Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ebirah, Horror of the Deep - 1966

More commonly known as Godzilla Versus the Sea Monster

Well, I just did like 30 seconds of research to try and find out if the Japanese suffix "ra" had any special meaning, but I couldn't find it.  I mean, I just find it slightly odd that in Japanese Godzilla is Gojira, then there's Ebirah, Mothra, Ghidorah, Hedorah, even Gamera fits the bill.  But, fuck you internet, you decided I don't get to know.  So now my loving audience doesn't get to know either.

One thing I thought early on in this movie was that it's kind of strange how they've treated Godzilla's breath weapon as this movie franchise has evolved.  In the first movie Gojira the big bad lizard uses his breath lots of times, destroying houses and tanks and people, and it's badass.  Then as time goes on he slowly uses it less and less.  In this movie, which was the 7th in the franchise, he uses it early on against Ebirah.  In fact it's the first thing he does.  Yet in later sequels, he would wait and only use his breath seemingly as a last resort.  One thing I thought of just now was that maybe in the Showa era when Godzilla was good they minimized his breath to make him appear less savage and or had a fake reason like that it was bad for humans or something.

Additionally, they wanted to build up to his breath in later installments of course.  It's like in the 98 film where the breath is not even existent, it's more like him blowing oxygen on a flame, it doesn't come from him at all.  And the breath probably is the most "unrealistic" aspect of the giant mutant dinosaur lizard thing, so they also probably didn't want to focus on it as time went on.

In this movie, Godzilla was supposed to be King Kong.  This traces back to Toho's desire to put all sorts of other monsters in their kaiju films, they wanted to use Frankenstein in Godzilla versus King Kong, they wanted to bring Kong back several times, and this was one of them.  Kong would've made more sense, especially at the part near the end of this film where Godzilla randomly attacks Mothra even though they're supposed to be friends.  I love Toho's approach there by the way.  Um, so we didn't get Kong, so should we maybe change the script since having Godzilla attack Mothra makes no sense?  Fuck it, no one will notice, just have Godzilla attack Mothra anyway.

I also love the poster:
Featuring Mothra!  Who is in the film for all of 1 minute and definitely is not bigger than Godzilla!  And who really does nothing that important anyways!  
Oh and by the way, that weird brownish thing is the main villain...

Ebirah aka the Sea Monster is a giant lobster, who is hanging out near an island being all destructive at the beginning of this film.  He is semi-friends with the island folk, who avoid him with a yellow powder that makes him go away.  He sinks some ships and generally is just a giant lobster while in the meantime some people on the island stumble across Godzilla who's knocked out under a mountain on the island.  They use a lightning rod to revive him, and when he wakes he fights Ebirah.  The two monsters are soon joined by Mothra, and the island is slowly becoming unstable.

As far as fights go, this movie is extremely minimal.  Two fights happen, both are fairly short, and Ebirah (who does NOT win, spoiler alert) barely even looks like a threat against Godzilla.  If anything this movie kind of comes across more of an adventure movie about the humans with a side plot about monsters thrown in awkwardly.

Another thing, this is my least favorite Godzilla suit.  Or one of them at least.  Mostly it's the eyes. it looks like he's always looking up.  And they're too big and goofy looking.  It was only used in two movies, some small scenes in others, but it's easy to see why it was abandoned.  After all this was also the suit that did that retarded dance in Invasion of the Astro Monster.  

This is a far from necessary Godzilla film for completionists only, not necessarily one to avoid at all costs, but don't expect a lot from it.  I'll give it 3 stars though, cause it's still entertaining, watchable, fast paced, and has a good looking lobster in it.

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