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.

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Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) [4K UHD/Blu-Ray/Digital]

It’s surprising that in a film climate where extended universes fail from the starting gate, that the Kong/Godzilla modern film universe has been a quiet success. The crown jewel so far is “Godzilla vs. Kong,” a pretty great monster clash that pits monkey against lizard, and delivers some great rumbles between the pair. Director Adam Wingard is more than up to the challenge of giving fans the long awaited movie clash, and as expected, “Godzilla vs. Kong” met every expectation that I had.

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Godzilla (2014) [4K/Blu-Ray/Digital HD]

After the travesty that was the 1998 Roland Emmerich reboot of “Godzilla,” the king of the monsters went in to hiding from the states for a long time. It was until Legendary came along to hop on the expanded universe band wagon to finally give Gojira and his merry band of monsters and allies a chance to win a new generation of fans. Despite some bumps and tumbles, Gareth Edwards’ “Godzilla” is a giant step up from the 1998 embarrassment and still manages to travel well, with or without the impending “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

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The Bootleg Files: Cozzilla

BOOTLEG FILES 623: “Cozzilla” (1977 Italian riff on “Godzilla, King of the Monsters!”).

LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.


REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Never commercially released outside of Italy.


In 1976, Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis unleashed a remake of “King Kong” on the moviegoing public. Inspired by the commercial success of this endeavor, Italian filmmaker Luigi Cozzi figured that he could score his box office hit with a monster film. But rather than create a new film from scratch, he sought to re-release the 1954 Japanese classic “Godzilla.” But Cozzi’s simple plan turned out to become a lot more complex than he anticipated, and what he eventually put into theaters is widely regarded as one of the most bizarre productions ever made.

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King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

This is the bash we were all waiting for: the king of the monsters from America meets the king of the monsters from Asia—by way of Toho. Really, King Kong is given something of an Asian treatment this time around, increased in size, and allowed much more of a loophole to face Godzilla for this giant monster bash. I saw the Universal International version where the producers take it upon themselves to over explain everything. In this version the head of a pharmaceuticals company wants to grab a rare berry that is found on a distant island. Said berry has narcotic properties but it non-addictive. Wanting to improve his ratings and invest in a potential product, he sends two executives to the island to find the berries and the mythical monster the villagers are said to placate with juice from the berries.

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Hail to the King: 60 Years of Destruction (2015) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2016]

hail-to-the-kingThis American documentary shows what the Japanese think of the King of Kaijus, the big G, Godzilla.  This documentary was shot using crowd funding to garner its budget.  Director and uber Godzilla fan Kyle Yount went to Tokyo in July 2014 to film this fan love letter to his favorite monster.

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Men in Suits (2012)


Director Frank H. Woodward’s “Men in Suits” is one of the best film related documentaries ever made. It’s an insightful and entertaining look at a rarely covered corner of Hollywood that’s gone unnoticed and uncredited since the beginning of film. “Men in Suits” is a fantastic chronicle of the facet of Hollywood films revolving around men that dress up as monsters for horror, fantasy, and science fiction, and bring to life many of the most iconic and horrific monsters ever put to film. Woodward chronicles how the art form began in the golden age of filmmaking, and has become something of a rare form of performance art in the era where studios are dependent on CGI and polygons.

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Godzilla (2014) [Blu-ray/DVD/Digital]


Warner Bros. Pictures were wise to hire Gareth Edwards to film what is essentially a reboot of the Godzilla series for American audiences. Director Edwards displays a knack for depicting giant monsters as forces of nature that affect civilization, and he carries a lot of the sensibilities from “Monsters,” over in to the reworking of “Godzilla.” His version of “Godzilla” is less monsters stomping around and fist fighting, and more of a disaster film with a slew of human beings affected by the chaos that two monsters inflict when they rise from their gestation to feed on radiation around the world and wreak pure chaos. “Godzilla” is a sterner and dramatic approach to the lore, offering a very interesting dynamic between characters, all of whom carry through the themes of family and unity among the human race. Particularly fatherhood.

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