Tuesday, April 9, 2013

#Godzilla2013 Entry #10: DESTROY ALL MONSTERS

DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (1968)/ Kaijū Sōshingeki
Directed by: Ishirô Honda
Written by: Ishirô Honda,  Takeshi Kimura
Starring: Akira Kubo, Jun Tazaki, Yukiko Kobayashi, Yû Seikda, Susumu Utsumi, Teruo Nigaki, and Haruo Nakajima
Synopsis: When the various monsters from Monster Island are kidnapped by aliens, the crew of the Moonlight SY-3 must figure out a way to stop them.

This was such a fun movie! I know I said that GHIDORAH, THE THREE HEADED MONSTER was the original Avengers in its ridiculous mash-up of various kaijus from different franchise coming together, but that would make DESTROY ALL MONSTERS is the Avengers 2. The pace of the movie is light and breezy. It rarely wastes time in trying to set up much of a plot with erroneous human characters and gets straight to the fun. This was also a welcome return for original GOJIRA director Ishirô Honda after a two movie hiatus.

The movie starts off in an undisclosed amount of time after the events of SON OF GODZILLA. At this point, Japan and the countries of the world have gotten wise to the fact that Godzilla, his son, and the other kaijus are better off being stuck in an island with plentiful supply of water and being kept up in a perimeter by monster-specific repellents. So, of course feminine aliens called the Kilaak come and kidnap them for their own nefarious uses.

The movie, which is set at the end of the 20th century, takes place in the moon where Akira Kubo returns in the role of Captain Katsuo Yamabewho is a captain on the spaceship Moonlight SY-3, which will be the main vehicle of the movie. It's amazing to see the progression of the special effects for the outer space sets. In one instance, you can see the strings around the Moonlight SY-3, but the lunar sets and the special effects with the Kilaak aliens look great.

There was a real child-like bit of joy watching this movie just due to the sheer amount of monsters in it. I was not aware of just how many kaijus were not only part of this universe but also have their own film. So to the newbies like myself, here is a list of the kaijus in the movie:

  1. Godzilla (Duh)
  2. Minilla (Coming back with his signature atomic smoke ring)
  3. Rodan (Big ptedoractyl)
  4. Mothra (Who is somehow still not metamorphosizing into the big moth)
  5. Angilus (Who I presume is a zombie since totally got BURNT UP! LINK)
  6. Kumonga (Jonesy's best spider friend ) (super sad face)
  7. Baragon (He is the reptile/bat looking monster that appeared in the 1965 FRANKENSTEIN VS. BARAGON)
  8. Manda (Really cool snake monster that destroys the train and starred in his own movie in 1958)
  9. Gorosaurus (Basically a giant T-rex. He first appeared in KING KONG ESCAPES from 1967)
  10. Ghidorah (Who never seems to die.)

There is actually a good portion of the movie that ends up being about the monsters attacking various cities. Let's not forget that they were all in an island in the Pacific, and then somehow Kilaak managed to transport them to various cities in Europe and America. But what really amazed was the amount of violence. Not only do the attacks on the cities look brutal, but the kaiju fights are legitimately bloody. At the end of the movie, the humans take back control of the kaijus from the aliens, when they go in to attack the Kilaak headquarters in Mt. Fuji, the aliens reveal that they have control of Ghidorah so of course an 11 monster fight ensues. During the fight, Angiulas actually takes a hold of one of Ghidorah's necks, and you see blood all over the place. Hell, I actually felt sorry for Ghidorah! The poor guy was getting the living poop kicked out of him.

I usually try to find some allegorical subtext to the movies maybe some cultural or political undertone but in this movie, if there was any, I didn't see it because I was too into the fun monsters beating the crap out of each other. This might be some sort of lowest common denominator type of mentality, but it's OK just to have fun with big monster movies.


No comments:

Post a Comment