Destroy All Monsters (Kaijû sôshingeki)
Film: Destroy All Monsters (Kaijû sôshingeki)
Director: Ishirô Honda
Writer: Ishirô Honda and Takeshi Kimura
Starring: Akira Kubo, Jun Tazaki and Yukiko Kobayashi
This film begins informing us that the year is 1999. There is a lunar base and there are many missions going up to it. We then see a spaceship take off; this one is named SY-3. We then learn that all of the monsters of planet Earth live on an island, called Monster Island or Monsterland. The island has defenses set-up that prevent the monsters from leaving. Some of the monsters residing there are Godzilla, Minilla, Anguirus, Rodan, Mothra, Gorosaurus, Kumonga, Manda and Varan.
There is a team working on this island led by Jun Tazaki. A new assistant arrives, played by Yukiko Kobayashi. There is then a call from the lunar base and we see that the captain of the spaceship that took off is Akira Kubo. There is an error and the transmission is lost. In the lab on Earth, there is smoke that enters through the door. They are under attack.
In Tokyo there is a worry that they have lost contact with the island. They then learn that monsters are free. Rodan attacks Moscow, Gorosaurus attacks Paris, Mothra in Peking and Godzilla in New York. Kenji Sahara is the commander of the military and he tries to make contact with Monsterland to find out what happened.
On the moon, Kubo is told to abort his mission and return to base. Before he does, he finds a spaceship. He gives chase until it disappears. He then returns to base and learns that he is now to go back to Earth on a mission. He just got to the moon, so he is bothered, but does as he is commanded.
He arrives to find that it has been attacked. He goes inside to find Tazaki and Kobayashi. They are acting differently and we learn they are under control of an alien race of women known as the Kilaak. They state their planet is in-between Mars and Jupiter. Their queen is played by Kyôko Ai. She states that they are controlling the monsters. They want to live in peace on Earth, but first they are convincing the human race that it is in their best interest to surround.
Sahara finds it odd that Japan has not been attacked, but he speaks too soon. Godzilla, Rodan and Manda all attack Tokyo. They are also joined by Mothra as well.
Tazaki is captured and checked to find that behind his ear is a transmitter that was used to control him. Kubo takes it upon himself to free Kobayashi by ripping her earrings out. Yoshio Tsuchiya and Andrew Hughes are sent back to Monsterland to try to stop the Kilaak from controlling the monsters.
Kubo is also given a mission to destroy their base on Earth. The problem is that the monsters are guarding it. Godzilla attacks SY-3 and they have to flee. Transmitters are found on Earth, but it is revealed that the main one is on the moon. They go back there to stop it.
Can the human race break the control of the aliens over the monsters? Will the monsters help save the planet? King Ghidorah is also involved. Will the monsters be able to stop him as well? Can the Kilaak be defeated despite their advanced science?
I will lead off saying that I am huge Godzilla fan. What I liked most about this film is that it brings in a bunch of monsters together in one movie. They have in the past combined Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah, but this one adds even more which I really liked. This one has a similar concept of aliens controlling monsters like in Invasion of the Astro-Monster, which in that one King Ghidorah is also working with the aliens. The acting isn’t bad and the story isn’t either. The film isn’t too long so it progresses well which is also solid. I also love the massive battle at the end of the film between the monsters and King Ghidorah, then with the aliens.
My biggest issue with these films is that we don’t get enough of the giant monsters. This one starts off showing them and then there is a decent gap between seeing them again. Now this one is different in that they periodically go back to them unlike many of the others that we don’t get them until near the end. Another issue is that I feel like the humans stumble upon a way to stop the aliens pretty easily when it builds up how much more advanced they are.
Now with that said, I would recommend seeing this film. If you like giant monster films, I would recommend this one as you have a lot of them. The fight scenes are good. There are a lot of different monsters so it keeps the battles fresh. The ending is good, but it is typical. The story is pretty solid as well as the concept. It has already been done before, but with some of the changes in characters makes it feel fresh. If you are watching all the films in the serious, this one is a must. I would also recommend this one if you just one see a solid giant monster film as well.
My Rating: 7 out of 10