You Get What You Pay For: Destroy All Monsters
This Showa-era Godzilla flick has a serious problem over-promising and under-delivering on it’s premise. Namely the whole “Destroy ALL Monsters” thing.
Welcome to the inaugural edition of You Get What You Pay For, where I let three movies compete for a grand prize of zero dollars. This month I selected Tubi as my free streaming battleground. Seeing as there’s a notorious radioactive lizard stomping through theaters this week, I decided to pick from three monster mashes. Which one is the King of all Kaiju?
- Atlantic Rim (2013): Why should the Pacific Rim get all the monster love? In this mockbuster, a bunch of Atlantic beasties get beat up by low-budget mechas.
- Destroy All Monsters (1968): Most of the Japanese monsters you know (and a ton you don’t, trust me) are enslaved by an advanced race of space women. Many cardboard buildings were harmed in the making of this movie.
- Elvira’s Movie Macabre – Gamera, Super Monster (1983): While Gamera versus everyone Gamera has ever pissed off is an older flick, it got an MST3K style roasting in 1983 courtesy of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.
So, who wins? This time I had to give it to the OG(odzilla). Atlantic Rim looks like a soulless ripoff, and having snarky commentary is almost cheating. Believe me, I’ve watched Attack of the Clones as a Rifftrax, and it was almost bearable. Unlike sand. I can’t stand that shit.
Destroy All Monsters (1968)
Mankind has finally rounded up all of Earth’s monsters, and secluded them on an island where they can do no harm. Until the Kilaak civilization abducts them. Their plan: use these walking natural disasters to terra-form Earth.
The Search for Schlock
This is the movie pretty much right before Toho threw it’s hands up and turned Godzilla into a lucha-libre giggle fest. As such, it stumbles into no man’s land: it doesn’t have a deep message like Godzilla 1954, but it’s nowhere near tongue in cheek enough. It takes itself and it’s fakakta story seriously, and it is both pretentious and overlong. The middle 1/3rd of the movie where the JSDF searches for the Kilaak home base is celluloid Sominex. It’s too talky, and the talk is all gibberish: macguffins and hand-waving techno-babble.
Let Them Fight? Please?
With 20 minutes to go, all we see is Godzilla and his B-list Buddies (larvae Mothra? Seriously?!?) stomp toy cars and fake buildings. I thought this was supposed to be Kaiju Hell In a Cell! Each monster wrecks a major city, then most of them finally show up to trounce Tokyo. I’m not sure which “major” city had to endure Son of Godzilla’s wrath, but I’m sure that one building he kinda dented is going to be alright. It’s not all that interesting seeing Godzilla et al. roll humanity’s “cutting edge” missiles up and smoke them. Been there, done that, got the radioactive tumors to prove it.
Destroy All Monsters = Gang-Bang Ghidora
So, with the clock ticking down, all the monsters finally convene at the doorstep of the oh so secret Kilaak base. Instead of them tossing each other around like rag-dolls, the Kilaak summon King Ghidora… to get the ever-loving piss stomped out of himself. Monsters I’ve never even heard of show up to dunk on this clown. Then once he’s a bloody spot on the ground, Mothra and Kumonga basically bukakke the corpse. Great.
As a last ditch effort, the Kilaaks summon a flame dragon that bodies Rodan (like the pud he is) and gets housed by the JSDF. Literally the only monster they don’t get ruined by is the supposed last boss! Then all the monsters go back to Monster Vacation Island. WTF? Destroy ALL Monsters? By my count, you destoyed 2 and a half! Rodan gets better!!! @#$&*!?
Worth Every Penny, and by that I Mean No Pennies.
Thank God(zilla) this was free. It’s easily the weakest Godzilla I’ve ever seen, and that includes Matthew Broderick’s unholy abomination. And where was Kumonga the entire time? He’s like the king in Dragonslayer showing up to stab the dead body that everyone went through hell to kill. Fuck Kumonga, that’s pretty much my take away. Him and Manba can get booted straight to planet X.