This movie once held the record of "most kaiju", with
11 to be exact (only beaten by Godzilla:
Final Wars in 2004). This was sure to
excite kaiju hardcores. Sure enough, it did, with
a successful box office rating. This was considered
to be the "last great Showa Godzilla film"
by many fans, due to the slide in quality and
budget in subsequent entries. Almost all of the
destruction scenes were devoid of stock footage,
while the films to follow would use loads in comparison.
It is the year 1999. All of the
Earth's giant monsters have been gathered and
now live on Monsterland. They are kept within
reasonable borders, to avoid the endangerment
of lives. Beneath the ground, the creatures are
monitored by underground control centers. One
day, gas mysteriously seeps into the subterranean
area, KO-ing most of the scientists. The monsters
mysteriously vanish and soon, the UN receives
calls about monster attacks all across the globe.
Rodan attacks Moscow, Gorosaurus attacks Paris
(destroying the Arc de Triomphe), and Godzilla
attacks New York!
Usually the monsters are relatively
peaceful, and its up to the crew of the Moonlight
SY-3 to disembark from the UNSC Moon Base to find
out who is the culprit behind this series of sinister
events. They arrive underground, and discover
their friends and fellow workers under Kilaak
control. The Kilaak Queen, the leader of this
colonizing alien race, believes that the Earth
was made to inhabit the Kilaakian men, women (mysteriously,
you only see the women in the film),
and children; and the monsters of earth have been
made pawns in her diabolical desire for invasion.
Suddenly, the monsters head toward Japan decimating
Tokyo and gripping the nation in fear. Eventually,
the crew manages to destroy the Kilaaks' mind
control device, and the creatures that were once
under Kilaak control head to earth base of their
former masters in a full-out onslaught. However,
they are ambushed by King Ghidorah (YAY! my favorite)
and engage in one of the most epic monster battles
of all time!
The acting is a bit flawed here.
The main characters barely show any emotion, even
after discovering their friends under alien control.
Akira Kubo's performance is flat out emotionless.
Concerning the antagonist, the Kilaak Queen has
an odd "calmness" about her, which lends
that character to adopt a greater menacing persona.
Concerning the English voice acting in the International
Version; it matched the lip movements well, and
seemed more realistic than other attempts.
Music-wise, this is my favorite
Ifukube score, due to it's militaristic quality
and tone. My favorite theme is King Ghidorah's
theme, which makes a great return in this film.
I also like the SDF march, which plays when the
military prepares to launch a counterattack against
Godzilla. The Kilaakian theme is also fairly haunting,
an eerie string piece that is used effectively
throughout the movie. Great score!
Turning to the subject of special
effects, this film is the last of the greats (before
it all went downhill). The rotoscoping used to
render the monsters' beams are fluidly animated,
as with most other 60's Godzilla movies.
Most of the monster scenes do not utilize stock
footage (a plus). One last thing to note is the
odd appearance of blood during the final fight.
Tsuburaya does not allow bloodshed in monster
This film is hard to find, with
sub-par DVD editions released by ADV Films. These
are bare bones and have no menus; however, I am
just grateful to have the movie on DVD. This was
the last Showa film to feature Godzilla destroying
a city, just one more reason to enjoy it. Buy
this, even if it means hunting down the Region
2 Toho edition. It's well worth the money!