Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

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

Postby Zarm » Sun May 19, 2019 7:10 am

I would concur, LSD Jellyfish. I saved this one as the finale of my watch through this time, and... It was generally just kind of a letdown. All the flaws you described were there.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby UltramanGoji » Sun May 19, 2019 7:15 am

DAM was a victim of being relatively inaccessible throughout much of the 80s and 90s when home media truly took off so it's garnered this unfitting "holy grail/ultimate movie" reputation that still persists to this day.

It's a shame it doesn't live up to it. There's a lot to like but not a lot it does right.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby eabaker » Sun May 19, 2019 9:16 am

LSD Jellyfish wrote: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.


While I certainly won't try to argue that Katsuso is an especially well-developed or interesting character, I don't think I'd agree that his type is "do good hero." He's far too cold and brutal for that - in keeping with the cold and brutal tone of the whole movie.

It is a poorly structured movie, and the characterizations are two-dimensional at best, often really only one-dimensional. But the tone is distinctive and, in a sense, unsettling or even upsetting enough to give the movie a strange allure for me, personally.

Also, moving away from story, both the human drama and - as Teresawa pointed out - the monster scenes are really dynamically photographed. The at times very colorful production design is pretty appealing as well, and an interesting contrast to the joyless, even dour tone of so much of the action.
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Re: Talkback Thread #9: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Postby Terasawa » Sun May 19, 2019 10:40 am

eabaker wrote:Also, moving away from story, both the human drama and - as Teresawa pointed out - the monster scenes are really dynamically photographed.


Thanks for making that bolded point, too. This was the first SFX film Honda had directed with someone besides Hajime Koizumi behind the camera since 1956. Koizumi was a good cinematographer but I think the new pairing with Taiichi Kankura inspired Honda to experiment (or allow Kankura to) with the photography. There are some really unique shots here that were missing from the Honda/Koizumi films of the mid-'60s:

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(One of the best SFX shots in the entire Toho canon, IMO.

The editing is really interesting at times, too. I love the vertical wipe down as the SY-3 crew (with the ship landed vertically) leaves the ship and the cut/dissolve from Tazaki in front a photograph of the moon to the moonbase with the Earth occupying the same space in the frame that the moon just had. (These are kinda hard to explain without visuals but hopefully everyone else here is familiar enough with the movie.)

The at times very colorful production design is pretty appealing as well, and an interesting contrast to the joyless, even dour tone of so much of the action.


Yes! The set design and color palette is wonderful. It's a very visually appealing movie: the props (alien and future U.N.), the costumes, the scenery... It's a shame that Toho's DVD and 2008 HD masters are so bad.

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

Postby UltramanGoji » Thu May 23, 2019 11:39 am

Just watched this today while I’m recovering from my wisdom teeth surgery and I actually retract my previous statement about it not doing a lot right. Well, partially retract.

The best thing I can liken it to is a Fast and Furious-type film where the characterization and overall quality of the film isn’t necessarily good but it’s full of a lot of fun action and special effects sequences so the viewing is still enjoyable in a way. Films like MVG, GTTHM, and GVTSM have way better characters but Akira Kubo isn’t too bad here.

I think this film and a few others I’ve watched in the past few days solidified Jun Tazaki as one of my favorite Showa series ensemble actors. He’s kind of like Akira Nakao in a way, a little typecast as a military commander/scientist but he always gives an enjoyable performance.

Like others have mentioned, there really is a lot of great shots in the film (I really think the one of Akira Kubo and Jun Tazaki being framed by the decoration is my favorite in the film) and this along with GVTSM have really fantastic color palettes, especially when viewed on Blu-Ray.

So yeah, I’m actually a much bigger fan of DAM than I was before. It pretty much went from a 2/5 to a 3.5/10 for me.
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