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4.1 out of 5 stars
Destroy All Monsters
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76 of 84 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Unlike many of the currently posted reviews, I'm going to be reviewing the actual release, rather than speculating or complaining about the cover EDIT-Amazon now lists the proper cover shot as to what was used on the release).

I received my Blu Ray of Destroy All Monsters today and promptly dropped it into the Blu Ray player.

I commend Media Blasters/Tokyo Shock for releasing this one.

From a story perspective, all the giant monsters are collected on a single island (Monster Island) for research purposes. Contact is lost with the control facility and what is discovered is that a race of aliens has taken control of the giant monsters. The giant monsters are sent to many different cities across the world and the human race must then wrestle control of the giant monsters back from the aliens. Fun stuff!

Video:

I'm torn here. I really, really wanted to love this release. What is there is 1080p HD in name, but the detail quality seems kind of low. I don't know what happened, but the colors seem washed out and faded while there are some instances of dust and dirt to be seen. Interestingly enough, you can still see the control cables and wires used for various special effects, so perhaps this was the best that could be done with it? I've read (and a commenter stated the possibility) that the source was a 35mm print.

In my mind, the Blu Ray doesn't look to be much better than an upscaled DVD. I don't have the Media Blasters DVD to compare directly, so I don't know if it really is an upscale or not, but every indication points to this being a true HD source.

Disappointing from an HD perspective certainly. If this is the same quality that was released in Japan (can't verify myself, sorry), then that tells me it is a source issue, but I don't know because I can't compare.

Forums I've been to indicate this is the same master used on the Japanese release, but take that for what it is worth without validation.

Audio:

5.1 Japanese, along with 2.0 Japanese and English 2.0 (2 audio streams for English). I watched in Japanese 5.1 and the music and effects seem to be well separated in the front speakers, while the rear channels barely got much use. Since this was original recorded in 2.0 stereo anyway, I flipped over and I have to say the stereo separation is just about as good in my mind as the 5.1 in Japanese.

I spot checked the English audio tracks and they seem to be on par in terms of audio quality as the Japanese. In terms of the quality of the English dub, I leave that to others to decide. Seems OK to me, but I expect hokey English on my giant monster movies anyway!

Based on a comment on my review, I went back to check the English dub. I can confirm, without question, that BOTH the AIP AND the "International" Toho dub are, in fact, on this disc. Both English tracks are, however, in 2.0 Stereo ONLY. There is no 5.1 English dub. Not that most people who wanted the AIP dub would care that much, considering the film was in 2.0 stereo originally anyway.

Packaging:

For those of you in love with the image Amazon has up, be prepared to be disappointed. Or not, if you hated it. From the time it was displayed here to time of release, the cover has been changed. If you check out the Destroy All Monsters wikipedia entry, this release uses the poster artwork displayed there. It looks good to me.

Otherwise the packaging is pretty bare bones. No inserts in the case or anything. Serviceable, but at $30 MSRP I'd have hoped for something a little better.

Extras:

Commentary is pretty good. Very nice to have it included.

All of the trailers are in standard definition, which is OK I suppose.

All of the Extras content is 480i and NOT 1080p.

You get original trailers (English, Japanese, French (poor audio quality), RADIO spots for the AIP dub (English only with still images from the film) ), a storyboard image gallery, an 8mm reel from AIP (quality is poor, but it's still really cool to see this!) and image gallery.

In my original Amazon review I ended up passing over a lot of the extras, so for that, I am terribly sorry.

The extras on this disc are pretty fantastic in my mind. Media Blasters/Tokyo Shock put a lot of love into pulling together all of this material.

Final Verdict:

Destroy All Monsters is one of the best Godzilla movies around. It deserves to be owned, certainly. The Blu Ray release is probably the prettiest release the movie has seen, though that's not saying much with some of the previous releases.

I've given it 4 stars because of the sloppy video (possibly not Media Blasters/Tokyo Shock's fault, I don't know). What is outstanding is the audio. Video drops the review by a star.

If you don't already own it and enjoy the film, this is definitely worth picking up. If you are OK with the video quality on prior release and don't care about the AIP dub, keep your money.

If you want the AIP English dub, this is THE release to get.

Media Blasters/Tokyo Shock did an outstanding job on this release. Pulling together the trailers, the radio spots and even the commentary shows me that they actually appreciate the release as much as many fans. The video quality is the only mar on an outstanding release and it is something I can look past, as I've since learned that the video is from Toho's own remastered (in 2008) video.

If you are a Godzilla fan, this is definitely worth the purchase price without question.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Oh, how well I remember this one from a Saturday afternoon way back when! "Destroy All Monsters" is the ultimate Japanese monster movie that makes good on its promise to offer up every creature in this pantheon: Godzilla, Rodan, Gidrah, Mothra, Bagara, Spidrah, Minilla and Manda. There are so many monsters in this movie that there are some I have never seen before, and I thought I had seen more than my fair share of monster flicks from the Land of the Rising Sun. The excuse for the non-stop mayhem is that a sinister race of aliens is using Earth's own monsters to destroy every capital in the world (e..g, Godzilla takes out NYC). The only chance for the human race is for the United Nations Star Ship Moonlight SYS (you have to love the name) to locate the secret hidden base of the Kilaks, which is somewhere on the moon. If they can break the control of the aliens over the monsters, Earth has a chance! This 1968 film from director Ishiro Honda is letterboxed and dubbed in English (of course; would you have it any other way?). "Destroy All Monsters" certainly jams more destruction by guys in monster suits (or monsters suspended by wires) than any film you will ever come across. Sooner or later, if you are a fan of this genre, you have to check this one out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This film, Destroy All Monsters, is definitely one of the greatest films of the Godzilla series. Though the plot is kind of cheesy, and Godzilla's son is just plain stupid, the film's final battle makes up for it, featuring eleven officially licensed Toho monsters (Godzilla, Rodan, Angilas, Mothra larva, Spiega, Gorosaurus, Baragon, Varan, Manda, King Ghidorah, and unfortunately, Minya) in one scene. Sadly, Baragon, Varan, and Manda are left out of the action, and you see them only for like three seconds apiece (except Manda, who attacks Tokyo with Godzilla). It's also really cool that each monster destroys a different capital city of the world. Even though so many monsters battle Ghidorah, Godzilla, Angilas and Gorosaurus do practically all the work. My favorite scene is when Ghidorah just drops dead, overwhelmed by the monsters' power (yes, he is killed in this movie, but remember, it is 1999, which is supposedly after all of the other films). Best of all, this movie inspired a Godzilla fighting game for GameCube, featuring nearly all of the monsters in this film, called: Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2006
Format: DVD
This is awesome. This is one of, if not the best Godzilla movie. It puts the monsters to good use. (unlike Godzilla's revenge.) The movie it's self i have no problem with. The only problem is that there are no menus, no chapters, and no skipping scenes of any kind. If you want to skip the movie you have to fast forward like a VHS. Other than that this is a must have for any Godzilla fan,(If this movie had chapters it would be a five star rating) and if you havn't seen this Godzilla movie, you don't know what you are missing.

P.S.- (If anyone reading this has seen the 50'th anniversery eddition please tell me if there are chapters so I can get a copy.)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This movie has a powerful and moving musical score. The "Main Title" and "Destroying the Remote Control" are the two best ones. The monster involvement of Manda, Baragon, and Varan are brief, but it was good to see them in a movie other than their debut ones. The Killaks give a good performance that makes you think they really are evil. DESTROY ALL MONSTERS is Godzilla's ninth film and Toho's twentieth film overall. That's why it had such an enormous budget and a large but good cast of characters. If it was the 60's right now, I'd say that this movie would be hard to top.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
I remember being in a theater 1968-1969? watching the trailers before the Saturday Matinee was about to begin and BAM! A trailer for Destroy All Monsters came on the screen! I mean Godzilla was enough to get me to go to the movies, but here was a film that had him and all sorts of monsters, some I knew and some I didn't.

This film truly is a fan favorite of Japanese monster movies and how can it not be? It has a lot of great things going on in it. Alien Invasion, Mind control of the world's monsters and a finale battle that is crammed full of as many monsters they could find.

I had owned a previous DVD edition, but it did not include the AIP soundtrack I was familiar with when I was a kid, so I bought the Blu Ray edition and not only does it have that dub, it has a second English dub and the original Japanese voice track. All subtitles are available too. It does not however have the U.S. title cards so all text on screen is in Japanese, It's not a dealbreaker by any means, but does that mean that this is a different cut of the movie I grew up with? I'm not sure.

The film looks very good a few scratches here and there and some soft spots, but really this film has never looked this good on home video and I am very please with it. I have read reviews that this print is faded and it is not nearly as bad as those posters are stating. I watched it and I see a few scenes where the colors don't pop like we would like them too, but most of these old Japanese monster films were neglected for years so it is a treat to see this film(or any other of them)in any condition.

One other note the AIP soundtrack as a few slight flutters when it starts, but it clears up within a few minutes, The other tracks do sound better as far as fidelity, but I want to watch the film the way I remember it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Destroy All Monsters is probably my second favorite Godzilla movie after the original (though it's certainly neck-and-neck with 1964's Mothra vs. Godzilla). It's the last entry in the Showa era Godzilla films made in the inimitable style of Ishiro Honda's most classic daikaiju outings, and is, in fact, Honda's penultimate directorial job of the Godzilla series. The film is literally a gathering of most of Toho's monsters, and they are given plenty of quality screen time. Similarly, the human cast includes many familiar, noteworthy faces, with Akira Kubo, Yoshio Tsuchiya, and Jun Tazaki playing prominent, memorable roles. Akira Ifukube's musical score remains one of his all-time best, reprising several well-known themes, from his traditional Godzilla theme to motifs used for Rodan and King Ghidorah, as well as a distinctive military march, all beautifully arranged and orchestrated.

Destroy All Monsters utilizes the now timeworn premise of space aliens--specifically, the Kilaaks, who come from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter--saying politely to Earth's leaders, "Please hand over your planet, or these monsters will bust your ass." The storyline is similar to Monster Zero, made a couple of years previously, but in most respects, Destroy All Monsters goes about it on a grander scale, with daikaiju showing up all over the world to wreak havoc. However, in Monster Zero, the Xians have some motivation for conquering the earth: the acquisition of natural resources (water, in this case), which is scarce on their world. (In fact, it's rather ironic that the villains in that movie in some ways reflect Japan's expansionist philosophy prior to World War II.) In Destroy All Monsters, there's no insinuation of motive; only that, for the Kilaaks, a little conquest makes for an enjoyable day's work.

The Kilaaks themselves are interesting enough; in their terrestrial form, they appear as beautiful, silver-clad women--or at least holographic projections of beautiful, silver-clad women. In their natural state, they are living minerals, which resemble snails made of glittery stone, and they can only survive in an environment of extreme heat--which begs the question, how do enslaved humans share their living space without being burned to death? Perhaps the bodies of the human slaves we view are actually Kilaaks who have merely taken their forms, but this little point is never addressed in the script. Of course, in a movie such as this, one doesn't expect scientific plausibility, although it's certainly nice when events adhere to at least a modicum of internal logic.

Ah well, in Destroy All Monsters, it's the monsters themselves we paid to see, and in this regard, the movie doesn't disappoint. This is the movie that introduces us to Monster Island, a.k.a. Monsterland on Ogasawara Island, where most of Toho's daikaiju have been collected and confined, for security purposes as well as for scientific investigation. (We'll have to take it on faith that, in actuality, the monsters have been there for a while because, though the movie is set in 1999, films that were made after Destroy All Monsters but ostensibly occur at an earlier date, such as Godzilla vs. Gigan and Godzilla vs. Megalon, also feature Monster Island.) Unlike the Xians in Monster Zero, who showed some restraint and didn't unleash the monsters until we ungrateful Earthlings refused their kind offer of enslavement, the Kilaaks start off on the right foot and send the monsters to the four corners of the earth to do some whooping on miniature cities. Godzilla invades New York! Manda slithers through London! Rodan swats down Moscow! Baragon burrows under Paris!

But wait...that's not actually Baragon. Why...it's Gorosaurus, from King Kong Escapes. This little gaffe is in the original Japanese version as well as the English, and this is because, originally, Baragon was scheduled to destroy Paris, and the dialogue stating this had already been recorded. However, when the scene was filmed, Toho found the Baragon suit beyond repair--largely from multiple uses (in disguise, of course) in the Ultraman TV series. So Gorosaurus was hastily substituted, but that's even Baragon's roar you hear when the Arc de Triomphe crumbles. In general, the monster suits are very good, although King Ghidorah appears a bit more scraggly than he did in Monster Zero. The Godzilla suit is well-proportioned and has a ferocious demeanor--a monstrous improvement over his distinctly frog-like appearance in his previous film, Son of Godzilla.

Apart from the DVD being the barest of bare bones releases, the most unfortunate aspect of the ADV release is that the dubbing is the miserable International version recorded in Hong Kong, rather than the far superior job recorded by Titra Sound Studios for the 1969 American International Pictures release. On the good side, the print is not bad, it's in wide-screen (though not anamorphic), and it's the same as the full-length Japanese version, which differs slightly from the American release (although in some respects, the AIP release is superior to the original; most notably, moving the opening march to the end, which improves the pacing a bit).

All in all, this ADV release is satisfactory, but only just. How wonderful it would be, at long last, to see a wide-screen release of Destroy All Monsters that features the AIP cut, if for nothing more than its superior dub.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2004
Format: DVD
One of my favorite G flicks of his early years. The artwork/movie descriptions are sort of misleading, making one thing this is a huge monster fest. Yes, there are quite a few monsters in the movie, only a few actually have more than a minute of screen time. The final battle is basically Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and Gorosaurus Vs Ghidorah, with the other monsters as the audience. At any rate, i still like the film. I'm a sucker for aliens in the Godzilla flicks (i'm glad they are making a come back in the upcoming "Godzilla: Final Wars"), though the beings in this film aren't as interesting as the Devo aliens in Monster Zero!
The dvd itself is disappointing. This disc is about bare bones as a dvd can get. I heard conflicting reports whether this is ADV's or Toho's fault. There is no menu and no chapter stops! just like a VHS, pop it in and it plays. Want to see a certain scene, you have to fast forward it. The newly released "Special Edition" version of this film is the same as this disc, but with different coverart and a soundtrack cd. Besides that, the video transfer is decent and it is letterbox. Audio is the english dub, which isn't as bad as some make it out to be.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Ok people. I really love the fight scene in this movie. Sure, the rest of the movie was only semi-entertaining, but the grand finale had the best monster of all time, King Ghidorah(The original, alien version) versus at least 10 of Earth's own radioactive monsters. I would buy this movie for the final fight scene ALONE! Widescreen? YES! I'm in heaven! This movie is NOT for everyone and most people say it is "Stupid".....but if you are a TRUE fan......then just watch the final fight scene! Japanese Monster Movies rule!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 12, 2012
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I grew up in the late 60s/early 70s watching all the original kaiju movies (well, as original as an American International release could be) and "Destroy All Monsters" was second only to "Voyage Into Space" on my list of favorites. It wasn't just one monster (say, Godzilla) versus a couple of space monsters; it was a whole bunch of Earth monsters all together fighting a space monster *and* destroying Tokyo. Plus DAM had the best main title music.

I have owned the ADV Films release for several years and only recently started watching it again, as my four-year-old son has discovered the magic of men in rubber suits stomping on miniature cities. DAM has rapidly become his favorite (and the main title is his favorite as well) and he can name more of the monsters than I ever could. The DVD went missing so I ordered the new Tokyo Shock re-release. In the meantime we found the first DVD and I was considering sending the new one back, but when I put it on my HDTV, I came to my senses.

The Tokyo Shock release is far superior. Just seeing the title credits in the original Japanese was worth the price of the disc. Now not only can I watch the movie my preferred way (in the original language with English subs), but the picture is anamorphic so the image isn't squeezed down beyond correction like the ADV version. The print isn't pristine but it's in great condition for its age. (The only downside is that now I can see all the wires that I never saw on a tiny tube TV.)

I've been impressed with most of ADV's releases in the past (their seemingly apathetic DVD release of "Gunhed" is a notable exception), but Tokyo Shock has left them in the dust on this one. If you're a kaiju fan, ditch the ADV release and step up to serious quality.
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