Destroy All Monsters (1968)

destroy all monsters poster 1968 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 8/10

Better looking than some entries, lots of monsters

Still Godzilla if you aren't a fan

Movie Info

Movie Name: Destroy All Monsters

Studio: Toho

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy/B-Movie

Release Date(s): August 1, 1968 (Japan)/May 23, 1969 (US)

MPAA Rating: G

destroy all monsters mount fuji godzilla rodan minilla

It’s a Royal Kaiju Rumble!!!

Earth has found peace, and the kaiju of the world have been isolated on a base called Monster Island where they live in harmony.  When an invading alien force called the Kilaaks take control of the kaiju, the monsters begin attacking all over the world at the orders of the Kilaaks.  The United Nations Science Committee must find a way to stop the Kilaaks and regain control of Godzilla and the other kaiju…even if they do, the Kilaaks might have a secret weapon that no one expected!

Directed by Ishirō Honda, Destroy All Monsters (怪獣総進撃 or Kaijū Sōshingeki) is a Japanese science-fiction kaiju action movie.  Following Son of Godzilla in 1967, the movie is the ninth film in the Godzilla franchise and considered part of Showa period of the series.  The Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the film as part of the Godzilla:  The Showa-Era Film, 1945-1975 box set (Criterion #1000).

Movies like Destroy All Monsters were so exciting when they would come on as a kid.  Not only did it feature the big guy Godzilla, but it had tons and tons of monsters that hadn’t even made the jump to the United States.  While it does essentially break down into a typical Godzilla story, Destroy All Monsters does have some fun.

destroy all monsters kilaaks akira kubo yukiko kobayashi kyoko ai

Well that is one way to stop harassment…

Like many Godzilla films, the movie is largely about the human cast.  In Destroy All Monsters, this is even more so.  It is the humans vs. the Kilaaks and the kaiju monsters are the chess pieces.  The movie has a few throwdowns (especially near the end with the battle with King Ghidorah).  I don’t love the flying around in spaceship stuff (though Rodan chasing the ship is kind of neat), but since the story is human driven, it gives the cast something to do.

While Akira Kubo, Jun Tazaki, Yukiko Kobayashi, and Kyoko Ai are the “stars” of the movie, the kaiju are the real stars.  The movie is loaded with monsters.  It has the obligatory Godzilla, Mothra (in larval form), Rodan, and Minilla (aka the Son of Godzilla), and it also features some kaiju from past Godzilla films like Anguirus (Godzilla Raids Again) and Kumonga (Son of Godzilla) and non-Godzilla films like Gorosaurus (King Kong Escapes), Baragon (Frankenstein Conquers the World), and Manda (Atragon).  Like a lot of the Godzilla films, King Ghidorah is revealed to be the “big bad” and a massive throwdown occurs.

destroy all monsters vs king ghidorah

Say what you will, it isn’t cool that they all gang up on Ghidorah

The movie also looks better.  The previous entry (Son of Godzilla) took place on an island and that really limited the sets.  Here, you get the characters attacking cities all over the world like Paris, London, and New York City in addition to Tokyo.  This means a lot of fun scale models that are always one of the cleverest parts of Godzilla films.

Destroy All Monsters is for fans of Godzilla, but if you aren’t a fan of Godzilla, there is a little more balance to the action than some other entries.  The movie looks great when cleaned up and is a classic of foreign science-fiction.  Destroy All Monsters was followed by Godzilla’s Revenge in 1969.

Preceded By:

Son of Godzilla (1967)

Followed By:

Godzilla’s Revenge (1969)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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