Day 11, and we’re up to the film that is easily the worst in the Godzilla canon. This is the one about Minilla, and features mostly clips from old Godzilla movies. #11: All Monsters Attack.
All Monsters Attack, despite its title, is not about all monsters. Indeed, it’s largely re-purposed footage of Minilla taken from Son of Godzilla and Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster, cut into a story about a little boy getting bullied. Minilla – sometimes referred to as the Scrappy-Doo of the Godzilla universe – is a kewpie-faced Godzilla-like imp that breathes smoke rings and takes time out to tell children about how to stand up against being pushed around. This is a parallel story to Minilla fighting a truly bizarre monster called Gabara, which looks like an upright albino lizard/hyena with an electrical horn. Gabara is not as strange as the upcoming Gigan, but he’s pretty weird.
All Monsters Attack is the shortest of all the Godzilla films at only 69 minutes, and clearly the one most aimed at kids. All of the Godzilla films (possibly with the exception of the first) are all kid-friendly and, I suspect, intended for kids. All Monsters Attack, though, is the first one to be about a little kid, and the first to skew to such an obviously young audience. Overall, the movie is gentle and playful, and even features an opening musical number which features the following lyric: “Marching of Mr. Monsters with the style.” Also: “Ghoo! Ghoo! Godzilla fires radioactivity!”
The little boy protagonist is Ichiro (Tomonori Yazaki), a squealing kid in short shorts who is constantly being picked on. When he is tinkering with his ham radio one evening, he is electrocuted and falls into a spiritual fugue state wherein he contacts his Spirit Animal. His spirit animal is Minilla, who, in the visions, can speak Japanese, and can shrink down to little boy size. Minilla gives him advice on how to stand up to bullies, and offers empathy over his own plight with Gabara, an interloper on Monster Island. Eventually Ichiro will learn to induce the fugue state without the aid of electrocution.
Since all the monster footage takes place inside a young boy’s visions, it could easily be argued that the events of the film don’t really occur in the canonical Godzilla universe, Gabara is not a proper Toho monster, and the film is entirely just a spinoff of the actual series. It’s certainly the only film in the series to have a kiddie-fied tone, and a climax that doesn’t center on Godzilla. There was indeed some original footage of Minilla (Little Man Machan), but I think all the other monsters, including Godzilla, were all entirely from other movies. Well, I guess Gabara and Godzilla were on screen together. That stuff was at least original.
The title is misleading. There is no scene wherein all monsters attack.
This entry will have to be brief, because I have so little to say about this disappointing and disposable entry in the Godzilla series. Only completists should see it. Even casual Godzilla fans can be forgiven for skipping this one. As the 1970s begin, however, the Godzilla films will start to get outright weird. Well, weird-er.
Up next: Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster (1971).