DESTROY ALL MONSTERS
Destroy All Monsters came out at a time when Toho, as well as their competitor in the monster movie market Toei, had exhausted most of the possibilities of straight monster bashes. Like Universal Studios before them in the 1940s with Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolf Man, they then ventured into pitting their in-house monsters against one another. Beginning with Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster (1964), which featured alien invaders wielding monsters against Japan, they attempted to combine monster movies with the popular space opera genre they had also created. The combination of monster movie and space opera became popular throughout a number of Japanese monster movies of the 1960s and 70s and is used here.
In fact, the space opera aspect is allowed to take over a substantial part the film, leaving Destroy All Monsters feeling like more of a space opera than it is ever a monster movie. The exploits of the Moon rocket expedition and the aliens taking people over gets far more time than the monsters do, for instance. The monster scenes are brief and there is little in the way of mass destruction set-pieces that make these films so much fun. Nor is their any clear good guy monster defender.
The plot is simplistic and considerably wrecked by bad dubbing. The show does rise to the occasion at the climax where it finally engages in one of the wonderfully colourful and silly tag team wrestling matches that makes these films so much fun, with the other monsters all beating up on Ghidrah. Certainly, in terms of the landmark film it was intended as though, Destroy All Monsters is underwhelming.
The other Godzilla films are: Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954), Gigantis the Fire Monster/Godzilla Raids Again/The Return of Godzilla (1955), King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1962), Godzilla vs the Thing/Mothra vs Godzilla (1964), Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Monster Zero/Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965), Godzilla vs the Sea Monster/Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966), Son of Godzilla (1968), Godzillas Revenge (1969), Godzilla vs the Smog Monster/Godzilla vs Hedorah (1971), Godzilla vs Gigan/Godzilla on Monster Island (1972), Godzilla vs Megalon (1973), Godzilla vs the Cosmic Monster/Godzilla vs the Bionic Monster/Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1974), Terror of Mechagodzilla/Monsters from an Unknown Planet (1976), Godzilla 1985 (1984), Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991), Godzilla vs Mothra (1992), Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1993), Godzilla vs Space Godzilla (1994), Godzilla vs Destoroyah (1995), Godzilla 2000 (1999), Godzilla vs Megaguirus (2000), Godzilla Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001), Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (2003), Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) and Shin Godzilla/Godzilla: Resurgence (2016). Both Roland Emmerichs Godzilla (1998) and Gareth Edwards Godzilla (2014) are big-budget, English-language remakes.