The start of the Matsuri sub-period that lasted until 1975, this film was fully aimed at a youth demographic. Instead of playing in first-run theaters, it instead played at the Toho Champion Festival, an biannual summer/winter matinee program intended for schoolchildren.
It uses extensive stock footage of various previous movies. Because of its mostly irrelevant nature, it remains one of the easiest targets for criticism and sometimes hatred from the fanbase at large; in other words, it is considered the worst film in the entire franchise (though it does have competition). It is the last Godzilla movie that Eiji Tsuburaya, special effects master of the series would be involved in before his death.
Rather than focusing on Godzilla, the film is the story of latchkey kid Ichiro, who, between his parents being busy, school bullies, and the bad neighborhood he lives near, chooses to escape his troubles by imagining himself going on adventures with Godzilla's son Minya on Monster Island. Through these journeys into imagination and watching Godzilla fight his battles and try to help his son figure out how to deal with his own bully, a warty ogre called Gabara, Ichiro learns how to stand up for himself and fight, which comes in handy when he's kidnapped by bank robbers. After outwitting them and beating his bully, the film ends with Ichiro's childhood possibly going into a better direction by having gained the respect of his peers.
Disputably, this film is self-contained, as Godzilla is a fictional character here, but it is followed by Godzilla vs. Hedorah where it resumes Showa Godzilla's storyline.
This film contains examples of:
- All Just a Dream: All the monster sequences within Ichiro's imagination, which serve as life lessons for how to deal with human bullies and bandits.
- Alternate Continuity: Unlike the rest of the Showa era which are connected to each other in some way, this film plays out as if Godzilla, Minya and his monster allies were fictional characters that Ichiro looks up to and enjoys.
- At Arm's Length: Gabara does this to Minya, then electrocutes him.
- Breather Episode: The film was always intended as a light children's feature to kickstart the Champion Festival matinee program and was never put up or dubbed by Toho themselves for export.
- Broken Aesop: The movie attempts to tell an anti-bullying message by having Ichiro stand up for himself after being bullied relentlessly throughout the film, and while it does a decent job at first in delivering its message, it immediately falls flat when at the end Ichiro decides to win over his bullies by pranking an innocent man who's just painting a sign by scaring him off his ladder. A man who had nothing to do with his bullying to begin with, and in any other movie would've likely gotten either seriously injured or killed.
- Bullying a Dragon: Really Gabara? You're gonna attack the father of the kid monster who just handed you your ass, when said father is a capable fighter and judo throws you over his shoulder? This action also fits as Too Dumb to Live. What's more is previous scenes show Gabara is completely aware of how dangerous Godzilla is compared to him and runs rather than fighting him. It seems he was just that much of a Sore Loser after getting beaten up by his bully victim.
- Celebrity Paradox: Young Ichiro is a fan of Godzilla, as a character. This is evident of being one of Ishirō Honda's entries, meaning Honda is one himself.
- Clip Show: The bulk of the movie's monster scenes are lifted directly from the previous three films, with no effort put into disguising this (for example, each of those films used a different Godzilla suit, so his appearance constantly changes with no explanation when footage from all three is edited together).
- Crashing Dreams: At one point, Ichiro gets separated from Minya and wrapped up by the vines of a Man-Eating Plant. He then wakes up to find he's being kidnapped.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: After being outsmarted by Minya, Gabara shows that he's a Sore Loser by starting a fight with Godzilla. Unsurprisingly, it's a mostly one-sided scrap, though Gabara gets a small victory in that his Shock and Awe powers manage to give Godzilla some trouble before Minya intervenes.
- Extremely Short Timespan: The main storyline takes place over less than a day of Ichiro's life.
- Free-Range Children: Ichiro wanders around the city by himself a lot, going into places a kid like him has no business being in. Justified in that both his parents lead busy work lives, which leaves him on his own most of the time.
- He Knows Too Much: The robbers relentlessly pursue Ichiro because he stumbled upon and claimed a wallet with a driver's license belonging to them. It proves to be their undoing, as they waste so much time dealing with a kid who honestly knew nothing about them that the police are able to track them down and arrest them.
- Lighter and Softer: Probably the most light-hearted of all the Godzilla films, even among the Showa movies. A series that started as a grim allegory for a nuclear holocaust made flesh is now a coming-of-age story of a young boy learning to overcome bullying and all the kaiju sequences are relegated to dream sequences.
- Never Trust a Trailer: "Godzilla's Revenge knows no limit, no end, no stopping!" The U.S. theatrical trailer promises Godzilla's supposed revenge, but...this type of advertising happened after the film's failed East Coast run as Minya - Son of Godzilla, which was all too honest about the content of the film.
- Non-Indicative Name: None of the official titles paint a very accurate picture of the film in general.
- The original Japanese title All Monsters Attack is nonsense, considering that even with the use of the previous films' footage, only a handful of monsters are actually featured in the movie.
- At no point does Godzilla seek any sort of revenge, making the Godzilla's Revenge title for the American version confusing.
- Oddball in the Series: See Breather Episode above. It is shortest film of the entire franchise, running a brisk 70 minutes, and the only one set outside a universe in which Godzilla or any other monster exists.
- Parental Substitute: Since Ichiro's parents aren't around a lot of the time, the toymaker Shinpei Minami, who lives next door, takes it upon himself to look after the kid when he can.
- Post-Climax Confrontation: Just after Minya finally defeats Gabara for good within Ichiro's Monster Island dream, the latter's bullies come and confront him again one final time, only for him to soon ward them off using a fire extinguisher.
- Revenge of the Sequel: The English version's title makes no sense, since Godzilla doesn't even seek revenge.
- Rule of Symbolism: Ichiro and Minilla are parallels to each other. They're lonely children who are often bullied, and sought to stay with their parents. Ichiro's father is at work to provide for his family despite his lack of availability while Godzilla battles other monsters to keep Minilla safe despite his lack of availability. They both even gain the courage to stand up for their respective Gabaras. Considering it's an Ishirō Honda film, you know the symbolism is very intentional.
- Shock and Awe: Gabara's primary powers. He actually manages to hurt Godzilla with them briefly.
- Sore Loser: Gabara becomes this after he loses to Minya and spitefully bites Godzilla's leg during a father-son moment.
- Stupid Crooks: The robbers are a bumbling duo who frequently get outsmarted by a kid they kidnapped purely out of misplaced paranoia.
- Too Dumb to Live: Sure, Gabara, attack the giant dinosaur that has atomic breath, has defeated monsters far more powerful than you, and is pretty much synonymous with a godlike being, and his name literally means "God Incarnate". This won't end poorly...