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Destroy All Monsters Reviews

Before there was Wrestlemania, there was DESTROY ALL MONSTERS, in which Godzilla (in his ninth film) is joined by a cast of Toho giant monster all-stars to save the Earth from evil alien invaders. Unfortunately, the film (originally titled KAIJU SOSHINGEKI, literally "Attack of the Marching Monsters") features too little of the monsters and too much human heroism. 1999. All of the giant monsters have been humanely confined to "Monsterland," on the Ogasawara Islands. The scientific personnel stationed there are overcome by a mysterious gas. Soon, the monsters have escaped and are attacking the world's major cities. Katsuo Yamabe (Akira Kubo), captain of the spaceship SY-3, is ordered to return from the moon to investigate. At Ogasawara, he discovers that the scientists' minds have been taken over by the Kilaaks, alien beings who have also gained control of the monsters and are using them to force Earth to surrender to alien control. The monsters turn their attack to Tokyo. Suspecting that this attack is a diversion, Yamabe discovers that the Kilaaks have set up a base under Mount Fuji. When Yamabe and his men find and attack the Kilaak's base on the moon, they learn that the Kilaaks can only live under artificial conditions of extreme heat. Having seized the equipment used to control the monsters, scientists have the monsters attack the Mt. Fuji base. The Kilaaks summon the three-headed dragon Ghidorah from outer space to protect them, but it is defeated in a battle royale with the other monsters. SY-3 destroys the fleeing Kilaak ship. The monsters return to their home on Monsterland. Like the Universal all-star monster films of the 1940s (HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, 1944; HOUSE OF DRACULA, 1945), this film never really capitalizes on its promise of monsters en masse. Aside from the five-minute finale, in which Ghidorah is attacked by Godzilla, son Minya, Mothra (in its larval state), Rodan, Spiga the giant spider, Gorosaurus, Manda, Baragon, Anguirus, and Varan (most of whom are only briefly glimpsed), the movie is rather under-monstered. Still, at its best, this is one of the better Godzilla entries, with higher production values than its immediate predecessors. Most of the series' original creative team returned, including director Ishiro Honda and composer Akira Ifukube, who contributes a rousing score. On the negative side are the usual atrocious dubbing and lapses in logic that ask us to believe that giant monsters could appear in the middle of Tokyo without anyone having seen them coming. (Violence.)