In the bizarre world of Japanese monster movies, it takes something special to stand out. That something would have to be so off the wall, strange, and baffling, it would have to eclipse Godzilla flying, jump kicking, and dancing. All Monsters Attack manages to one up most of those, though not without help.
Released in the US as the oddly titled Godzilla’s Revenge, this low rent, slap dash production is easily amongst the bottom three for the series. Aimed squarely at children and as a direct counter to Daiei Studios' Gamera, All Monsters Attack is a stock footage fest. The mere minutes of new monster action reuses suits from previous films, and the jungle settings keep the miniature budget down.
The actual story has Ichiro (Tomonori Yazaki), a young latchkey kid, escaping from the realities of murky industrial Tokyo through his imagination. He does so through Monster Island, in which many of the stock Toho creations reside via footage from other films. The only new menace is Gabara, a goofy upright walking beastie with a frog-like face.
Ichiro discusses his issues with the creature Godzilla fans love to hate, Minilla. The so-called Son of Godzilla is undoubtedly an embarrassment, moreso here thanks to his voice as he talks to the lonely Ichiro. In the American cut, he’s dubbed into a voice that sounds exactly like Barney Rubble, and in the Japanese version, the high-pitched squeal seems to be recorded from inside the suit.
Taken as a children’s fantasy, or as the first Godzilla movie for a new, very young fan, All Monsters Attack could work. The stock footage wouldn’t be a problem, the physical comedy can put a smile on a four-year-old's face, and Minilla probably wouldn’t be too annoying. However, this is part of the same franchise that gave us Gojira in 1954, and this is evidence of how far the quality had fallen.
Classic Media has handled the franchise with care, and this is no exception. The Japanese version (which is what the score reflects) is wonderful. The print is clean, with minor instances of heavy grain. The black levels remain deep throughout. Color is strong, and clarity is high. Compression is well under control.