Let's Talk: All Monsters Attack (1969)/Godzilla's Revenge (1971)
All Monsters Attack. Godzilla’s Revenge. Whatever title you know this tenth installment under, it’s one of the…weirder Godzilla films to say the least. This one was absolutely geared towards kids and how to stand up to bullies, which I LOVE, but the psychedelic era definitely reared its head in this one between the music and some of its cut scenes. You don’t need to be on a bad acid trip in order to understand what this movie is about, but you might feel like you’re on one after watching this particular movie.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate this movie, but it’s not my absolute favorite either. However, I must say that my appreciation for it has grown since I was little. I think it’s because I’m seeing it through an adult perspective – and I’m paying attention to it more now compared to when I was younger. Hey, if there weren’t some awesome monsters and fight scenes in the movie, then I could care less about it. Thankfully, I grew up! (I mean I still prefer more monster sequences than human interaction, but I now appreciate the storyline!)
Okay, sorry, I digress…
What is All Monsters Attack About?
All Monsters Attack features a young boy, Ichiro, who all he wants to do is slip away from reality and hang out with Godzilla, Minilla, and the other monsters. Seriously, who doesn’t want to do that?! However, he is tormented by an older kid named Gabara and his goons. When he’s in the safe confines of his home, though, he falls asleep and visits Monster Island. But there is one time he’s forced awake by two robbers who decide to take him hostage after he steals one of their driver’s license. Wait…what? Yeah, this is one – out of many – bones I need to pick with this movie!
Please explain this to me…the two robbers go into the house to find the one’s license. They see the kid sound asleep on the floor and think, “He probably saw us. Let’s kidnap him.” Really? When I was little, I didn’t think much about this, but as an adult I’m like “That’s just so dumb!” They should’ve just left him alone! He was on Monster Island, he had no clue they were there! Ugh!
Okay, rant over! Sorry again! Moving on…
Introduced to a New Monster
While Ichiro is on Monster Island, we get to see monsters like Gorosaurus, Manda, and Kamacuras, but we’re also introduced to a new monster called Gabara. I’m sorry, but you want to talk about My Cat from Hell, that’s Gabara. Seriously! He looks like a cat. His growls and roars are like a cat’s, which makes him a cat! How much do you want to bet that Gabara was actually Godzilla and Minilla’s pet and they were the originators of My Cat from Hell? However, instead of saying that – to make it kid-friendly and teach a lesson – they said that Gabara was Minilla’s bully. I’m just saying.
(By the way, don’t read too much into that and think I hate cats. I love cats, I just prefer dogs.)
There is one thing I did realize while watching All Monsters Attack, though, and I want you to think about this. Minilla is Ichiro, Gabara is, well, Gabara the bully, and Godzilla is the father figure that, unfortunately, Ichiro doesn’t have at home. It kind of makes sense, right? But, in the end, as The Official Godzilla Compendium states, “Godzilla and his son, Minilla, help the boy overcome his fears and fight back against the bullies who’ve tormented him.”
Differences Between Japanese Version and American Version
However, what’s interesting is the Japanese version definitely leans more toward fighting against bullies and being more courageous than the American version does. The American version changes the dialogue so much, it seems like Minilla and Ichiro are scaredy cats who all of a sudden become brave. But the Japanese version shows them gradually becoming stronger.
Speaking of the difference between the Japanese version and the American version, I have to say that the American version has a much better opening segment than the Japanese version. First off, the music is way better. At least it doesn’t seem like someone is yelling at you. Second, it kind of reminds me of the opener from Ernest Scared Stupid. There are different clips being shown from different Godzilla movies (including from All Monsters Attack) with the weird sounds in between the music. I love it!
"March of the Monsters"
But here’s the thing, the song used for the Japanese version is very poignant. Some of the lyrics include, “The monsters are crying. Why is Earth such a hard place to live? Go-Go-Godzilla is shocked. Mi-Mi-Minilla is trembling too…They pulverize everything! But megaton smog and exhaust are worse. They’re the real monsters!”
It’s just so sad because that’s how I’ve always felt for Godzilla. Like, he’s trying to live his life, but he’s constantly attacked because of his size. Even when they reuse the jet fighter scene from Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster, Minilla says (in the Japanese version), “Humans are coming to invade our island again.”
That’s just so heart-breaking to me!
But I do want to point out one thing from the song. It says, “But megaton smog and exhaust are worse. They’re the real monsters!” I say that’s a little foreshadowing for the next movie, Godzilla vs. Hedorah, don’t you think?
My Theory of Godzilla's Age Continued
Let me wrap this up by discussing the one theme I’ve been highlighting since Godzilla Raids Again, his age. To me, there’s no real difference between Destroy All Monsters and this movie, but The Official Godzilla Compendium makes an interesting point. “With the monsters appearing only in the young protagonist’s dreams, the film seems to take place in a different reality from all its predecessors, leaving the impression that Godzilla and his kin are only movie creatures after all. The intent was to present Godzilla on screen as he was seen by the Japanese public already – as a hero to children and a mighty defender of Japan.”
In other words, “they’re not real” so why make any changes between the two movies. It’s like it’s the very first Godzilla movie ever made, and we’re being presented these characters for the first time, which, by the way, the Compendium does state, “This gentle, family-oriented adventure is the best film in the series to introduce a young child to the wonders of Godzilla’s universe.”
Not a bad idea for when I have children and start introducing them to this amazing franchise.
Lastly, I want to point out one more thing, that in the American version, Minilla does call Godzilla “Dad”, but in the Japanese version, he never does. I think that solidifies the theory that Minilla was “adopted” by Godzilla and that Minilla is not actually his son, something I discussed in my Son of Godzilla post.
What Do You Think?
That’s about it, so what do you guys think? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree with me? Is All Monsters Attack one of your favorites or do you despise this movie? Let’s talk!
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Please note that I am not getting paid to talk about this amazing franchise or promote any movies or books. I am just a fanatic, like yourself, wanting to start a conversation about Godzilla and other monster movies. Please check out my Policy page to learn more. I would also love to hear from you, my fellow Godzilla fanatics. You can either comment below (please read my “Comments Policy” on the Policy page before doing so) or contact me.
The photos featured in this post are my photos. The first is my uncle's copy of All Monsters Attack while the second is my “signature photo”, me with my uncle's copy of this okay movie.