Friday, April 16, 2021

All Monster's Attack

One of the most attacked entries in the series, and was my personal favorite when I was young a long time ago.

I have a lot to explain and unpack. As I stated before, I haven't seen a lot of the Showa series. Before I started the Criterion set I only saw maybe seven, and you may know of this DVD set when I talk about it but when I was very young, I can't have even been 9 at the time I begged my Nan to buy this Godzilla set. It included Godzilla, Mothra Vs. Godzilla, Godzilla's Revenge, Terror Of Mechagodzilla, and as a bonus included Rodan. I was a big Godzilla fan and watched those DVD's countless times, but my absolute favorite was Godzilla's Revenge or All Monster's Attack as it's known in Japan. It's been nearly 20 years since I have watched it and it brought back a lot of memories, and I want to go on the record and say the japanese version is not bad. Not with a capital N. The english trash. Turrible, it's turrible. Stick to the original. The story follows a young boy named Ichiro who is a huge kaiju fan and is pestered by a group of bigger kids, he doesn't have many friends and spends time daydreaming about Monster Island where he can hang out with Minilla and Godzilla. Ishiro Honda directed this surprisingly, but brings his analytical eye to a rising thing that was occuring in Japan at that time that is still felt today. In the movie Ichiro doesn't spend a lot of time with his parents, his dad is a train conductor and his mom is a hostess, and most days after school he's on his own. Looking back that says a lot about why this was my favorite, it was very relatable to my life. I did have bullies, I did spend lots of time alone, I was a Godzilla fan, I did spend days after school on my own at the house even at such a young age. It wasn't a problem at all and I certainly don't hold grievances with my mom about it, nothing bad ever happened, but it was the way it was. Plus this had the most monster fights, sure now I know it's blatant stock footage from Ebirah and Son Of Godzilla but I had no idea those movies existed until later so this was my first exposure to Ebirah, Kamacuras, Kumonga, even that condor thing. I thought it was awesome! So I truly cannot hate on this movie even now after my own tastes and sensibilities have changed, because I remember it in such a positive light. I like the real world stuff with Ichiro, just seeing life from the perspective of a child at that time and place in the world is so damn interesting. The new monster stuff isn't bad though it is very scarce in this barely over 1 hour movie. Yes, you read that right. The total runtime is 1 hour and 9 minutes. But let me tell you, it did not feel that short back then. I did miss that wild ass jazz intro for the opening titles, but no matter which version you see that song will get stuck in your head for a minute, and the lyrics contain a subject that will be explicitly abundant in the next film. This movie, believe it or not, has a lot of thought provoking stuff, more so about social situations than anything. The film brings up bullying in a less intense fashion, and you could see the resolution of it in either a positive or negative way. Personally I was just thinking how much the world has changed since this movie. Parents whether single or married were working more, leaving kids to themselves at home, that's probably more prevalent now than ever. There's a throwaway line about a computer that could do homework, back then it was wishful thinking but now? Holy f*** how far we have come! The fact that Ichiro is looked after by a neighbor who actually invents toys is so different, I mean around that same time when I was that age I think the notion hit America that you need to keep a closer eye on your kids in that day and age especially if you were in a big city like me, I don't think I could trust my neighbors to look after my dirty laundry let alone a child. Geez, watching this movie has brought a plethora of different thoughts and memories to me, and I can't lie and have to admit I did enjoy my viewing of it after all this time. It's no masterpiece, but a pivotal part of why I am a Godzilla fan to this day, and I must pay it my respects for that. 2.5 stars, 5.5/10, and now we start winding down with only five entries left to review. Walks down memory lane is the only exercise I get.

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