protected. Working in Monsterland is honestly my dream job, the snappy tracksuit uniforms alone make the job the coolest. And you get to watch all the kaiju, like they are animatronics on a Disneyland ride? WHERE DO I SIGN UP?!
Another notable thing about the movie are the new suits for Godzilla and Anguirus (the hedgehog armadillo dinosaur looking kaiju). Godzilla retains his derpy wide eyed expression for this film, with no notable design changes. Rodan and King Ghidora suits were also modified for the film with Ghidora having less detail than previous films. Ghidora gets his butt kicked for 11 mins straight so it makes sense that detail was not of the utmost importance this round.
Also, there are aliens! And mind control with radio waves! And hella Vulcan eyebrows! Steve Biodrowski of Cinefantastique summed up the film best… when he commented in his retrospective review that the film "is too slim in its storyline, too thin in its characterizations, to be considered a truly great film [...] But for the ten-year-old living inside us all, it is entertainment of the most awesome sort."
10/10 would watch again! Let me know your favorite Godzilla film in the comments below.