All Day Entertainment presents
All Monsters Attack! (1933-1992)
"There's a huge monster gorilla growing to outrageous proportions, loose in the streets."- from trailer to Konga
Stars: King Kong, Gorgo, Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, Gammera, Ghidrah
Other Stars: Varan, The Blob, The Cyclops, The Smog Monster, Yog Monster from Space
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mild gore, violence)
Run Time: 01h:56m:32s
Release Date: 2002-11-19
DVD ReviewAll too often, monster movies would feature all the good parts (all the monster bits) in the trailers, padding out the other 70 minutes of the feature with endless talk, improbable science and tedious romance. This made the movies inevitably disappointing to my ten-year-old self. But on the positive side, when you collect a bunch of the trailers of these movies together, as has All Day Entertainment on this DVD, you have a nonstop monsterfest that will satisfy even your FM-reading child within.
This disc features 61 trailers from 60 movies. Two trailers for Mothra are provided; one has only concept artwork in the form of a teaser, while the release trailer features all the goofy goodness of the picture itself. The films are roughly grouped by subject matter, starting off with the giant apes of Willis O'Brien, then moving to dinosaurs, Japanese giant monsters, aliens, giant animals, giant people and tiny people, and wrapping up with the mythic monsters of Harryhausen from the Sinbad and Jason movies.
The variety of technique here is interesting alone. The sheer artistry of the patient stop-motion artist is of course foremost, but there is also the charm of the Japanese guy in the rubber suit. Less appealing are the asinine use of lizards with fins attached to represent dinosaurs and the sloppy rear projection of pictures like The Spider. And of course, there's the unforgettably cheesy gorilla suit-in-a-diving helmet creature of Robot Monster. But all of them are artworks of ballyhoo, with hyperbole dripping from every sentence of the portentous voiceovers. No subtlety is called for when you're smashing model buildings in a rubber suit, and thankfully none is provided here.
Trailers are often the red-headed stepchild of the movie industry, and they're rarely preserved in good condition. Accordingly, the quality of the source materials here is generally less than marvelous. The oldest, the 1933 trailer for Son of Kong, suffers from heavy spliciness. Others feature scratches, dirt and damage of various types. Two trailers of films from 1960, The Lost World and Gorgo, have sadly faded to pink. But others, such as the 1957 Rodan trailer, are inexplicably gorgeous.
All Day Entertainment amusingly uses the keepcase to simulate the packaging of a 1960s Aurora movie monster model kit. Those familiar with El Cheapo horror movies will get some amusement from the references to the lifelike Bronson Canyon base to the model.
This is a fun accumulation that never really becomes tiresome. "A cast of thousands, at the mercy of the most terrifying monster that ever lived!"
Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||no|
Image Transfer Review: The trailers are presented in a variety of framings, from Academy ratio all the way to Cinemascope. Unfortunately none of them are anamorphic. As noted above the source material is variable in quality, but it's all quite acceptable given the nature of trailers. On a few of the entries, notably Beast of Hollow Mountain, there is digital breakup present in several spots. Black levels are good in general, with nice detail in the ones that don't have a dupey character to them.
Image Transfer Grade: C
Audio Transfer Review: Similarly, the audio on these pieces of ephemera ranges from dodgy to very good. Hiss and noise are present on the oldest trailers, but the newer ones are generally quite good sounding. The levels are set far too high, however, causing me to set the volume control at about 1/5 of reference to avoid hearing damage. These are supposed to be loud to get your attention, I suppose, but this is absurd.
Audio Transfer Grade: C
Disc ExtrasFull Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 61 cues and remote access
Extras Review: Four featurettes of varying quality are included as bonus materials. A period featurette on the making of The Land That Time Forgot (12m:00s) features the grandson of Edgar Rice Burroughs as well as a substantial amount of behind-the-scenes footage and dinosaur material. The This is Dynamation featurette from the promotion of 7th Voyage of Sinbad makes another appearance here, but it's in much poorer condition than on the Harryhausen discs put out by Columbia.
Since the giant monsters were usually brought to life by atomic radiation, it seems appropriate to have a public service film on the effects of fallout, Operation Plumbbob, included here. Unfortunately, it's pretty dull going and its 11m:20s duration seems much longer. Wrapping up the package is a goofy bit of animation from All Day Entertainment tycoon David Kalat, Mega-Morphosis. In this—ahem—free adaptation of Franz Kafka, Gregor Samsa awakens to find that he has been transformed into Godzilla, king of the monsters. The animation is crude but it's charming in its own right and befitting the utterly silly concept.
Thankfully, there is a 'play all' option provided for the trailers.
Extras Grade: C
Final CommentsIf you want your movie monsters big and out of control, you've come to the right place. 61 trailers of nonstop monster mayhem, with the most oversold voiceovers in the Western world. As expected, the quality is variable, but in all an enjoyable set.
Mark Zimmer 2002-11-25