Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Grievous » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:24 pm

JAGzilla wrote:Perfectly executed or not, it's a great concept. Yes, it's essentially the plot of Monster Zero but BIGGERER,

And now I'm hearing Mr. Plinkett's voice in my head.

JAGzilla wrote:but still. I'd love to see a proper, competent remake somewhere down the line.

Maybe that's how the MonsterVerse will end?

A big budget Hollywood remake of Destroy All Monsters...

A fan can dream right?
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Terasawa » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:04 pm

I think those of us that didn’t see this when it was reasonably new missed out on the real appeal of this movie. We’ve had quite a few all-star monster lineups in the years since but in 1968 it was entirely novel. Admittedly there’s not much of substance beyond the collection of monsters here -this was totally part of Takeshi Kimura’s “phoning it in” phase- and I understand the usual criticisms but I personally don’t care. I have no problems with the structure of the narrative or the pace or whether the characters are engaging or not. (They aren’t.) This is top ten, top fifteen at worst, for me.

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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Dr. Professor » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:51 pm

Terasawa wrote:I think those of us that didn’t see this when it was reasonably new missed out on the real appeal of this movie. We’ve had quite a few all-star monster lineups in the years since but in 1968 it was entirely novel. Admittedly there’s not much of substance beyond the collection of monsters here -this was totally part of Takeshi Kimura’s “phoning it in” phase- and I understand the usual criticisms but I personally don’t care. I have no problems with the structure of the narrative or the pace or whether the characters are engaging or not. (They aren’t.) This is top ten, top fifteen at worst, for me.

It's number 14 for me. I feel like if the characters were more engaging and the final battle was less underwhelming (though it's still a fun fight), it'd probably crack my top ten. But overall I still enjoy the hell out of this one. 14 ain't a bad spot to be in the Godzilla series. I don't stop caring until about number 25.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Zarm » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:37 am

Never stop caring, Dr. Professor. Never.

*dramatic upraised hand-grasp and stare off into the middle distance*
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Grievous » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:59 am

Zarm wrote:*dramatic upraised hand-grasp and stare off into the middle distance*

*Cue triumphant music with a wide angle shot of the sunrise*
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby JimmyD1318 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:47 pm

One of my favorite's for sure. I love the final battle!
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Major sssspielberg! » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:39 pm

So I have a question for everybody. I've heard anti feminist readings of DAM, and I'm not particularly convinced, though I can see how some might come to that conclusion. The biggest argument was the scene where Yamabe uses physical violence to set Kyoko straight. Any thoughts? (Not trying to get all political, just curious at what some of you guys might think!)
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Grievous » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:42 pm

Major sssspielberg! wrote:So I have a question for everybody. I've heard anti feminist readings of DAM, and I'm not particularly convinced, though I can see how some might come to that conclusion. The biggest argument was the scene where Yamabe uses physical violence to set Kyoko straight. Any thoughts? (Not trying to get all political, just curious at what some of you guys might think!)

Well...it was 1968...in Japan.

:shrug:
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Godzillian » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:19 pm

Major sssspielberg! wrote:So I have a question for everybody. I've heard anti feminist readings of DAM, and I'm not particularly convinced, though I can see how some might come to that conclusion. The biggest argument was the scene where Yamabe uses physical violence to set Kyoko straight. Any thoughts? (Not trying to get all political, just curious at what some of you guys might think!)

I think its people looking in to it too much and put the idea the same place as the one reporter and prophet from GTTHM were gay lovers. The trash
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Maritonic » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:41 am

Major sssspielberg! wrote:So I have a question for everybody. I've heard anti feminist readings of DAM, and I'm not particularly convinced, though I can see how some might come to that conclusion. The biggest argument was the scene where Yamabe uses physical violence to set Kyoko straight. Any thoughts? (Not trying to get all political, just curious at what some of you guys might think!)


Context of the time period. Things were different type thing.

Personally, I've never seen any issue with it, and my wife (who is a hardcore feminist) has never had a problem with any of the Godzilla films. So, i think it's people trying to be relevant with today's social climate.

EDIT--Let me clarify: I'm not saying "yay violence against women! That's good" I'm saying my wife and I have never had issue with it because of the context of the time period it was filmed. I think taking an older film and applying it to today's social climate is moot because things were different between sexes, races, etc. That's all I'm saying.

In all seriousness though, while women were the butts of a lot of jokes (especially in Mothra vs. Godzilla), quite a few of the female roles in Godzilla films weren't the traditional tropes like love interests or damsels in distress. They were reporters or scientists. I'd argue they were more ahead of their time than people would realize. This obviously applies to the Showa and Heisei era before we had Akane and whateverhernamewas in Megaguirus.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Terasawa » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:19 am

Major sssspielberg! wrote:So I have a question for everybody. I've heard anti feminist readings of DAM, and I'm not particularly convinced, though I can see how some might come to that conclusion. The biggest argument was the scene where Yamabe uses physical violence to set Kyoko straight. Any thoughts? (Not trying to get all political, just curious at what some of you guys might think!)


These have to be the same people that think "Baby, It's Cold Outside" encourages rape.

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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:09 am

Major sssspielberg! wrote:So I have a question for everybody. I've heard anti feminist readings of DAM, and I'm not particularly convinced, though I can see how some might come to that conclusion. The biggest argument was the scene where Yamabe uses physical violence to set Kyoko straight. Any thoughts? (Not trying to get all political, just curious at what some of you guys might think!)

I think it’s necessary to admit that a lot of standards for domestic violence/violence against women during this time period was much more acceptable. That’s a harsh reality. That doesn’t mean it’s right, or that anyone has to think Yamabe is a good character, or right for what he did. However, that doesn’t mean based on that one scene that people shouldn’t watch DAM, or that it’s a bad film because of it. I also don’t think there’s any conceivable way someone will watch that and be like,”NOW I CAN HIT WOMEN, WOOO”.

Are there other instances of things like this happening in the shows series, in cases that don’t involve explicit villains?

Also, DAM to me also had one of the most gruesome moments, when that guy committed suicide. It’s not super graphic, but I remember thinking it’s scary because it felt too real. Don’t a lot of people also get shot in that film?
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Maritonic » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:12 am

LSD Jellyfish wrote:
Major sssspielberg! wrote:So I have a question for everybody. I've heard anti feminist readings of DAM, and I'm not particularly convinced, though I can see how some might come to that conclusion. The biggest argument was the scene where Yamabe uses physical violence to set Kyoko straight. Any thoughts? (Not trying to get all political, just curious at what some of you guys might think!)

I think it’s necessary to admit that a lot of standards for domestic violence/violence against women during this time period was much more acceptable. That’s a harsh reality. That doesn’t mean it’s right, or that anyone has to think Yamabe is a good character, or right for what he did. However, that doesn’t mean based on that one scene that people shouldn’t watch DAM, or that it’s a bad film because of it. I also don’t think there’s any conceivable way someone will watch that and be like,”NOW I CAN HIT WOMEN, WOOO”.

Are there other instances of things like this happening in the shows series, in cases that don’t involve explicit villains?

Also, DAM to me also had one of the most gruesome moments, when that guy committed suicide. It’s not super graphic, but I remember thinking it’s scary because it felt too real. Don’t a lot of people also get shot in that film?


There are a handful of people getting shot in the Showa era. I remember seeing Mothra vs. Godzilla as a kid and that shooting actually weirding me out. Still does for some reason, I really don't know why.

Also agree with everything you said; it's about context within the time it was released. Things change.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:14 am

I think that also the fact that we are having this conversation, and realizing that it is a thing that the film does wrong, is actually a very positive thing because it shows how much things have changed for the better.

And yeah, quite a lot of people get shot in the shows series, especially in GVMG, where the Simians gush blood. However, I’m rembering a lot of people undermine control getting shot in the first part with the Kilakian takeover of monster island, and then the beach shoot out.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Terasawa » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:34 am

DAM is unusually graphic for a Honda film: shootout at the Monsterland control center (in which one person gets shot in the head), Dr. Otani’s defenestration, and especially the surgical incision during Otani’s autopsy. Generally this kind of content was avoided in the Godzillas.

Terror of Mdchagodzilla also has quite a bit of graphic content. It was more common in the ‘70s films but it’s much more excessive in TOMG.

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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby eabaker » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:46 am

Well, the increased brutality of DAM relative to other Godzilla flicks of the era can be at least in part attributed to Takeshi Kimura writing the screenplay rather than Shinichi Sekizawa. Kimura's scripts are without fail more cynical and violent than Sekizawa's.

As for the issue of sexism/feminism, just for the sake of discussion, I'd like to point out that, beyond the scene with Kyoko's earrings, that's the further issue that that only female characters in the movie (other than Mothra) are either actively villains or else (in Kyoko's case) controlled by the villains for a substantial portion of the narrative. Taken in the context of the series as a whole, that's an irrelevant blip, but taken only in isolation I can see where it could be read as advancing a sexist/misogynistic perspective.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Maritonic » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:48 am

Terasawa wrote:DAM is unusually graphic for a Honda film: shootout at the Monsterland control center (in which one person gets shot in the head), Dr. Otani’s defenestration, and especially the surgical incision during Otani’s autopsy. Generally this kind of content was avoided in the Godzillas.

Terror of Mdchagodzilla also has quite a bit of graphic content. It was more common in the ‘70s films but it’s much more excessive in TOMG.


That graphic content and bleak feeling of Terror of Mechagodzilla is one reason I love it so. There is just some undercurrent of darkness to it that so many of the later Showa films didn't have (not that they should have, necessarily).
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Pkmatrix » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:12 am

Fun fact I learned today:

Ogasawara - the real life town in the Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands - is actually the antipode (meaning, the exact opposite side of the planet) of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Sat May 18, 2019 7:08 pm

Watching this after watching TOMG last night, I can’t help but feel that TOMG is a better send off then this one.

I think this film is way more complex then it wants to be, and feels like a conglomeration of a bunch of different ideas. It doesn’t know if it wants to be a spy movie, a hard sci-fi film, a Godzilla film, and has way too many elements spinning out of control, leaving nothing in the way of interesting characters. And unfortunately, the film is full of pointless moments.

Pay attention to the sequence where the crew attacks the Kilaakian moon base. While there is some interesting stuff there, such as the fire screen, the master cannon rover, and the controller, note how it keeps cutting back to Professor Yoshida and crew talking about how they wonder what’s going on and if the crew will survive. IIRC there’s even dialogue like “there’s nothing we can do but sit and drink coffee”. All of this isn’t just expository, it’s pointless exposition. It deflates the one interesting action sequence with the space crew. The film is full of a lot of short, but pointless moments like these.

Notice how the film doesn’t know if the ending is Defeating Ghidorah, defeating the fire dragon, or destroying the base. While the fight with Ghidorah is fine, the fire dragon is so pointless and feels like just a way to have the ship do something, which begs the question why not have the fire dragon before, or even included in part of the sequence of the monsters attacking and destroying the earth.

In regards to characters, I forget the main leads name, but he’s the most generic do good hero type, and he actually barely does anything heroic. The same thing goes for everyone around him, and to really dumb because we know all the actors involved are fantastic and charismatic in preceding films. Kyoko is horribly written, it starts to make her out as the main antagonist in a way, and then instantly completely drops her halfway through the film only to be reduced to a cameo status. It doesn’t develop her at all, especially the weird implications of being controlled by aliens post facto.

The film is also poorly paced. We know the monsters attack the earth in a short sequence showing Godzilla, Rodan and Gorosaurus attacking Moscow, Paris and NYC. Then a few minutes later, we get brief shots of Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra destroying a plane, boat, and train. And then that’s it. For a movie about the monsters destroying the world, there should’ve been more, and more OOMPH. It feels like the monsters are immediately forgotten about, and it doesn’t leave the impression that the earth is being destroyed. There’s long gaps between the monster scenes, and the film wouldve been better paced if we kept cutting back to monsters destroying the earth.

In terms of monster action, I’ll forgive the fact that Varan and Baragon are completely pointless, and that Minya and Kumonga are sortve just there, but I couldn’t help but notice how bad the actual monster sequences are. When Godzilla appears in Tokyo, he just destroys a few buildings, while Manda destroys a few overpasses. Rodan flies around for a bit, and then the military shows up and blasts the crap out of not only the monsters but city. Despite their being four monsters, it feels really quick, it’s just undwhelming.

The Kilaaks are probably the most boring aliens in the series. The whole metal thing is cool, but unlike the rest, the leader has no personality and in many ways seems comical.

It’s not the worst Godzilla film, but for what it’s supposed to be it’s dreadful. I don’t want to hear excuses for this one, because IMO films like Godzilla vs Gigan do way more with way less.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Terasawa » Sat May 18, 2019 7:20 pm

"Kaoru Mabuchi's" scripts for Toho's kaiju movies are very perfunctory and this one, even with Honda's contributions, is no different. I like it a lot more than you do, LSD, but I'll admit it's the weakest of the Godzilla films from '62-'68. I will totally disagree about the big monster showcases, though. They may not be as extravagant or as masterful as the Tsuburaya-directed scenes in previous films but both the assault on Tokyo and the final monster battle are well-staged, dynamically photographed, and just long enough, IMO.


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