aka. Charge of the Monsters
|Ain't no party like a kaiju party!|
The world now faces destruction at the hands of.....
|GOROSAURUS (from King Kong Escapes)|
|BARAGON (Frankenstein Conquers the World)|
|VARAN (Varan: The Unbelievable)|
|KUMONGA (Son of Godzilla)|
|ANGUIRUS (Godzilla Raids Again)|
|GODZILLA and MINILLA (Son of Godzilla)|
Although there's only one scene of urban destruction, and we won't see another one for several more years, it's a real treat. The real show-stopper, however, comes in the film's final battle. With the Kilaakian control over the Earth's monsters disabled, the Kilaakians call in backup from outerspace.....KING GHIDORAH! The terrible three-headed flying dragon last seen in Invasion of Astro-Monster returns to take on a staggering nine monsters at once. Godzilla, who has completed his metamorphosis into world hero, leads the charge against Ghidorah in an epic knock down, drag out battle of tooth and claw with nothing less than the entire Earth at stake. It's one of the finest examples of suitmation monster fighting in Godzilla history and, honestly, the set piece on which the entire film is built. So damn good.
Even with its kid-friendly elements, Destroy All Monsters never panders as much to children as Son of Godzilla did before it, but the tide is about to change for good. Destroy All Monsters is an island of quality science fiction and fantasy special effects s in a sea of budget cuts and a shifting demographics that will soon reduce the output of Toho monster movies to rudimentary kid's stuff. Following Destroy All Monsters, Toho will continue to produce Godzilla movies in the Showa era without interruption until 1975, but none of them will ever marry so perfectly Ishiro Honda's optimism for the future with Eiji Tsuburaya and Sadamasa Arikawa's special effects prowess. If Destroy All Monsters is the big goodbye to the better days of Godzilla movies in the Showa period, so be it. I can overlook the flaws in the story and let the monsters bask for one last time in the limelight.
With the better days of the Japanese film industry behind them, Toho would devote the bulk of its Godzilla output towards capturing the hearts and minds of the children who were making TV monster shows and kid-centric monster movies like the Gamera series such a success. Tomorrow, in our the next chapter of 30 Days of Godzilla, we look at the most kid-oriented Godzilla movie of them all: ALL MONSTERS ATTACK!