Some people dream of world peace. Others yearn for all the races to
live in harmony. My desire is not so lofty: All I want
is for someone to release a set of all the original Godzilla films (and
other Japanese giant monster movies) on DVD in their original aspect ratios
and with original language soundtracks. It doesn't sound like I'm
asking for much, but so far not one of the original movies has been released
the way the creators originally intended it to be seen.
That's why I was so excited when I first heard that ADV was releasing
a 25th anniversary 2-disc special edition of Destroy all Monsters.
Would this have a widescreen anamorphic transfer? A Japanese language
soundtrack? An entire DVD of extras?!? Alas, no. It would
have none of these things. This 'special edition' is merely their
previously released version of the movie repackaged along with the soundtrack
(also previously released.) What a disappointment.
Even without the original language, this is still a fun movie.
In the year 1999, all of the monsters in the world have been relocated
to Monsterland (referred to as Monster Island in the other movies.)
They are kept on the island by the latest technology so that they can live
in peace and not become a menace to mankind.
That is a situation that isn't going to last for long. Aliens
from the planet Keelac kidnap all the monsters and implant sonic control
devises inside them. The aliens then launch and all out attack on
the Earth with these ferocious beasts. Can the Earth stand up to
the combined might of Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, Angilas, Minya, Spiega,
Baragon, Gorosaurus, Manda, and Varan? And what nefarious plans do
the aliens have for King Ghidorah?
This isn't the best classic G! movie, but it is good fun. The
aliens are hokey, wearing metallic gray matching uniforms and having deadpan
looks on their faces, but that is to be expected. This movie's strong
point is the action, and there is plenty of it. The monsters are
captured right away, and they start attacking cities around the world before
you know it. After the initial attacks, the action pauses a bit for
some plot development, but the movie doesn't dwell on that for too long.
There is a subpplot involving a group of people who use a rocket to try
to attack the aliens in their base on the moon. Parts of this went
on for too long, especially unending footage of the rocket taking off,
landing, or manuvering. This really felt like padding, and it probably
Of course, that battle at the end is a great scene, with several of
the monsters working together. Ghidorah is one of my favorite Toho
monsters, and he has a good amount of screen time in this ultimate battle.
Overall, a fun romp with just about all of Toho's great collection of monsters.
The two channel mono soundtrack is adequate at best. The dubbing
job is particularly bad, especially for the minor characters, which are
laughably bad. There wasn't any distortion or hiss, but the audio
was rather thin and lacked force. The monster howls and explosions
sounded really weak.
I wasn't impressed with the widescreen video at all. First off
the print wasn't that great. The colors were muted a little, and
there were a lot of scratches and dirt on the print. The image was
soft, and there wasn't a great deal of contrast. Many of the outer
space scenes the body of the rocket would disappear into the black background.
Things were hard to see in the night scenes too. There were a large
number of digital artifacts too. There was significant aliasing,
and a good deal of cross coloration throughout the movie. Not a high
Ther was a lot of cross coloration on this DVD
The DVD itself had absolutely no extras. No trailers, no DVD credits,
no chapter stops, not even a menu! You just pop the disc in and it
plays. This is the most bare bones disc I've ever seen. I can't
believe the nerve of calling this a special edition.
This is a two-disc set; with the second disc being a CD soundtrack.
It's okay if you enjoy listening to instrumental music. The musicians
are talented, but the music itself doesn't do much for me.
ADV really surprised me with this DVD. When I heard they were
releasing a SE version of Destroy all Monsters I never imagined
they would use the same substandard transfer that they used for their first
release of the film. They could have at least added chapter stops
and a menu. The movie is quite enjoyable, but the poor print and
many digital artifacts makes this movie a rental.