Destroy All Monsters (1968)

The Japan Society will host the “Destroy All Monsters” 55th Anniversary Screening at 7 pm on Friday, June 16th. Tickets will be available at This screening will take place at New York City, inside Japan Society’s landmarked headquarters at 333 East 47th Street, one block from the United Nations.

I admit to being one of those people that used to kind of zone out during the human parts of the “Godzilla” movies and then really pay attention during the big fights. I’ve always liked “Godzilla” but “Destroy All Monsters” has always evaded me for some reason. When I used to watch it on network TV it never aired, and I always had a hard time finding it on VHS. “Destroy All Monsters” is basically the “Avengers: Endgame” of its time. It’s the all out assault of giant kaiju duking it out and wreaking havoc on Earth, and director Ishiro Honda throws in everything but the kitchen sink.

In “Destroy All Monsters,” humans have achieved world peace by the year 1999, and various giant monsters are confined to an area known as Monsterland. Each monster has their own sector, where they’re maintained and fed. The monsters are freed from the area and are mind-controlled by aliens known as Kilaaks, who send them to attack major cities. When the monsters are freed from the Kilaaks’ influence, the aliens send King Ghidorah to challenge the other monsters.

To its credit, the drama with the humans is just as good as the big monster fights. I really did like how weird and creepy the Kilaaks are, and I loved to see how the human forces were doing everything to fight back. There’s also some kind of mind control that turns human agents in to zombie like drones, which makes the villains so much more imposing and creepy. Kyoko Ai is especially good as the Queen of the Kilaaks who not only seems to get off on fighting the humans, but also delights in intimidating then time and time again. That’s also because she has all of the monsters in her pocket and is using them as leverage. Featured in the epic monster bash are Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah, Angilas, Minya, Spiega (aka Kumonga), Baragon, Gorosaurus, Manda, and Varan, total.

All that’s missing are King Kong, and Gamera, but due to rights issues they weren’t allowed to be in the movie. It’s too bad we never get to see Mechagodzilla, either, but that’s merely a nitpick for what is pretty much an epic giant monster movie. “Destroy All Monsters” makes good on a huge kaiju battle royale. Although the monsters are under control of the Kilaaks, they do manage to wreak havoc all over the world in various cities like Tokyo, Paris, and New York. Once they have to fight King Ghidorah, they unleash almighty hell, in what is still some of the most exciting kaiju battles put in the series. I know there will probably be so many Godzilla buffs that’d argue this, but that’s okay. “Destroy All Monsters” is a success not only as a crossover movie, and a kaiju movie, but also as a great alien invasion science fiction film.