Godzilla does battle with a giant shrimp, while a band of scrappy castaways elude the villainous clutches of the evil Red Bamboo army. Plus Mothra!

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Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (aka Godzilla vs The Sea Monster) used to be a Saturday morning/night staple on the Monster Movie Theaters of UHF channels of days past. It’s because of this heavy rotation, it’s often maligned as being lesser Godzilla fare, and this simply is not fair.

It IS a lesser Godzilla movie in that it’s not the atypical big city destruction that is synonymous with Godzilla in the minds of the common man. At it’s heart, it’s not even about Godzilla at all. It’s about a likeable band of scrappy castaways and their efforts to rescue their lost friend, while thwarting the evil machinations of terrorist with a mix of swingin’ ingenuity and go-go sabotage. It’s the type of tale that could only happen in the golden era of sci-fi when you didn’t question actions—you went along with the ride, and Godzilla himself is basically an afterthought.

Long backstory short, this film was originally meant to star King Kong, as part of Toho’s deal to use the character. That makes sense when you think about Godzilla performing trademark Kong actions such as swatting planes and lusting after the girl.

Godzilla vs Ebirah

“I likes ya, and I wants ya…”

And Godzilla versus a giant shrimp hardly seems like a fair fight. Though what do YOU know about fighting shrimp? Whenever YOU see them, they’ve already been grilled, skewered, and have a small portion of cocktail sauce to the side. Maybe they’re a more formidable opponent in the wild than you think! Still, without Godzilla, the fights would have been all about Kong throwing rocks, and where’s the fun in that.

Godzilla isn’t just about stomping the Japanese countryside into dust. What Godzilla specializes in is kickin’ ass! Up to this point in the film series, it usually happened in the course of moving from point A to point B, but in this movie his motivations are all over the map. The Red Bamboo and giant bird practically beg for their butt whoopin’ by attacking Godzilla instead of just letting him be.

“Hey, don’t start none won’t be none!”

On the otherhand, Godzilla attacks Ebirah without provocation, ruthlessly taunts him in defeat, and picks a fight with Mothra just for looking at him funny. Quit frankly, Godzilla is a jerk! But the heroes aren’t mad at him, and gosh-darnit, I just can’t stay mad at him either.

Godzilla vs Ebirah

And you just know that all that broiled shrimp is gonna be delicious!

Not the ideal Godzilla beat, but the main score’s swinging, sixties island beat isn’t that bad. And anytime natives sing to Mothra, it’s a good time had by all.
This Monster, This Menace
The thought of a killer shrimp might not initially trigger fear and panic, but when you see one the size of a battleship, you’re going to need to change your shorts, I don’t care who you are! And if that’s not enough, there’s even the world’s boldest buzzard and everyone’s favorite *Lepidoptera thrown in for good measure.
(*congratulations, you just learned a new word!)
Oh, the humanity!
What’s not to like? These are the most enjoyable castaways that don’t include a billionaire and movie star, and before there was Cobra, there was Red Bamboo.

They had an island fortress. They had troops. They had an air force. They had a modified boat. They had aspirations of world domination. They kept their slaves in check with a giant crustacean. That’s so crazy, even The Baroness and Destro would have to be impressed!

Stakes is High
Our heroes are trapped on an island controlled by nuclear weapon making terrorist that’s surrounded by a giant sea monster which is set to blow-up in an hour and only Godzilla can stop them. That’s good, sixties high-drama, no matter what anyone says.
There’s not much pseudoscience on display here, except that lighting wakes up monsters, but that’s Monster Movie 101.
It’s never explained why the yellow spray keeps Ebirah at bay? Maybe he thinks it’s butter — the crustacean’s natural enemy.
Da Art of Storytellin'
It’s a faced past, action/adventure flick that stands well on it’s own, but further proves that everything in life is made even better with the addition of giant monsters.
The Message
“Quitters never prosper.” Need a boat? When a dance contest where one is a prize. If that doesn’t work, then steal one! If you then find yourself stranded and trapped on an island, wake-up as many giant monsters as needed to ensure clear and safe passage home. Gilligan and the others just didn’t try hard enough!
Godzilla vs Ebirah

Far from the prototypical Godzilla outing, but VERY far from being a bad movie. Island girls, a monster chicken, jets suspended on string, mutated seafood, paramilitary terrorists, and Mothra. This movie gives you what you want. This movie gives you what you need!

Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)

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Author Braniff

Braniff believes there isn’t a problem that watching a lil’ Godzilla or a bit of impulse shopping can’t fix.

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