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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!!!

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