Destroy All Monsters: Don’t You Dare!!
A video review by Joe Parra
Rating: 3 out of 4
Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, Manda, Baragon, Gorgasaura, Speega, Varan,
Anguillus, Meenya (Godzilla Jr.), and Ghidrah all combine for one of the
most fun Japanese monster films ever made. The film takes place in the
future as the monsters, save Ghidrah, are all housed on Agasawarra Island.
They are kept there by various scientific methods developed as per the
nature of each monster. There is food aplenty for the famous beasties and
they are happy in their little (!) home.
Enter the Kilaaks, a race of aliens with benevolent smiles intent on
taking over the Earth (naturally). Besides being able to generate a force
field that is of course impenetrable, they have developed a mind control
device by which they utilize the monsters in their plot. They sic Godzilla
on New York, Rodan on Moscow, Mothra on Peking, Gorgasaura on Paris, Manda
on London, and so forth. For some reason, Tokyo is left unscathed (talk
about a change of pace!). The Earth is trying desperately to fight off
this incredible evil from outer space, as well as trying to realign and
ally our monsters with us. The Kilaaks have also “influenced” several key
scientists from Earth to help speed their conquest plans along. Gradually,
through intense scientific research, the monsters are wrestled from the
control of the Kilaaks. Ah, but, the Kilaaks have now enlisted the aid
of Ghidrah, the 3-Headed Monster. Can the combined effort of the Earth’s
mightiest monsters defeat the Kilaaks and the horrible Ghidrah?
While this movie has been shown for years on television, it has never
(on American screens) been shown complete or in a “letterbox” format. For
those of you who don’t know, “letterbox” is the name given to the format
by which a film shot in a widescreen process is shrunk to fit our square
TV screens without losing any of the picture. Black bars appear on the
screen above and below the picture to border it. While this process is
annoying to some, to a true cinephile, it is a godsend, by letting us view
the entire picture as photographed. My print of Destroy All Monsters (1968),
obtained from Troll Video at Gaylaxicon V, is not only letterboxed, but
comes from the actual Toho Studios print, not the AIP American print. It
is indeed dubbed but the titles are in Japanese, with the rarely seen (in
America) logo of Toho Studios. If you love Japanese monster flicks, obtain
this gem. You’ll know why they will never Destroy All Monsters. Enjoy!!!