Destroy All Monsters (1968) – Ishiro Honda & Jun Fukuda

I’ll be honest, this is the first Godzilla movie I’ve watched that I didn’t pay attention to any of the actors or their arcs, I was just having too much fun with the monster mashing, the model work, and the way the mythology of the monster-verse has expanded to include so many creatures, aliens, and monsters now.

This one is just a hoot, and seeing as it was the first time I settled in for it, I had a grand old time with it. Set a little bit in the future, all of the monsters that have bothered humanity over the years are now safely ensconced, and living peacefully in Monsterland, an island that houses a scientific research center that is able to study and control all the kaiju that were such a huge threat to the world earlier.

But the peace isn’t maintained for very long, as a UFO filled with an alien race known as the Kilaaks (who have a secret base on the moon) arrive on the island of Monsterland, intent on using it as a foothold to gain control of the planet. They can control the kaiju and drive them out into the world to rampage and destroy.

A Japanese lunar base recalls some of its men to aid in the potential invasion, and their spacecraft easily commutes the distance from Earth to moon on the regular. And this gives us some great model work beyond the usual tiny buildings that are trashed and destroyed by Godzilla and his ilk, including the now named Minilla, and Mothra in larval form (again).

The space stuff is pretty cool, and the final reveal on the true form of the Kilaaks is great, and of course, they are going to have King Ghidorah in tow, but the Terran Kaiju are ready for him, and really go to town on the beast during the climax.

It’s really funny watching the little kaiju character beats and interactions, which of course changes them from creatures and monsters to men in suits behaving like they are having a good time. And that good time is infectious, while the human characters are racing about the globe trying to stop the Kilaaks and regain control of the Kaiju, you can’t help but be swept up in the fantastic model work, and design of the film – from the yellow bucket helmets, to the cruising spacecraft, lunar bases and UFOs.

Minilla’s interactions are happily kept to a minimum, he feels like the Scrappy-Doo of the Kaiju-verse, and I had nothing but a good time with this one. In fact, it may be my favorite after the original Godzilla!

I can’t wait to see what comes next when I delve into All Monsters Attack!

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