Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

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

Postby DoctorMafune » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:29 pm

Shazam14 wrote:King Caesar, why are you letting his opinion bother you? :P If you liked it and think it's good, then that's all that matters.

I can't speak for KC, but like a lot of other people, I find it something of a downer when a film (or album, or person, etc.) I love gets bad reviews from others. I think that's probably natural...that we're wired that way. There's a reason for expressions like "raining on my parade."

Do people have the right to express negative opinions about DAM, or anything else? Sure... as long as the whole point isn't simply to trash-talk everything and show how cool one is by being super-cynical. (I'm not saying anyone here is doing that. But it does happen.)

Criticism goes down easier when it's done with respect for other points of view, and for those aspects of the film (or whatever) that, in the poster's judgment, did deserve some credit. Real people worked hard on this film, and IMO, their efforts really paid off. But if someone else doesn't like it, well, there's no (or very little) accounting for taste. (Which, by the way, was probably the least abrasive of all the things my dear old Dad used to say about Japanese monster movies, in general. So I had plenty of time to think about why across-the-board pans of something one loves don't exactly make one's day.)

Shazam14 wrote:I loved this film. Flaws and all.

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

Postby Kubo » Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:06 pm

Doctor Mafune, you are dead on.

And no hard feelings Svitska; that's the first real argument I've gotten into in a while. Felt nice to vent out a little bit. :)
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby GotengoXGodzilla » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:30 pm

King Caesar wrote:^ DAM was meant to be the big boom at the end of the Godzilla franchise (which obviously didn't happen, as AMA would be released the year after). They wanted to make this epic. Tons of military and destruction sequences were used to make this movie feel significantly more apocalyptic than its predecessors. That was the goal in mind. Personally, I think they executed this pretty well and did a good job of utilizing the military. Speaking of which, the missiles and stuff actually blow up the buildings when they miss. I can't recall any other Showa movie that has that... 8-) I'm not saying your wrong for not liking it; I'm just pointing out what it meant.


...I know that it was meant to be the last Godzilla film. I know what DAM meant to the creators and everything, but I still stand by what I said. I really don't care if they wanted to make it as epic as possible the "last stand", that's not a reason for everyone to instantly like it. I don't like the destruction scenes, because of how they were poorly executed and how long they went on.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby TokyoVigilante » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:34 pm

The film lacks the gusto, artistic flair, or the endearing characters as the film it's most readily comparable to, Monster Zero; in fact it's moreorless a watered down cheaper feeling retread of MZ with just more monsters added. But speaking thematically and its place in the franchise and Godzilla lore, it works fantastically. From the perspective of the climate of the nineteen-sixties with its enthusiasm for the future and the power of science to bring a prosperous future, and the space age that promised a brighter and less bleak future then the one of the atomic age, Destroy All Monsters is a fitting cap to the Showa era and this mindset. These fantastic mutants and prehistoric monsters won't be killed or feared, but they'll live in peace and respected for their power and studied so they could provide back to the human race.

In his treatment for the unmade opus "Twilight of the Superheroes", Alan Moore writes about Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns and how, despite relying on topical eighties issues (which date the book), not killing the character and the very nature of superhero comics to continue on forever, it thematically caps and ends the legend of the Batman in such a way that for all eternity stories of Batman could be made and all could build up to DKR thematically, if not coherently. Alan Moore attempted to do this with the entire DC Universe with his epic adaptation of Götterdämmerung, but it never really came to fruition and would eventually get picked and rejiggered into Kingdom Come.

This is what I like about Destroy All Monsters, it's both a physical and thematic end to the Showa era. Forces of nature and science that have been unwittingly unleashed have been brought under control and now man and monster lives harmoniously in a bright future full of possibilities. For the Showa era, the time period it was made in, and the people behind the films and their own world views, it works perfect in that regard even if it's got more then its fair share of warts.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby GotengoXGodzilla » Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:25 pm

TokyoVigilante wrote:The film lacks the gusto, artistic flair, or the endearing characters as the film it's most readily comparable to, Monster Zero; in fact it's moreorless a watered down cheaper feeling retread of MZ with just more monsters added. But speaking thematically and its place in the franchise and Godzilla lore, it works fantastically. From the perspective of the climate of the nineteen-sixties with its enthusiasm for the future and the power of science to bring a prosperous future, and the space age that promised a brighter and less bleak future then the one of the atomic age, Destroy All Monsters is a fitting cap to the Showa era and this mindset. These fantastic mutants and prehistoric monsters won't be killed or feared, but they'll live in peace and respected for their power and studied so they could provide back to the human race.

In his treatment for the unmade opus "Twilight of the Superheroes", Alan Moore writes about Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns and how, despite relying on topical eighties issues (which date the book), not killing the character and the very nature of superhero comics to continue on forever, it thematically caps and ends the legend of the Batman in such a way that for all eternity stories of Batman could be made and all could build up to DKR thematically, if not coherently. Alan Moore attempted to do this with the entire DC Universe with his epic adaptation of Götterdämmerung, but it never really came to fruition and would eventually get picked and rejiggered into Kingdom Come.

This is what I like about Destroy All Monsters, it's both a physical and thematic end to the Showa era. Forces of nature and science that have been unwittingly unleashed have been brought under control and now man and monster lives harmoniously in a bright future full of possibilities. For the Showa era, the time period it was made in, and the people behind the films and their own world views, it works perfect in that regard even if it's got more then its fair share of warts.



I'm not going to disagree with you on that. I do think that Destroy All Monsters is a great end to the Showa era, for how it wraps up everything that the filmmakers wanted to say about the franchise at that point. It does it well for all the reasons that you pointed out.

However, when looking at Destroy All Monsters on its own merits and ignoring the other entries in the Showa era, the film begins to falter. While the film may not be that long, the pace makes it feel much longer than it is. A lot of scenes tend to repeat of themselves, or have no purpose other than to have action scene. During my latest viewing, I found myself caring less and less, because I felt that the main characters were just going around in the same circle, especially when they were on the moon, attempting to get into the Kilaak base. I really felt that some scenes could have just been cut, because of how repetitive it can be.

I still like Destroy All Monsters, for how well it's made and how it feels like a nice end to the Showa era, but it's far from one of the best Showa films, mostly because how repetitive and boring it can be at times. I'd say Destroy All Monsters is the the most "mixed-bag" of all the Godzilla film, by which I mean it's got a fair share of good points, but also bad points. On one hand, you got this amazingly put together daikaiju film, with tons of monsters, great effects, awesome music and a well-put together cast. On the other hand, by making it an all-out bang, action scenes tend to have no purpose and start to feel the same. It makes for a kind-of experience where I only want to remember the best parts, such as the attack on Mt. Fuji.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby TokyoVigilante » Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:43 pm

This film should have been written by Shinichi Sekizawa. The man practically invented the monster mash-up and this was the most monstrous of all mash-ups. Takeshi Kimura (the dower individual behind Matango, Frankenstein Conquers the World, and The H-Man) who loathed writing assignments such as these, clearly wasn't interested in what he was doing and it shows.

The Kilaaks are easily the blandest, most hum-drum invaders in Toho's roster of alien races. All they have going for them isn't so much a distinct feature as it is a gimmick, that they're all women. They pale in comparison to the detailed and stylish Xilians, or the varied and kooky Nebulans, Simians, or Seatopians.

What gets me about this movie is the ending; the whole business with the Fire Dragon and chasing it down. After the sheer glorious feast for the senses that was the huge battle on Mt. Fuji and it's exactly what you want your audience left dwelling on when the credits role, but instead we have to watch the SY-3 chase around a UFO that's on fire (?!). It's a clumsy piece of business that only exists to address itself and be resolved as soon it appears.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby GotengoXGodzilla » Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:14 pm

I agree with you all the way. The film might have been better if Sekizawa had written it (Maybe, maybe not, since Sekizawa wrote good scripts (Mothra vs. Godzilla), but also wrote some bad ones (I still don't like All Monsters Attack's script as a whole)). The Kilaaks are my least favorite of the Toho alien races, mostly because they never gave a good reason for why they were taking over the earth, other than they felt like it.

The ending is the real head turner. The film was building up to an all-out monster brawl, and it's still the main highlight of the film, as well as one of the highlights of the entire franchise. Why put in more after that? Just go out with a bang, and not with a fight that no one is going to remember. But the worst part about it is that it kind of takes away from the impact of the battle on Mt. Fuji. It wasn't the monsters that defeated the last part of the Kilaak's invasion, but the main characters doing what they've been doing the entire film. It really would have been better if the film ended on Mt. Fuji.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby JVM » Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:45 am

^ Perhaps a recut of the film is in order :P

I haven't seen this one yet, but I'm really pumped to pick it up when MB issues it on DVD. Even aware it'll probably be boring I can't help but be a little excited.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Tohosaurus » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:02 am

TokyoVigilante wrote:The film lacks the gusto, artistic flair, or the endearing characters as the film it's most readily comparable to, Monster Zero; in fact it's moreorless a watered down cheaper feeling retread of MZ with just more monsters added. But speaking thematically and its place in the franchise and Godzilla lore, it works fantastically. From the perspective of the climate of the nineteen-sixties with its enthusiasm for the future and the power of science to bring a prosperous future, and the space age that promised a brighter and less bleak future then the one of the atomic age, Destroy All Monsters is a fitting cap to the Showa era and this mindset. These fantastic mutants and prehistoric monsters won't be killed or feared, but they'll live in peace and respected for their power and studied so they could provide back to the human race.

This is what I like about Destroy All Monsters, it's both a physical and thematic end to the Showa era. Forces of nature and science that have been unwittingly unleashed have been brought under control and now man and monster lives harmoniously in a bright future full of possibilities. For the Showa era, the time period it was made in, and the people behind the films and their own world views, it works perfect in that regard even if it's got more then its fair share of warts.

This.
TokyoVigilante wrote:This film should have been written by Shinichi Sekizawa. The man practically invented the monster mash-up and this was the most monstrous of all mash-ups. Takeshi Kimura (the dower individual behind Matango, Frankenstein Conquers the World, and The H-Man) who loathed writing assignments such as these, clearly wasn't interested in what he was doing and it shows.

The Kilaaks are easily the blandest, most hum-drum invaders in Toho's roster of alien races. All they have going for them isn't so much a distinct feature as it is a gimmick, that they're all women. They pale in comparison to the detailed and stylish Xilians, or the varied and kooky Nebulans, Simians, or Seatopians.

What gets me about this movie is the ending; the whole business with the Fire Dragon and chasing it down. After the sheer glorious feast for the senses that was the huge battle on Mt. Fuji and it's exactly what you want your audience left dwelling on when the credits role, but instead we have to watch the SY-3 chase around a UFO that's on fire (?!). It's a clumsy piece of business that only exists to address itself and be resolved as soon it appears.

& this

JVM wrote:^ Perhaps a recut of the film is in order :P

I haven't seen this one yet, but I'm really pumped to pick it up when MB issues it on DVD. Even aware it'll probably be boring I can't help but be a little excited.

Back in the day they should've ended the movie on Mt. Fuji and just dropped the Fire Dragon piece as an "alternative ending" addition to the special features for later use.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby TokyoVigilante » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:52 am

August mentioned that one of the TV versions that was broadcast in his area as a kid omitted the Fire Dragon ending. Sounds fantastic.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Killswitch » Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:16 am

TokyoVigilante wrote:August mentioned that one of the TV versions that was broadcast in his area as a kid omitted the Fire Dragon ending. Sounds fantastic.


In my area, we were not so fortunate. But, I'll take the American dub over that crappy International dub that we are stuck with on the DVD anyday!

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DAM Fan Made Commentary

Postby g2kmaster » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:10 am

I was wondering if anyone knew of what happened to a fan-made commentary on DAM which was on youtube once? It had some contributions by August Ragone if I remember correctly.

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Re: DAM Fan Made Commentary

Postby Tamura » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:21 am

Interesting. There should be more things like this out there. I would love to hear well-made fan commentaries for the US versions of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA and GODZILLA 1985.
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Re: DAM Fan Made Commentary

Postby Gojira-Fan » Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:45 pm

I knew nothing of this. I would imagine it was taken down for copyright reasons.

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Re: DAM Fan Made Commentary

Postby g2kmaster » Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:36 pm

Wouldn't someone have it though maybe downloaded on their computer or something? I missed out on it and kind of wished I heard it...

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

Postby Tim85 » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:23 pm

Still, there's one thing you got to admit. It must have been a nightmare trying to make the final battle happen: with all the suits and strings all over the place. How they were able to get it to look the way it did in the film just boggles my mind.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby JVM » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:17 pm

I got this on DVD For Christmas and I have to be honest, I just can't seem to sit through this. Three times now I've put it in my DVD player and been through 10-minute segments and I just keep taking it out. I don't know what it is about this movie. I was looking forward to finally watching it and now it feels like a chore.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Crazy Jim Films » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:41 pm

I got the Blu-Ray for Christmas and I think a lot of it still works but I'll agree that the astrounat laser beam Kilak base scene really kills some momentum and the previously-mentioned "Fire Dragon" ending doesn't quite work either. The area in between Godzilla chasing them through the woods and the monsters ariving to do battle with Ghidrah is where the flick hits a rough patch. I still like it more than "Monster Zero" though.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby menschenjaeger » Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:49 am

I watched it last night for the first time in many, many, years. First time watching the Japanese version.

Honestly, the pacing didn't bother me one whit. The plot wasn't as holey as Monster Zero, but there was still something about it that made it a bit of a disappointment: Many of the effects just seemed...sloppy. Things that they pulled off well in previous films looked clumsy. Rodan, especially, almost always looked bad in flight. Some of the destruction sequences lacked impact somehow, and the composite shot of the soldiers getting out of the truck during the first assault on the Kilaak base was groan-inducing. The lackluster destruction sequences and sloppy sfx sucked a lot of the impact out of it for me.

Ok, now that I got the bad stuff out of the way, there was plenty of good sfx work, and overall, I loved it. Fire Dragon didn't ruin anything for me, and yelling "DO A BARREL ROLL!" helped.

But, man, oh, man, the reporter on the scene at Fuji-san as the monsters appeared...I caught myself clapping. I was in total kid-mode - I think my heart was actually beating faster.

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

Postby JVM » Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:25 pm

Finally sat through this.

Despite everything, the ending sold the movie for me. Seeing most of the monsters team up against Ghidorah was just perfection. Most of the monster stuff, besides some weaknesses in Rodan, was pretty good. The human stuff all felt almost pointless, however - I felt nothing for the human characters as individuals, only for the whole of humanity. The Killiaks weren't even particularly menacing or sympathetic villains.
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