You don’t have to go too far into the Mondo Exploito archives to know that I’m completely obsessed with Godzilla. Knowing my love of Japan’s favourite giant monster, I’m constantly asked by pals, “Are you excited about the new US Godzilla film?” To which I have to answer, “No, not really.” One of the reasons I love Godzilla films – particularly those that predate the lacklustre Millennium series – is the monster suits and the amazing miniatures, all of which I’m sure will be replaced by CGI in the American rehash. I’d rather wait for another Japanese film, or, better yet, stick to the old stuff. I’m enthralled by even the worst Godzilla films. And today, I’d like to talk about the worst…
ALL MONSTERS ATTACK
original title: ゴジラ • ミニラ • ガバラ オール 怪獣大進撃
aka: Godzilla’s Revenge
Japan, 1969, Ishirô Honda
All Monsters Attack is like watching a damaged child’s nightmare – well, narratively speaking I suppose it is a damaged child’s nightmare.
Unashamedly geared towards kids, the film follows young Ichiro Miki (Tomonori Yazaki), a loner who is regularly bullied by a gang of punk kids led by Sancho (Junichi Ito), nicknamed “Gabara” by Ichiro. Ichiro escapes his shitty reality by dreaming about Monster Island where he witnesses scenes from previous Godzilla films. Yes, that’s how lazy All Monsters Attack is. A large chunk of its running time is recycled footage.
In his dreams, Ichiro hangs out with Minilla – Godzilla’s idiot son. And guess fucking what? Minilla has his own problems. He’s also been bullied by an asshole monster called Gabara – whaddayaknow! The same name as Ichiro’s bully! So how does Ichiro find out this information? Well, I have some bad news for you. In All Monsters Attack, Minilla can talk. Thanks, All Monsters Attack, for making an irritating character that extra bit more irritating.
Anyway, back in Ichiro’s depressing reality, he explores an abandoned building where some criminals are hiding out. They capture Ichiro and hold him hostage. During his traumatising kidnapping, Ichiro slips into a deep nightmarish sleep where he watches Minilla have his ass whooped by Gabara. Ichiro and Minilla must help each other in standing up to the bullying Gabaras in their lives. At some point, Godzilla also shows up.
So, in short, we have a film in which every scene with Godzilla or any kind of giant monster is a dream. And within those dreams, there is a large amount of stock footage. Fucking great, right? All Monsters Attack is by far Toho’s cheapest and most disrespectful entry in the Godzilla series. Not only does it throw recycled footage in the audience’s face, it also painfully caters to a young audience in a patronising fashion.
This is the worst of the worst, yet somehow, I enjoy All Monsters Attack. When I say I enjoy All Monsters Attack, I really, really, really enjoy it. I love Gabara’s stupid, smashed in face, his empty eyes and his pathetic haircut. The laughs roll in something fierce when he viciously electrocutes Minilla. I also love the absurd gangster subplot that creates the aura of a piss poor detective television show for kids. But most of all, I love that this film takes the Godzilla franchise – a series that began intelligently with dark warnings of nuclear technology – down to the level of a fucking after school morality tale.
What the hell is wrong with me? How can I like All Monsters Attack. I feel a terrible guilt about the joy I get from this stupid, worthless film. Unless you’re an idiot like me, stay away from All Monsters Attack.