Monster Island

John Rocco Roberto


With the release of Son of Godzilla in 1967, Godzilla’s image as a terror to the Japanese people changed to that of a helpful, if not at first friendly creature.  With the release of Toho’s ninth Godzilla film, Godzilla’s role as the savior of mankind has been secured.  Attack of the Marching Monsters, or Destroy All Monsters as it is better know, marked Toho’s 20th entry in their giant monster film series, and they pulled out all the stops for this one.  Returning to the series to both direct and co-write the story was Ishiro Honda, and special effects master Eiji Tusburaya returned to supervise the visual effects.

Destroy AllMonsters also featured the first reference to Monster Island, although it is called Monsterland in the film.  While Monster Island would be featured in three of the next six Godzilla films (as well as in the Toho TV series Zone Fighter), the history of the island is somewhat confused.  Stated in DAM as part of the Ogasawara Island chain, the island occupies the fictional word of Ichiro in Godzilla’s Revenge.  However both Godzilla On Monster Island and Godzilla vs. Megalon make references to Monster Island as being in the South Sea.  In addition while DAM establishes Monsterland as being set up in 1999, both Godzilla On Monster Island, Godzilla vs. Megalon and Zone Fighter take place in 1972, 1973 respectfully.

Destroy All Monsters (1968)
Japanese Title: Kaiju Soshingeki (1968)
(Attack of the Marching Monsters)

Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Directed by Ishiro Honda
Screenplay by Kaoru Mabuchi and Ishiro Honda
Special Effects by Teisho Arikawa, Supervised by Eiji Tsuburaya
Music by Akira Ifukube

The year is 1999 and all the Earth’s monsters have been confined to Monster Island, a small island in the Ogasawara Island chain.  Monster Island (called Monsterland in the film) is an inescapable, scientifically controlled environment, overseen by the United Nations.  The U.N. has conquered space, too, building extensive bases on the moon.  Arriving at the base Kyoko, who works in Monsterland as an assistant to Dr. Otani, receives a call from her sweetheart Katsuo, who is stationed on the moon.  The two begin their conversation when something mysterious happens on the island, and all communication is cut off.
Soon after the monsters of Monsterland begin attacking the major cities of the world.  Rodan attacks Moscow. Mothra invades China. Gorosaurus destroys Paris. Godzilla is loosed on New York City.  Ordered to return to Earth in his spaceship, the SY-3, Katsuo finds the scientists of Monsterland have become mental slaves of an alien race, just as the monsters are.  This race, the Kilaaks, come from a small planet in the asteroid belt and have taken complete control of Monsterland.  Dr. Otani is taken back to Tokyo for questioning, but kills himself when ordered to do so by his Kilaaks masters.  Examining his body, a small control devices is soon discovered embedded behind his left ear.  A world wide search goes out, and control devices are found all over the world.  Soon all the monsters converge on Tokyo.  After the devastation in Japan, Katsuo’s girlfriend appears, still a slave of the Kilaaks. She gives the U.N. a warning, submit to the Kilaaks or be destroyed.  Katsuo, on a hunch, rips the earrings from her ears, releasing her from the mind-control device. Now free of Kilaak control, Kyoko remembers nothing.
The Kilaak base is discovered at Mount Fuji, but attack forces are defeated by Godzilla and company.  Discovering that the source of the Kilaak’s mind-control waves are coming from the Moon, the SY-3 flies to the moon and attacks the base there. The walls of the base are breached, and the Kilaaks transform into rock-like creatures in the cold lunar vacuum. Taking the control transmitter from the moon back to Earth, the U.N. quickly regain control of the monsters.  Under U.N. control Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and the other monsters converge on the Kilaak base at Mount Fuji.  But the Kilaaks unleash King Ghidorah on Earth, and it is up to Godzilla and friends to confront the terror from space.  King Ghidorah is killed by the other monsters, and Godzilla turns his attention to the Kilaak base.  The Kilaaks are defeated, and the monsters return to their peaceful lives on Monster Island.

Godzilla’s Revenge(1970)
Japanese Title: All Kaiju Daishingeki(1969)
(All Monsters Attack)

Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Directed by Ishiro Honda
Screenplay by Shinichi Sekizawa
Special Effects by Eiji Tusburaya and Ishiro Honda
Music by Kunio Miyauchi

Ichiro is a young Japanese boy who likes to collect old radio tubes and play in the ruins of an abandoned factory.  He has a very overactive imagination, and is bullied by the older kids because of this.  His parents both work long hours, and he only gets to see his father, a train operator, while walking pass the train yard going to and from school.  Alone in his apartment complex (with only a local inventor for a baby-sitter), he imagines he can escape to “Monster Island,” where he is friends with Godzilla’s son, Minya.
One day, while looking for radio equipment in the abandoned factory, he stumbles upon a pair of bank robbers, who are using the deserted building as a hideout.  Picking up the Drivers License of one of the robbers, he returns home to once again dream of Minya and Godzilla.  Fearing that the police will trace their location through the license, the two bank robbers kidnap Ichiro, tying him to a chair in the factory.  Utilizing the lessons taught to him by his imaginative visits to Monster Island, Ichiro frees himself.  Attacking his opponents Godzilla style (Ichiro uses a fire extinguisher like Godzilla’s breath to blind a robber), he soon helps the police catch the bank robbers.  No longer afraid, he soon takes vengeance on the older bullies who tormented him, causing his peers look upon him with new respect.


© 2002 John Rocco Roberto/Visagraph Films International.