Godzilla vs the Sea Monster (Ebirah, Horror of the Deep) 1966
This movie, Godzilla vs the Sea Monster (1966) and the next movie, Son of Godzilla (1967) I call Godzilla goes on Vacation. We see Godzilla away from his usual surroundings, stomping on Tokyo, and instead we see him on a tropical Island. I think both movies were a creative change of pace for the typical monster movie and displayed a willingness on Toho’s part to try something new. This move was not directed by Ishirō Honda, who was unavailable but was directed by Jun Fukuda.
This was not originally going to be a Godzilla movie. In fact, the script was written with King Kong in mind. Several of the scenes make more sense when viewed in that light. We first meet Godzilla encased in a mountain (instead of rising up from the sea) we also see Godzilla sitting down and enamored with one of the lovely island girls and when we first see Godzilla combat, Ebirah, the giant lobster like sea monster, he is throwing rocks and batting them back and forth with his crustacean nemesis. Godzilla is also awoken and strengthen by electricity. All of these elements are more indicative of Kong than Godzilla.
The plot is pretty simple and convoluted which for me, is the fun aspect of these movies. A man named Yata (Tooru Ibuki) was lost at sea near a Pacific Island and his brother, Ryota (Tooru Watanabe), steals a yacht with his two friends to go in search of him. On the stolen yacht happens to be a criminal who was hiding from the law. Once the reach the island they find it is protected by a giant lobster named Ebirah. Also on the island is a criminal organization bent on world domination called “The Red Bamboo.” Working for this organization as slave labor are the inhabitants of Infant Island (home of Mothra). Any time a slave tries to escape they are eaten by Ebirah. Ryota and his friends also finds a lovely Island girl who helps them steer clear of the Red Bamboo. While evading the Red Bamboo they stumble across a sleeping Godzilla who happens to get woken up by a thunderstorm. He then has a quick and indecisive battle with Ebirah where they bat rocks back and forth between each other. Why Godzilla doesn’t boil the lobster with his atomic breath and have a feast is a real good question. Godzilla comes across our noble heroes who are trying to rescue Yata and the slaves from Infant Island and has a big crush on the native girl.
The Red Bamboo, who are well equipped with an army, sends their fighter jets after Godzilla who makes short work of them. Godzilla destroys Red Bamboo’s facilities including a tower that will make the island self destruct. The humans save Yata and the slaves from Infant Island who summon Mothra to rescue them. Godzilla once again battles Ebirah and rips his claws off as the monster slips into the sea. Mothra chases away Godzilla and rescues the people as the island blows up.
This is one of the movies that has grown on me. At first I didn’t care for it too much but it does have its charm. The monster battles are engaging and well filmed. The cinematography is excellent and the island scenery is beautiful. So is the pretty native gal. No wonder Godzilla develops a crush on her!! Although Godzilla slowly evolved from a serious monster into something more aimed at children, I think it is with this movie that the franchise fully arrives as a kid friendly franchise. Although there is one scene where the Sea Monster, Ebirah, picks up some escapee’s with his claws and eats them. The same suit was used in this movie as the previous one, Invasion of the Astro-Monster, and the large movable eyes and rounded dorsal fins gave Godzilla a friendlier appearance. I have to say a word about the English dubbing. It sounds just awful. The voice acting at times just sounds forced and very silly.
I would call this an average Godzilla movie, rate it about a C+. There are better ones and worse ones. Still enjoyable but not too memorable.
Posted on July 6, 2012, in Godzilla Movie Review and tagged Akihiko Hirata, Akira Takarada, Chotaro Togin, Ebirah, Ebirha, Eisei Amamoto, Godzilla, Godzilla vs the Sea Monster, Gojira, Haruo Nakajima, Hideo Sunazuka, Horror of the Deep, Ikio Sawamura, Jun Tazaki, Kumi Mizuno, Pair Bambi, Toru Ibuki, Toru Watanabe. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.