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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Countdown To Godzilla 2014: All Monsters Attack

All Monsters Attack, released in Japan as Godzilla, Minilla, Gabara: All Kaijū Daishingeki (ゴジラ・ミニラ・ガバラ オール怪獣大進撃, lit. "Godzilla, Minilla, and Gabara: All Monsters Attack'"), is a 1969 Japanese Kaiju film produced by Toho. Directed by Ishirō Honda, the film starred Tomonori Yazaki, Eisei Amamoto, and Kenji Sahara. The 10th film in the Godzilla series, this was also the first film specifically geared towards children. While credited with the special effects work, Eiji Tsuburaya was not directly involved with the production of this film. The "Special Effects Supervised by" credit was given out of respect, since he was still the head of the Visual Effects Department. The effects were handled by Ishirō Honda himself, with assistance from Teruyoshi Nakano.

The film was released theatrically in the United States in the winter of 1971 by Maron Films as Godzilla's Revenge, where it was paired up nationwide on a double bill with Island of the Burning Damned.

Ichiro Miki (Tomonori Yazaki) is a highly imaginative but lonely latchkey kid growing up in urban (and at that time, polluted) Tokyo. Every day he comes home to his family's empty apartment. His only friends are a toymaker named Shinpei Inami (Eisei Amamoto) and a young girl named Sachiko (Hidemi Ito). Every day after school, Ichiro is tormented by a gang of bullies led by a child named Sancho (Junichi Ito), whom Ichiro has nicknamed "Gabara." To escape his loneliness, Ichiro sleeps and dreams about visiting Monster Island. During his visit he witnesses Godzilla battle three Kamacuras and Ebirah, a giant sea monster. Ichiro is then chased by a rogue Kamacuras and falls into a deep cave, but luckily avoids being caught by Kamacuras. Shortly afterwards, Ichiro is rescued from the cave by Godzilla's Son, Minilla. Ichiro quickly learns that Minilla has bully problems too, as he is bullied by a monstrous ogre known as Gabara.

Ichiro is then awoken by Shinpei who informs him that his mother must work late, again. Down on his luck Ichiro goes out to play, but is then frightened by the bullies and finds and explores an abandoned factory. After finding some souvenirs (tubes, a headset, and a wallet with someone's license), Ichiro leaves the factory after hearing some sirens close by. After Ichiro leaves, two Bank Robbers (played by Sachio Sakai and Kazuo Suzuki) who were hiding out in the factory learn that Ichiro has found one of their drivers licenses and follow him in order to kidnap him.

Later, Ichiro dreams again and reunites with Minilla. Together they both watch as Godzilla fights Ebirah, Kumonga, and some invading Jets. Then in the middle of Godzilla's fights, Gabara appears and Minilla is forced to battle him, and after a short and one-sided battle Minilla runs away in fear. Godzilla returns to train Minilla how to fight and use his own atomic ray. However, Ichiro is woken up this time by the Bank Robbers and is taken hostage by them for taking their stuff and as a means of protection from the authorities.

Out of fear and being watched by the thieves, Ichiro calls for Minilla's help and falls asleep again where he witnesses Minilla being beaten up by Gabara again. Finally, Ichiro helps Minilla fight back at Gabara and eventually Minilla wins, catapulting the bully through the air by a seesaw-like log. Godzilla, who was in the area watching comes to congratulate his son for his victory, but is ambushed by a vengeful Gabara. Luckily after a short brawl, Godzilla beats down Gabara and sends the bully into retreat, never to bother Minilla again. Now from his experiences in his dreams, Ichiro learns how to face his fears and fight back, gaining the courage to outwit the thieves just in time for the police to arrive and arrest them. The next day, Ichiro stands up to Sancho and his gang and wins, regaining his pride and confidence in the process. He also gains their friendship when he plays a prank on a billboard painter.

English Version
The film was dubbed in English and released in North America on December 8, 1971 by Maron Films as Godzilla's Revenge on a double bill with Island of the Burning Damned. Maron Films later re-released the movie on a double bill with War of the Gargantuas.

There are some minor alterations between the Japanese version and the English dubbed version:
All Japanese-speaking dialogue is dubbed to English, by using English-speaking voice actors.
The Japanese version featured a vocal song over the opening credits (Kaiju no Māchi or March of the Monsters), sung by Risato Sasaki and the Tokyo Children's Choir, and issued on the Japanese label, Crown Records. While the English dubbed version features a jazzy instrumental entitled "Crime Fiction", composed by Ervin Jereb.
In the original Japanese version, Minilla was voiced by voice actresses, Midori Uchiyama and Michiko Hirai respectively. In the English dubbed version, Minilla is renamed "Minya", and he is given a cartoony male voice.
In the Japanese version, the two thieves' names were never mentioned in the film, but their names were shown on the credits. In the English dubbed version, the leader is given the name "Roy," but his partner's name is never mentioned in the film.

Tomonori Yazaki as Ichiro Miki
Kenji Sahara as Kenkichi "Tack" Miki
Eisei Amamoto as Shinpei Inami
Hidemi Ito as Sachiko
Junichi Ito as Sancho (Mitsukimi-bully)
Sachio Sakai as Bank Robber Senbayashi
Kazuo Suzuki as Bank Robber Okuda
Marchan the Dwarf (suit actor) as Minilla
Midori Uchiyama (voice)
Michiko Hirai (voice)
Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla
Yasuhiko Kakuko as Gabara
Yû Sekida (voice)
Yukiko Mori as Sachiko's Mother
Yoshiko Miyata as Landlady of the Inn  

Box Office
In Japan, the film sold 1,480,000 tickets. This was over a million tickets less than the previous Godzilla film, Destroy All Monsters (and it was the first Godzilla film to sell less than 2 million tickets).

DVD Releases
Classic Media
Released: Original Japanese version with English dubbed version as part of the Toho Master collection; originally supposed to be released in September 2007 but was made an "exclusive" to the Godzilla Toho Master Collection Box Set in November 2007, this and Terror of Mechagodzilla, it was released separately on April 29, 2008.
Region 1
Note: Part of the Toho Collection

Simitar Entertainment
Released: May 6, 1998 (under the name Godzilla's Revenge)
Aspect Ratios: Widescreen (2.35:1) letterboxed; full frame (1.33:1)
Sound: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Supplements: Godzilla trailer collection; Godzilla video art gallery; trivia game; DVD-ROM (screen savers, printable art galleries)
All regions

Sony Wonder (Classic Media)
Release date: September 17, 2002
Aspect Ratio: Full frame (1.33:1)
Supplements: Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters video game preview

All Monsters Attack is considered by many fans to be the worst official Godzilla film.
All Monsters Attack is similar to Gamera: Super Monster because both were made in the Showa era, have a large amount of stock footage, having a kid as the main protagonist, and are considered the worst in their respective series.
This is one of three films in which monsters speak. The other two are Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, but it was translated by the Shobijin, and Godzilla vs. Gigan.
In a number of promotional images both Anguirus and Gorosaurus are seen in occasion, even though they both made cameos. It's possible that they were originally supposed to have a bigger role within the film and possibly help Minilla against Gabara (as some of the images suggest).
Although Ichiro says Rodan lives on Monster Island, he does not make any kind of cameo in the entire movie.

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