Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster (1966 Japan) a.k.a.Ebirah,Horror of the Deep

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Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster (1966 Japan) a.k.a.Ebirah,Horror of the Deep

Post  BoG on Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:26 am

a.k.a. Godzilla, Ebirah and Mothra: Great Duel in the Southern Sea

I've always had a soft spot for this Godzilla entry. My mind may be playing tricks on me, but I'm fairly sure that I saw this in a theater, a re-release in the early seventies, which may explain the strong impression I have of this one from my childhood. Or maybe I just saw this at a very early age on TV (maybe, even, it was one of the first films I saw in color). It's a smaller scale entry than previous Godzilla films, which used the entire world as their canvas (or at least much of Japan); this one mostly takes place on a South Seas island. But, it's this different approach - of focusing on a colorful, exotic small locale - that lends such a charm to this monster movie.

ABOVE: drop-kicking a boulder; and, Godzilla was bigger in the actual film...
Much of the different approach stemmed from a shift to aim this at teens; there's even a quasi-rock soundtrack at times and a sense of 'young man's adventure.' The plot follows a trio of young men and a slightly older 'hero-guy' thief who end up on an island ruled by the sinister 'Red Bamboo' organization (a kind of secret government, straight from the James Bond films). Red Bamboo uses captured natives from Mothra's island as slave labor to manufacture a yellow chemical which keeps Ebirah at bay; Ebirah is a giant lobster which guards the island. It usually first shows its giant claw as it rises up from beneath the surface of the ocean. Red Bamboo's ultimate goals involve nuclear weaponry, presumably to either threaten or rule the world (again, see almost any Bond or Bond-copy films in the sixties). Unknown to Red Bamboo, however, Godzilla (in his 7th film) is slumbering inside a cave on the island. The heroes devise a means to awaken Godzilla. Uh-oh.

This film was originally meant to be the latest Japanese King Kong film but that didn't work out, so Godzilla was substituted. This explains the scene when Godzilla is briefly fascinated by a native girl and the attack by a giant bird - typical Kong elements. Mothra appears briefly at the end after being prayed to for most of the film. I found this one to be pretty action-packed, a result of being directed by Jan Fukuda, known for that style. Godzilla would be back in Son of Godzilla (1967).  BoG's Score: 7.5 out of 10
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