If you ever wanted to know, this right here is the movie that started it all for me. I can’t say that it was the first Godzilla movie I ever saw, but, after 30+ years of watching these movies, this is the first movie I remember watching. It isn’t the best movie of the series, but it has always been my favorite. All of these monsters in one movie, how could I not fall in love with this movie. It was one of the greatest movies I had ever seen. So allow me to introduce my all time, #1 favorite Godzilla movie, Destroy All Monsters.
The plot: In 1999, all of the monsters have managed to be confined to a series of islands named Monsterland. An underground control room is built as a research facility for scientists to study the monsters and special devices are used to make sure the monsters do not leave. One day, communications with Monsterland are disrupted and the various monsters begin attacking all of the world’s major cities. Captain Yamabe and the crew of the Moonlight SY-3 is sent down from the moon to investigate what is going on. On Monsterland, they discover the scientists and monsters are being controlled by the Kilaaks, an alien race that intends to conquer the Earth. When the UNSC (United Nations Scientific Committee) figure out how the Kilaaks are controlling the monsters, the Kilaaks send Godzilla, Rodan, Manda, and Mothra to attack Tokyo. The UNSC discover that the Kilaaks have built a base near Mt. Fuji but when the JSDF and the Moonlight SY-3 go to investigate, they are chased off by Godzilla, Anguirus, and Rodan. The UNSC figure out that the Kilaaks are controlling the monsters from a base on the moon so the Moonlight SY-3 attacks the Kilaaks’ moon base and manages to destroy their control over the Earth’s monsters. The UNSC manage to get control of the Earth’s monsters and send them to attack the Kilaaks’ base at Mt. Fuji. The Kilaaks summon King Ghidorah to battle the Earth monsters, but the Earth monsters manage to kill King Ghidorah. The Kilaaks then summon a flaming monster called the Fire Dragon to destroy the UNSC control device and then attack the monsters themselves. However, even without being controlled, Godzilla still uncovers and destroys the Kilaak base. The Moonlight SY-3 attacks the Fire Dragon, revealing it to be a Kilaak saucer, and destroys it. In the end, the monsters are seen living in peace back on Monsterland.
Destroy All Monsters was intended to be the last movie in the Godzilla series, but it did so well that they decided to make some more movies. It was well received by the critics as shown by the 80% rating it has on Rotten Tomatoes. This movie featured the most monsters of any movie in the Godzilla series until the 28th movie, Godzilla: Final Wars. There was also one rather famous goof in this movie that always confused me until I learned what happened. During the scene where Paris is attacked, the announcer says that Baragon was attacking the city but the monster that appeared was Gorosaurus. The reason for this is because the monster suit for Baragon was being redressed and used for some of the villains in the Ultraman show. So they substituted Gorosaurs in the scene, but forgot to change the dialogue, which could be very confusing for a beginning kaiju fanatic.
I love this movie. This has always been my #1 favorite movie in the series, not just because of the movie itself, but because of the memories it has for me. This was the first Godzilla movie I remember watching with my dad, and there were many Saturday’s afterwards where we would watch a movie or two in the afternoon. As for the movie itself, I will admit it is not the best movie in the series but it is still a pretty good movie. The story was pretty simple and, with it being set in the “future”, some of the plot lines were not as far-fetched. The “alien’s controlling the monsters” bit is not original to this series but they used it very well here. The scenes with the monsters were pretty good, although there were a few times during the battle with King Ghidorah where you could see the strings guiding the necks. The effects in the movie were pretty good, especially when you consider how much effort had to have gone into that final battle.
It might not be the best movie, but it is a great movie to watch.
Rating: 4 out of 5