Godzilla vs the Sea Monster (aka Ebirah, Horror of the Deep)
Yara: "I feel sorry for Godzilla."
Yoshimura: "You know, he never did anything bad."
Ryota: "That's right. And not only that, he helped us all to escape too."
release year: 1966
viewing setting: home Bluray, 7/8/19
synopsis: A random group of people get shipwrecked on an island where an awful lot is going on.
impressions: This time, I had to watch the American version (Godzilla vs the Sea Monster) instead of the original Japanese one (Ebirah, Horror of the Deep) but that was okay - the Bluray once again was a clear, widescreen print that looked really good. I'm not sure what (if any) the differences between the two versions were, and it's possible they're identical except for the titles. Also, the subtitles infringed into the picture part of the movie - why don't they put these in the empty black bar underneath the movie?!? Anyhow, this was another one that had a good, engaging human story, and it wasn't worldwide in scope. No military, no big cities in danger...it was more like a "Mysterious Island" type situation, with a random group of people ending up on an island with some regular old bad guys. And a few giant monsters. Other noteworthy elements: a dance competition with some really goofy dance moves, a stolen boat that gets shipwrecked, unexplained proximity of Infant Island and all that comes with that, more singing and dancing (some of which resembled the Solid Gold dancers from the late 70s) to try and wake Mothra, new actresses as the Mothra twin fairies, bad guys who've built an entire factory on their island and who have a functional military, Godzilla just happening to be asleep inside the island, some good tricks by the human protagonists to outwit and defeat the bad guys.
Now let's get to the giant monsters and their battles. Godzilla had a long neck this time, making him look like a walking turtle from certain angles. He also had really big eyes and a fat head...definitely not lean and mean. Mothra looked the exact same as earlier appearances, although this was the adult, flying, moth version. Ebirah was just a really, really big lobster, which is pretty fearsome if you're on a boat in the water but may not be the best configuration for battle. There was also a giant bird (perhaps a condor) that foolishly decided to randomly attack Godzilla. As for the main battles, Godzilla first fought Ebirah in a initial bout that had, among other things: a rock being batted/caught back and forth...Godzilla using his head to bounce another rock back like a soccer player...Ebirah employing the splash attack like a kid in a pool...Godzilla using his boxing moves...Godzilla bodyslamming Ebirah into the ocean...some underwater wrestling. Ebirah eventually gave up and fled, putting an end to round one. At this point, I must mention that Godzilla encountered a lone girl, studied her...and then FELL ASLEEP against a cliff! Shortly thereafter, the aforementioned giant bird displayed poor judgement and was promptly roasted by Godzilla's breath and crashed into the ground, dead. Godzilla did a little victory dance and then...SAT DOWN for no reason! At this point, the Red Bamboo air force chose to attack him, which didn't end well for them; amidst some dancing music (!) Godzilla's random flailing somehow managed to swat every single airplane out of the sky. Worst pilots ever. Freshly pissed off, Godzilla proceeded to head straight to their factory and stomp it into rubble - at one point he even noticed the prominent control-tower building and walked right up to it and stepped on it. He also displayed some smart thinking here, using a rock to circumvent the power line defenses. Elsewhere, the bad guys conveniently fled, all in one boat, but due to a trick, they all bit it after running into Ebirah, who apparently didn't flee too far. Of course, it wasn't long before Godzilla and Ebirah began their rematch, which was intermittent as it cut back and forth between the humans' attempts to escape; that eight minutes probably only contained about four minutes of real giant monster fighting. Some features of round two: Godzilla clapping, more underwater fighting, Godzilla de-clawing Ebirah, then playing with the severed claw. After that was over, Godzilla still wanted to fight more, so he antagonized the newly-arrived Mothra while Mothra was trying to rescue the humans. Eventually, she did, and Godzilla jumped into the ocean before the island blew up, so all was well.
number in Godzilla series: 7
previous Godzilla movie in series: Invasion of Astro-Monster
next Godzilla movie in series: Son of Godzilla
other giant monsters appearing in this one: Mothra, Ebirah (basically a giant lobster), a random giant bird
total giant monster battle time: somewhere between 10-14 minutes
acting: Actor re-use continues. The robber who takes leadership of the group is played by Akira Takarada (who was the main rescue diver in Godzilla and the main reporter in Mothra vs Godzilla and the main astronaut in Invasion of Astro-Monster.) Kumi Mizuno (who was an alien agent in Invasion of Astro-Monster) is a spirited and capable island girl here. Hideyo Amamoto (who had a very minor role in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster) is an officer for the bad guys in this one. Jun Tazaki (who was a general in King Kong vs Godzilla and the editor in Mothra vs Godzilla and a scientist in Invasion of Astro-Monster) is the commander of the bad guys here. As for actors new to the series, there's Toru Watanabe as the one determined brother, searching for the other, who's played by Toru Ibuki. The twin fairies are played by "Pair Bambi" which appear to be another set of twins who look good and can sing. And last but not least, the role of "escaped slave" is played by Shoichi Hirose, who was apparently in different and minor roles in #s 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the Godzilla series.
final word: One of the better overall entries in the series, actually. When this one's turn came, I was like "oh, great, the f***ing sea monster" but it was actually really entertaining.
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