Sunday, August 14, 2011

Godzillapalooza #7: Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966)

Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966)
Monster Profiles:


-HEIGHT: 164 feet
-MASS: 25,300 tons
-SPECIAL POWERS: Ebirah has no particularly special powers to speak of other than physical weapons like claws.
-BACKGROUND: Ebirah is essentially a giant lobster originating from Letchi Island. It is unknown why Ebirah is so large, but it is possible that radiation leaks from the Red Bamboo co. on the Island may have caused this. Ebirah wrecked havoc on any ships in the area around its island, however it was pacified by a special orange berry juice that could be sprayed into the water.


  • MOTHRA (see movie #4)

"Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster", a.k.a. "Ebirah, Horror of the Deep", follows Ryota and his quest to find his older brother Yata, who was lost at sea. Ryota is pretty determined and single-minded when it comes to finding his brother, but for some reason he puts his two goofy buddies, Nita and Ichino, to work to win a boat for him in a dance contest... lazy bum. Anyway, his friends are hilarious, but of course they don't win the dance contest. So Ryota decides to just straight up steal a boat, but he just tells his friends he wants to look at one. The group boards the Yahlen just to look around and are met and threatened by its "owner" Yoshimura, whom they later find out is a criminal on the run. For some reason, Yoshimura decides to let the three guys sleep on the boat for the night, bad idea. They wake up and Ryota has already set sail and they find themselves in the middle of the Pacific. A storm hits their small vessel and they are washed ashore on the Island of Letchi. They soon learn that the evil Red Bamboo organization (which makes nuclear weapons) has established a slave labor camp on the Island using the people of Mothra's Infant Island as slaves. By the way, the leader of the camp has pretty much the coolest eyepatch ever. Back to the story, Ebirah basically guards the Island, allowing no traffic in or out unless it gets some berry juice. The four friends befriend an escaped Infant Island captive named Daiyo, who tells Ryota that Yata is indeed safe in her homeland. But you know Ryota, that's not enough for him, so he steals a weather balloon and flies himself to Infant Island, leaving his friends behind... freaking Ryota. The three still on the Island discover that Godzilla is also sleeping there, so they decide to wake him up to throw a major wrench in everyones plans. So Godzilla kicks Ebirah's ass and destroys the Red Bamboo base, just in time for Mothra to show up and save her people and the three other friends. Just before the whole island blows up, Godzilla does a nifty jump into the ocean and Mothra flies away. Everybody's happy.

With Ishiro Honda no longer directing Godzilla films, the series took a clear shift under the watchful eye of Jun Fukuda. Masaru Sato's score sounds like James Bond and Godzilla go surfing... weird stuff. Another negative is that this movie represents the first in which the Godzilla suit just looks retarded. Pretty much from this movie straight through to "Godzilla vs. Gigan" (with the exception of "Destroy All Monsters") the suit looks like total crap. It kind of looks like a goofy, bug-eyed Cookie Monster. Godzilla doesn't even show up until pretty late in the movie. Anyway, all that being said, I have mixed emotions about this film.

King Kong was originally supposed to be the leading monster in this film, but was replaced by Godzilla at the last minute. This explains a lot of moments that seem very un-Godzilla when watching the movie. The battles with Ebirah are pretty good, but have some strange moments, and Mothra's role is more of a cameo than anything else. Most of the best and funniest parts are provided by Ryota's friends. Overall, it's an alright Godzilla movie. Definitely see it if your a big Godzilla fan or want a few good laughs, but otherwise, don't feel bad about skipping.

Best Part:
I'd say my favorite part of this movie is the chunk from the dance contest until the shipwreck. Nita and Ichino almost kill themselves in a marathon dance contest and it's pretty hilarious. And then the whole situation of being stuck on an unintentionally commandeered boat with a felon makes for some great moments. To give you a flavor of the movie, with some funny commentary, here's Mystery Science Theater 3000's favorite moments...

My Ranking: #23

Up next, we meet Minya for the first time. Fantastic... "Son of Godzilla"

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