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Film / Destroy All Monsters

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Time is running out for the human race!

"Uh, about all I can tell you now, could be looked upon as ancient history. When the monsters first appeared, they meant to destroy the Earth."
~ Dr. Yoshida, in Titan Productions' dub of the film.

The ninth Godzilla film and originally set to be a Grand Finale (though remains this chronologically for the original series). The last time Tomoyuki Tanaka, Ishiro Honda, Eiji Tsuburaya, and Akira Ifukube collaborated together on the franchise, and entitled Kaijū Sōshingeki ("Attack of the Marching Monsters").

The year is 1999, where the world has corralled all the world's monsters into a heavily secure island base in the Ogasawara archipelago called Monsterland and a new Moonbase is being established with the brand new rocket ship Moonlight SY-3. However, things go awry when Monsterland is suddenly gassed by aliens and both the monsters and humans are brought under the control of a group of space women known as Kilaaks. They've made the Monsterland crew into henchmen and have sent the monsters around the world with Godzilla attacking New York, Rodan to Moscow, Gorosaurus to Paris, and Mothra to Beijing. It is up to the crew of the Moonlight SY-3 to sabotage the Kilaak control device, while the monster attacks intensify and the Kilaaks plot to make things more comfortable for them by raising the temperatures. Upon their success, the monsters rally to attack the Kilaak base at Mount Fuji, but the Kilaaks pull another card from their sleeves: King Ghidorah, leading to a climactic showdown for Earth.

Canonically, this is the final film of the Showa Godzilla storyline, but it's followed by All Monsters Attack in terms of production.

This film contains examples of

  • Advertised Extra: While the film does feature a huge number of monsters, most of them only appear for a few seconds each. In fact, the majority of the film bar the very end has only very brief cuts to monster action, with the focus being on the humans trying to thwart the Kilaaks' control over them.
  • Affably Evil: The Kilaak leader.
  • The Alcatraz: Monsterland is basically a prison for Toho kaiju.
  • All Your Powers Combined: TEN monsters vs King Ghidorah. Geeze.
    • Though to be fair, only six really do anything.
  • Alien Invasion: Well, yeah.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Also from the dub "We will sneak into the Kilaak base from the left." The left of what? Whose left? Your left, or the base's left? This is why modern military jargon uses directions such as west or north.
  • Artistic License – Space:
    • In the dub: "There are many small planets between Mars and Jupiter!" Good grief, just dub it as "asteroids"...
    • Fully invoked with the plan to invade the Killak's moon base. At one point, the leader going over the plan explains that they will be 'sneaking from the left through the swamp.' On the moon. Which has no atmosphere, and certainly does not have swamps.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Though the Kilaaks appear to be merely Human Aliens at first glance, they can only take that form while remaining at high temperatures, their real forms being more like metallic slugs.
  • Blood from the Mouth: King Ghidorah during his battle against the Monsters. This should be noted that Eiji Tsuburaya, the SFX supervisor of the film has quote several times before that he'd ''never'' have Godzilla or any of the monsters in Toho bleed... though this is perhaps because his protege Sadamasa Arikawa did the actual directing.
  • Brainwashed: The poor workers of the Monsterland facility. The main characters had to kill them without realizing that they were being mind-controlled Mooks.
    • King Ghidorah is also mind controlled by the aliens, being used as a weapon of last resort against the Earth monsters. This leads to his demise.
  • The Bus Came Back: This was Anguirus' first appearance since 1955, thirteen years prior. With Godzilla Raids Again having been fairly forgettable even for the people of that time, his inclusion here was unexpected but very well-received.
  • Characterization Marches On: Remember that this Godzilla is from Godzilla Raids Again? The next several films made him even...wackier.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The different jumpsuits of the various crews all match. For example, the Moonlight crew all sport yellow rubber suits, while the Moon crew all wear red.
  • Cool Starship: The Moonlight SY-3.
  • Crisis Crossover: This film was a mashup of all of the kaiju from Ishiro Honda's films (minus Moguera, Frankenstein, Dogora, the Gargantuas, the Kamacuras, Mechani-Kong, and the Giant Condor, who were Killed Off for Real in their debut films; Ebirah and the Giant Octopus, whose fates are unknown; and King Kong, most likely due to legal issues)note .
    • King Kong was in the script for the version of this story that was being considered in 1967 in competition with the winning idea that became Sonof Godzilla. Sanda was to have been seen hanging around on Monsterland in one of the late drafts of the script (though he did not participate in the later action). Ebirah was also in later drafts, but didn't make it into the final film.
  • Determinator: Anguirus just won't...stop...attacking during the final battle. Despite being up against King Ghidorah, who is much larger and stronger than he is, the scrappy ankylosaur doesn't let up taking on Ghidorah on his own initially.
  • Didn't Think This Through: As a final ploy after all the Earth's monsters break free of their control, the Kilaaks send in King Ghidorah to kill them all. You know, the one who took Godzilla and Rodan alone to defeat him in his last appearance (along with Angurius, who helps with Godzilla's fight with him and Gigan) and even Mothra in his debut film, and now he's up against Godzilla, Rodan, Anguirus, Mothra, and FIVE other monsters working together (technically ten, but Varan, Baragon, and Manda never end up doing anything but spectating due one not having a proper suit note , one whose suit was only recently repaired in time, but was risky to usenote  and the last one requiring a bunch of wires to make it move note ). You start to wonder if the Kilaaks were really so idiotic that they thought King Ghidorah had a sure victory despite this, or they were just bluffing at that point. Granted every time King Ghidorah lost prior, he just left the battle after giving up or had been just broken out of control and was erratic, whereas the Kilaaks deployed him under their direction.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The humans earn their right to continue to exist by destroying the alien mind control devices and the Earth monsters earn their right to live the rest of their days in peace on Monsterland by killing the world destroying King Ghidorah once and for all.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: Once Earth's kaiju manage to ground King Ghidorah, they proceed to literally beat him to death. First Anguirus, then Godzilla, Gorosaurus; and the rest all basically dogpile him. Given every appearance of his has had him viciously assault any monster opposing him and he's wiped out entire planets for fun, it's hard to blame the kaiju.
  • Failed Future Forecast: Averted, when Rodan attacks Moscow, no mention is made of the Soviet Union.note 
  • Foregone Conclusion: This is this the chronological final film in the Showa Era. Meaning everything happening after this film will be set up with this one. Such as King Ghidorah appearing in Godzilla vs. Gigan. King Ghidorah's fate is already set in this film.
  • Humiliation Conga: For King Ghidorah.
  • Killed Off for Real: King Ghidorah is finally killed by Earth's monsters. This is the Showa King Ghidorah's canonical death, all later appearances are set before this.
  • Monumental Damage: With this many kaiju and locations, it's inevitable, here we have:
    • Godzilla destroying the United Nations Building with his Atomic Breath while attacking New York City, the Empire State Building likewise appears in the background, though the Chrysler Building and the Statue of Liberty are nowhere to be seen, though it's implied Godzilla destroyed them both off-screen.
    • Rodan leveling the historic domes of Ivan the Great's Bell Tower with his mighty wings while invading Moscow, USSR, with both the Kremlin Wall and the Parliament building cameoing, though St. Basil's Cathedral is missing in action (though it was likely destroyed off-screen due to its close proximity to the Bell Tower).
    • Gorosaurus burying underneath the Arc de Triomphe causing it to collapse in half while terrorizing Paris, France with the Eiffel Tower briefly appearing note  right before Gorosaurus pops up.
    • Mothra Larva smashes through Beijing, China (here it's called Peking) though the city itself doesn't appear at all in the film proper with the event taking place off-screen, the closest we get to anything Beijing-related is Mothra attacking a Chinese train near the Chinese capital.
    • Manda likewise levels London completely off-screen (which was shown in the Manga adaptation of the film)note .
  • Mythology Gag: Rodan was written as an allegory for the Soviet nuclear threat, so it was no surprise that the Kilaaks would send Rodan to attack Moscow, Russia.
  • Newscaster Cameo: For the umpteenth time in a Toho sci-fi film (Look carefully, his cameos go as far back as the original film), Japanese news reporter Saburo Iketani appears as himself, even though the film is set in 1999. Maybe it's his son?
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: How many of those missile attacks during the Tokyo scene hit the buildings more than the monsters?
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: When King Ghidorah bites Anguruius, causing him to fall, Angurius's impact causes an earthquake that uncovers the Kilaak's base.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The battle with Ghidorah turns into this towards the end, culminating with Godzilla and the others mercilessly stomping Ghidorah's brains out. If you look carefully, blood spurts out of Ghidorah's mouths.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Kilaak leader's reaction to hearing Godzilla's roar towards the end of the movie, realizing that he's found her base and that it's all over. It's a brief yet satisfying moment, especially after the humans and the viewer have been treated to the Kilaaks' smug and arrogant attitude throughout the film.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: King Ghidorah's death is very brutal, but considering the guy liked to destroy planets for fun, he had it coming.
    • It gets worse for him when you realize he died as a slave instead of with the freedom he so enjoyed using to kill others.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: Just following King Ghidorah's brutal death sequence at the hands of the countless other Kaiju, a so-called "burning monster" suddenly appears out of nowhere and confronts the human protagonists, only for them to soon shoot it with a freeze-ray of some sort and subsequently reveal it to been nothing more than yet another UFO in disguise all along as it explosively crash-lands down onto the Earth's surface, also resulting in the Kilaak's true final defeat immediately thereafter.
  • Series Fauxnale: The film was intended to end the series, but it proved to be so popular that more films ended up being made. Though it should be noted, chronologically, this film is still the ending of the Showa Era timeline.
  • Smug Snake: The Kilaaks' leader. Throughout the film, she treats the protagonists and their efforts against her people's conquest with dismissive arrogance, taunting them repeatedly. Even when the humans break the Kilaaks' mind control and create their own device, the Leader remains unfazed and smugly pulls out King Ghidorah as a trump card, only for the Earth's kaiju to soundly defeat him. And even after that, she still won't admit defeat, continuing to taunt the humans after unleashing the Fire Dragon as a final act of defiance. But just as she's vowing to use the Fire Dragon to burn what remains of Tokyo note  to the ground, she hears Godzilla's roar. In a brief yet satisfying moment, her smugness gets wiped right off her face, as it finally hits her that the party's over as Godzilla personally destroys the Kilaaks' base, ending their threat permanently.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: While it’s not hard to argue that he deserved every single minute of it, King Ghidorah’s death at the hands of the collective No-Holds-Barred Beatdown delivered by Earth’s monsters can be very hard to watch (especially for fans of Ghidorah). After putting up a good fight initially, the monsters knock King Ghidorah down, and what follows is absolutely brutal. One head has its neck mangled by Anguirus, while another gets stomped on by Godzilla, with the other monsters pitching in as they see fit, all while King Ghidorah wails in agony, with the camera frequently cutting to shots of its tails spasmodically rising and falling, over and over again, growing weaker every time, until, finally, he goes deathly still.
    • He also died a slave instead of the free agent of evil he was introduced as.
    • And to add further insult to an already grievous injury, he's killed off by the son of his top arch-nemesis to boot.
  • Time Skip: All of the other Godzilla movies were set in the time that they were made (or in the vague "near future"), but this one is set in the then-future year of 1999.
  • Truth in Television: Rodan is shown diving into the water to catch dolphins, fossil evidence seems to indicate that real Pteranodons would hunt this way as well.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Brought together most of the players in Toho's Kaiju Universe (With the exception of Moguera, Frankenstein, Dogora, the Gargantuas, Ebirah and the Giant Condor, the Kamacuras, the Giant Octopus, and King Kong) for an Epic Battle For The Fate of Earth.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Anguirus' jaw must have healed some time between Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and this movie. Destroy All Monsters was made first, of course, so perhaps Toho just forgot about that detail when making the former film. Or the jaw breaking healed and made him come back stronger.
  • Vichy Earth: What the Kilaaks want to turn Earth into.
  • Zeerust: Even for its time, the aliens seemed dated with their all-silver suits and 50's style saucer ship.
  • Zerg Rush: No matter how much of a badass you are, being outnumbered still isn't good. King Ghidorah, the most badass of Toho's evil monsters, finds himself outnumbered by all of Earth's monsters. Although it must be noted that a lone bear can defeat a pack of wolves so the numbers thing doesn't always work in real life but numbers can be a very good factor in a fight. However, in this case this includes three monsters (Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan) who Ghidorah was beaten by in his first appearance, now with a lot of backups, so his death is to be expected.