All Monsters Attack
By: J.R. McNamara on February 12, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Umbrella Entertainment (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 4:3. English DD 2.0 Mono. 116 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Starring: Godzilla, King Kong, Gorgo, Mothra, Gamera, Gwangi, The Blob, Rodan, Song of Kong, Reptilicus
Many years ago, in the days of VHS, I had a tape that was hosted by Al Lewis (Grandpa from The Munsters for the newcomers) called Grandpa's Sci Fi hits, and I reckon I must have watched this tape a hundred times. Basically, it was a stack of trailers for 1950s and 60s sci fi movies, each with an accompanying disparaging comment from Lewis, much like the way the characters from Mystery Science Theatre 3000 bagged the sci fi flicks they were forced to sit through.

As an adult I still love watching trailers. Part of the entire movie experience is watching the upcoming previews, and I have to admit on more than one occasion fighting with my other half because we arrived late to the cinema and I missed the coming attractions. Pathetic I know!

Which brings us to All Monsters Attack, a collection of some of the 'nuclear age's' finest coming attractions that will entertain anyone with a love of monster movies from the mid 20th century. GASP as you see Godzilla for the first time! SCREAM IN BLIND TERROR at the horrible evils of Caltiki the Immortal Monster! CRINGE at a young Steve McQueen as he avoids the villainous Blob! WET YOUR PANTS IN FEAR of the invasion of The Mysterians!! WONDER what Michael Gough was thinking when he signed on to act in Konga! With more than sixty odd trailers on this disc there is enough to keep any Billiken Model Kit fan happy for 90 minutes.

There really are some gems on this disc though, like the Mothra pre-release trailer which features an ominous voice over accompanied by production drawings from the film. Fans of Japanese sci fi will get a kick as well as there are several Godzilla ads, not to mention the English rip off, Gorgo and the King of Monsters contemporary, Gamera. The only thing wrong with this collection is that without a host to guide you, such as Grampa Al Lewis, the trailers just seem to be completely random, and when you consider that the mighty Ray Harryhausan, Teizu Toshimitsu and Harry Redmond are all represented here, that is a shame.
Video
The quality of the trailers varies depending on the age of the film: some have so many and varied artefacts on them I imagine that Indiana Jones would have been in hot pursuit, while others were just plain crap. These trailers are presented in fullscreen.
Audio
Stereo only here folks, but when you consider the age of some of the films, you should be thankful for that!! Lots of pops, scratches and whistles, but they are all due to the age of the films as well.
Extra Features
Considering this is really JUST special features, it having a Special features section came as a surprise.

The Land that Time Forgot (12 minutes) is a making of featurettes for the film based on the book by Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan. Made in 1975, it highlights the marvels of modern special effects i.e. hand puppets and slow motion.

Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (3 minutes 13 seconds) is a making of featurette from 1958, focusing on the wonders of DYNAMATION, apparently a new, super way of doing special effects. Nice Harryhausan highlights in this feature though.

Operation Plumbbob (11 minutes 19 seconds) is one of the scariest things I have seen on DVD for years. This is a documentary about the effects of nuclear fallout on packaged and non packaged food, at a testing site in the Nevada Desert. Filmed in 1954, this was incredibly creepy, not just for its images that would have looked at home in Alexandre Aja's remake of The Hills Have Eyes, but also for the scientists in it wearing NO protective gear at all….cancer anyone?

Mega-Morphosis (6 mintes 7 seconds) is a student cartoon based on the works of Kafka from the early nineties, and was like watching a mix of South Park and Rocky and Bullwinkle, but with a 'Metaphorphosis' theme. Apparently it won an award, and I shall give it one as well: The Boring as Hell Animation Award.

There is also a trailer for The Horror of Hammer (2 minutes 44 seconds) which is another collection of trailers, but this time of Hammer Horror films. As a side note, Umbrella also have another 'trailers' disc called Pulp Cinema! which is a collection of film noir and crime trailers.
The Verdict
This is like watching every special features section from your entire DVD collection one after the other. All Monsters Attack is an OK one time viewing if you like 50s and 60s sci fi or monster films and can tolerate the crappy images. However, enjoyable as it was, in an eye-rolling sort of a way, this is really only suitable for the enthusiasts of the genre.
Movie Score
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