All Monsters Attack

Ichiro: "Will Godzilla be okay underwater?"
Minilla: "No problem. He's a hell of a fighter."

release year: 1969
genre: Godzilla
viewing setting: home DVD 7/11/19 and 5/17/98

synopsis: A bullied kid has some pretty vivid daydreams about giant monsters.

impressions: Once again, I had the option of watching either the Japanese or American versions, and chose the former (although I'm not sure what the differences might have been.) This is generally considered the worst of the Godzilla movies, and I can now see why. It was a kids' movie, made for that audience, and at least half of its giant monster battle footage was recycled from previous movies. Notable elements: bullies whose main line is "Eeeeee!"...a major daydreamer of a kid, who sings silly songs to himself and knowingly puts himself in the way of bullies, and can fall asleep while being early computer...subplots about bullying and a bank robbery...both the kid and Godzilla's son having to learn how to stand up for themselves. Honestly, there's not much of worth here, and it was hard to stay focused.

As mentioned, at least half of the battle footage was from older Godzilla movies. This included the battles with the Kamacuras, Ebirah, and Kumonga for sure. I think the fighting with Gabara (perhaps the stupidest-looking monster ever, by the way) was new and original, and he had electricity powers. Standout moments from those battles included Minilla using the old seesaw trick to defeat Gabara, and Godzilla using a judo flip. Again, not much here. Godzilla looked different in different scenes, which is what happens when you merge footage from several other movies, but at his best, he looked pretty serious. His son Minilla had actual conversations with the boy Ichiro, which was kind of weird. And last but perhaps not least, the giant bird from Godzilla vs the Sea Monster got a name here: "giant condor." Thank goodness for that.

number in Godzilla series: 10

previous Godzilla movie in series: Destroy All Monsters

next Godzilla movie in series: Godzilla vs Hedorah

other giant monsters appearing in this one: Kamacuras, Gorosaurus, Manda, Anguirus, Minilla, giant condor, Gabara, Ebirah (most of them using recycled footage)

total giant monster battle time: about 7 minutes of recycled footage plus about 8 minutes of original footage

acting: Tomonori Yakazi does a pretty good job as the obstinate, imaginative boy Ichiro. At the end, he even plays a prank on some poor painter! Kenji Sahara (who had various roles in #s 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 9) is the boy's father here. Hideyo Amamoto (who had various roles in #s 5 and 7) is the helpful neighbor here.

final word: Weak effort, with a kids' storyline and lots of recycled footage; I couldn't wait for it to be over.

back to the main review page