Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)
|“||Atrocious new monster Ebirah! Three giant monsters of the land, the sea, and the sky take part in the confrontation of the century! (凶悪新怪獣エビラ！陸・海・空に展開する三大怪獣世紀の対決！)||„|
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (ゴジラ・エビラ・モスラ 南海の大決闘?, lit. Godzilla, Ebirah, Mothra: Great Duel in the South Seas) is a Gojira Ebira Mosura: Nankai no Daikettō1966 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho, and the seventh installment in the Godzilla series as well as the Showa series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on December 17, 1966.
After her son Yata Kane is lost in the South Seas, a woman consults a psychic medium, who assures her her son is still alive. With this information, Yata's brother Ryota tries to convince the authorities to resume their search for his brother. When they refuse, Ryota decides to take matters into his own hands. When he sees a flyer for a dance endurance marathon with a boat as the grand prize, Ryota tries to enter, only to find he is too late. When they hear Ryota is looking for a boat, two contestants, Ichino and Nita, decide to show him all the boats at the dock. They climb aboard one specific boat, the yacht called Yahlen, which is seemingly empty. However, they are confronted by Yoshimura, who is armed with a gun and claims to be the ship's owner. Yoshimura tells the three they can stay for the night, but need to leave by morning. All the men go to sleep inside the yacht, but when they awake in the morning they find they are adrift on the open ocean, with Ryota having taken command of the craft to try and find his brother. They then overhear a radio report saying that the yacht has been stolen, and learn that Yoshimura is a thief who recently robbed a bank and was simply hiding on the Yahlen.
After several weeks at sea, the Yahlen comes upon a severe typhoon, which batters the ship before a huge lobster claw breaks the surface and cuts the ship in two. The next morning, the four men find themselves washed ashore on Letchi Island, which seems to be uninhabited. The men climb a mountain to reach the interior of the island, and immediately find a sword. While they worry that the island may not actually be uninhabited, the men use the sword to cut through the brush in the jungle and cut down fruit from the trees. After wandering through the jungle, the men come upon a dock, where a ship is seemingly delivering a load of cargo to a group of armed men. The cargo is taken out of the ship, and revealed to be a group of Infant Islanders bound in chains. As the armed men begin to escort the Infant Islanders away, two of the prisoners escape and try to reach a boat. A machine gun in a nearby watchtower opens fire on them, but cannot hit them. One of the armed men, Captain Ryuii, orders the guns to stop firing, declaring "Ebirah" will take care of the escaped prisoners. As the two escapees row out to sea, a huge claw erupts from the water and destroys the boat. Soon, a huge crustacean surfaces and uses the claw to impale the two men and eat them before diving back under the waves. In the confusion, one of the islanders slips away and escapes into the jungle.
When the four men realize the inhabitants of Letchi Island are far from friendly, they retreat back into the jungle, where they run into the escaped Infat Islander. After they convince her they mean no harm, she introduces herself as Daiyo, a native of Infant Island. She reveals that the armed men are a terrorist group named the Red Bamboo, who frequently abduct natives of Infant Island to use them as slaves for their operations on Letchi Island. When a group of Red Bamboo soldiers approach, the five run away until they find a cave inside a cliff at the edge of the island. They hide inside, and the Red Bamboo give up the search. As the four men debate their next move, Daiyo begins praying to Mothra, who is unfortunately asleep at the moment and cannot hear her people's prayers. When the men look at the bottom of the cave, they notice Godzilla lying motionless. After listening closely, they hear his heartbeat and realize he is alive. Not willing to stay in the same cave housing Godzilla, the five decide to try and infiltrate the Red Bamboo's base on the island. Hiding behind a makeshift bush made from leaves and sticks, the five slowly approach the base and avoid detection from a guard tower. Once they reach the door, Yoshimura uses his lockpicking skills to bypass the lock and allow them inside. The five slip past guards and eventually reach a strange door. Yoshimura picks the lock and goes inside, but realizes that within the door is a nuclear reactor. Yoshimura then determines that this installation is a factory that manufactures heavy water, a substance used for the production of nuclear weapons. As they explore more of the base, they take some gas bombs and copper wire with them. But then, they find themselves face-to-face with Ryuii and his men. Yoshimura tells the others to give up and surrender, but quickly tosses a gas bomb at the Red Bamboo guards, allowing himself and the others to escape.
Outside the base, two of the men pose as Red Bamboo scientists carrying metal panels, with the others hiding between them. However, the Red Bamboo guards notice and catch on, and open fire with their machine guns. The five all scatter, with Yoshimura, Ichino and Daiyo escaping back to the cave, while Nita is captured by the Red Bamboo. Ryota gets his leg tangled in a rope attached to a balloon, which floats into the air and carries him off the island. Back in the cave, Yoshimura and the others form a desperate plan to stop the Red Bamboo and hopefully give them a chance to escape the island: wake up Godzilla. They place the copper wire they took from the base near Godzilla's head, then run it to the outside of the cave, where they place the sword to act as a crude lightning rod. Once a thunderstorm finally passes overhead, lightning strikes the sword, sending an electrical current down the wire and to Godzilla. Godzilla stirs and finally awakens before breaking free from the cave and roaring mightily. Godzilla begins walking toward the coast, but is confronted by Ebirah, who initiates a battle with Godzilla. Godzilla begins throwing rocks at Ebirah, who throws them back and forth at Godzilla until one strikes Godzilla in the knee. Godzilla charges into the water and begins grappling with Ebirah, before blasting the water with his atomic breath, boiling Ebirah alive and forcing him to retreat. Victorious, Godzilla comes back ashore and heads for the interior of Letchi Island.
The balloon carrying Ryota finally touches down on Infant Island, right in the middle of a native ceremony attempting to awaken Mothra. There, Ryota finds Yata, who had been taken in by the Infant Islanders after his shipwreck. Ryota tells the islanders about the activity of the Red Bamboo, to which the Shobijin reply that they are well aware. Yata, not willing to let the islanders continue being persecuted, offers to go to Letchi Island with Ryota to rescue the islanders. The Shobijin thank them, and tell them to construct a large net while on the island and wait. The Infant Islanders load up a boat with supplies, and Ryota and Yata are sent on their way. Back on Letchi Island, Nita has been thrown into a prison with the Infant Islander slaves, who are being forced to create a yellow juice from fruits found on the island. One of the natives explains to Nita that this juice is used by the Red Bamboo's ships to hold off Ebirah so they can freely enter or leave the island's waters. This gives Nita an idea; he tells the others to use only the leaves of the fruit to produce a fake liquid. The others agree and quickly begin enacting Nita's plan.
Godzilla takes up residence on a cliff, where he sits down and nods off. Yoshimura, Ichino and Daiyo try to pass by Godzilla, but he awakens before Daiyo can get to safety. Godzilla begins staring curiously at Daiyo, but is suddenly attacked by a Giant Condor. Godzilla briefly battles the colossal bird before setting it ablaze with his atomic breath and sending it crashing into the water below. Godzilla roars victoriously before turning his attention back to Daiyo, whom he continues to admire. The Red Bamboo send several fighter jets to attack Godzilla, which the kaiju easily destroys. However, the confusion buys Daiyo time to escape with the others. Godzilla decides to retaliate by assaulting the Red Bamboo's base. As Godzilla approaches, Ryuii and the Red Bamboo commander decide to flee the island and order their men to trigger their base's self-destruct mechanism. Godzilla easily breaks through their defenses and begins kicking the nuclear reactor, causing the Red Bamboo's base to collapse. One Red Bamboo scientist manages to trigger the self-destruct before he is crushed by debris, leaving Yoshimura to desperately attempt to disable it. When he cannot reach the override button, Yoshimura and the others decide to flee toward the edge of the island. Ryuii, the commander and the Red Bamboo's remaining men take the slaves' latest batch of yellow juice and place it aboard their ship, unaware the liquid is fake. As their ship begins leaving the island's waters, Ebirah surfaces and destroys the ship, killing everyone aboard. Upon seeing Ebirah, Godzilla re-enters the island's waters and begins a second battle with Ebirah. Ebirah uses his claws to pull Godzilla underwater, but Godzilla smashes Ebirah's face with a boulder and swims back to the surface. Ebirah tries to grapple with Godzilla again, but Godzilla bites down on his claw and tears it off. He then bites Ebirah's other claw and bites it off as well before blasting the water with his atomic breath, boiling Ebirah alive once again. Thoroughly defeated, Ebirah swims away as Godzilla taunts him with his severed claw.
Ryota, Yata, Nita, Ichino, Yoshimura and Daiyo all meet up and help the Infant Islanders escape and build a giant net as instructed by the Shobijin. True to their word, the Shobijin soon arrive on the back of Mothra, telling everyone to stand inside the net. When Godzilla sees Mothra flying overhead, he comes back ashore and tries to instigate a fight with her. Not wanting to waste time fighting Godzilla, Mothra knocks him over with her wing and grabs the net holding the islanders and the others, then flies away. As everyone looks back to the island, they remark that Godzilla saved their lives and begin to call to him, warning that the island will soon explode. Godzilla watches Mothra fly away for a few moments, then dives into the water just as the island is consumed by a nuclear explosion. Godzilla surfaces and roars, causing everyone to celebrate when they realize he has escaped.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Jun Fukuda
- Written by Shinichi Sekizawa
- Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
- Music by Masaru Sato
- Cinematography by Kazuo Yamada
- Edited by Ryohei Fujii
- Production Design by Takeo Kita, Akira Watanabe
- Assistant Directing by Ken Sano
- Special Effects by Teisho Arikawa, Eiji Tsuburaya
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Akira Takarada as Yoshimura
- Kumi Mizuno as Daiyo
- Chotaro Togin as Ichino
- Hideo Sunazuka as Nita
- Toru Watanabe as Ryota Kane
- Toru Ibuki as Yata Kane
- Akihiko Hirata as Red Bamboo Captain Ryuui
- Jun Tazaki as Red Bamboo Commander
- Ikio Sawamura as Elderly Slave
- "Pair Bambi" as Shobijin
- Hideyo Amamoto as Red Bamboo Naval Officer
- Hisaya Ito as Red Bamboo Scientist
- Tadashi Okabe as Red Bamboo Scientist
- Chieko Nakakita as Mother of Ryota and Yata
- Fumiko Honma as Spiritualist
- Yutaka Sada as Farmer
- Shoichi Hirose as Infant Islander
- Kazuo Suzuki as Infant Islander
- Wataru Omae as Infant Islander
- Kenichiro Maruyama as Infant Islander
- Shigeki Ishida as Newspaper Editor
- Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla
- Hiroshi Sekita as Ebirah
Weapons, Vehicles, and Races
- Main article: Ebirah, Horror of the Deep/Gallery.
- Main article: Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (Soundtrack).
- Godzilla, Ebirah, Mothra: Great Duel in the South Seas (Literal Japanese Title)
- Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (United States)
- Ebirah - Terror of the Deep (United Kingdom)
- The Monsters from the Sea (Los monstruos del mar; Spain)
- Godzilla versus the Terror of the Seas (Godzilla contra el terror de los mares; Mexico)
- Ebirah, horror of the seas, versus Godzilla (Ebirah, terror de los mares, vs. Godzilla; Mexico)
- Ebirah, Horror in the Depths! (Ebirah, horror en las profundidades!; Colombia)
- Ebirah versus Godzilla (Ebirah contre Godzilla; France)
- Frankenstein and the Monster from the Ocean (Frankenstein und die ungeheuer aus dem meer; Germany)
- The Return of Godzilla (Il ritorno di Godzilla; Italy)
- Godzilla, King of the Monsters (Godzilla, uhyernes konge; Sweden)
- Ebirah: Monster of the Depths (EBIRAH - POTWOR Z GŁĘBIN; Poland)
- Mothra the Flying Dracula Monster (Motta het vligiende Dracula monster; Holland)
- Ebirah: Monster Island (Ebirah, canavarlar adasi; Turkey)
View all posters for the film here.
- Japan - December 17, 1966 [view poster]
- United States - 1968 (TV)
- Germany - 1969 [view poster]
- France - 1981
- Spain [view poster]
- Italy [view poster]
- Mexico [view poster]
- Brazil [view poster]
- Poland [view poster]
- Turkey [view poster]
- Thailand [view poster]
In 1968, Ebirah, Horror of the Deep was released directly to television in North America by the Walter Reade Organization, under the title Godzilla versus the Sea Monster. It was the first Godzilla film to not receive North American theatrical distribution. There were several small alterations made:
- Dialogue was dubbed to English by Titan Productions.
- Captain Ryujo's name was changed to Yamoto. Ebirah and the Red Bamboo are never referred to by name (though in the Frontier Enterprises dub from which the script was based, he is only referred to as the "Guard Commander").
- Altered: Some footage showing Ebirah's attack on the Yahlen was moved to the beginning of the film to stand in as Yata's fishing boat, followed by a narrated "Two months later..." over the first shot that follows the original credits sequence.
- Deleted: The opening credits sequence. This version features only the title card reading "Godzilla versus the Sea Monster."
- Deleted: A scene where Ryota goes to the Maritime Safety office and sees a poster on the wall for a dance contest.
- Deleted: Ryota showing his shipmates a newspaper headlining the loss of Yata's fishing boat.
- Deleted: Additional dialogue from Yoshimura about collaborating with Ryota to somehow turn the Yahlen around.
- Deleted: A stock Masaru Sato surf rock piece from the film High and Low that played in the Japanese version during Godzilla's battle with the Red Bamboo air force.
- Deleted: Several short, redundant scenes of the Infant Islanders' prayer during the climax are cut.
Official home video releases derived from the 1980s Alan Enterprises/CST video master are missing the original ending title in the same font as the opening title card, using new Toho copyrighted end titles instead.
In 2005, TriStar Pictures released Ebirah, Horror of the Deep on DVD in North America for the first time. Their DVD release included the original Japanese audio track for the film as well as Toho's international English dub. Interestingly, TriStar chose to release the film under its original U.S. title, Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (though with "versus" in its abbreviated form), rather than under its official international English title, as it had done in most of its other releases. TriStar even created a brand new English title card for the film reading "Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster," replacing the international title card. In 2014, Kraken Releasing released the film under its international title for the first time in the U.S. on DVD and Blu-Ray. However, this release still included TriStar's English title card.
When Ebirah, Horror of the Deep was released theatrically in Japan on December 17, 1966, it had an attendance of 3,450,000. When the film was re-issued on July 22, 1972, it received 760,000 attendees, adding up to a total of roughly 4,210,000 tickets sold.
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep has received mixed reviews from the Godzilla fanbase, with some fans praising its unique story, interesting characters, and focus on human action over monster battles, while others have criticized its lack of monster screentime, the appearance of the Godzilla suit, and the fact that Godzilla seemed out of place in the film (possibly due to the role originally being written for King Kong).
DVD and Blu-ray Releases
Toho DVD (2003)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono, 5.1 Surround)
- Subtitles: Japanese
- Special Features: Audio commentary by Haruo Nakajima, Japanese trailer, 8mm version of Space Amoeba (5 minutes), storybook with commentary
Madman DVD (2005)
- Region: 4
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono and 5.1 Surround), English (2.0 Mono, international dub)
- Subtitles: English
- Special Features: Poster gallery, Japanese trailer, Madman-made trailers
- Region: 1
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono), English (2.0 Mono, international dub)
- Subtitles: English
- Special Features: Trailers
- Notes: Out of print.
Aventi Distribution DVD (2006)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 2
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono)
- Subtitles: French
- Special Features: None
- Notes: Packaged with Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah.
Kraken Releasing DVD/Blu-ray (2014)
- Region: 1 (DVD) or A/1 (Blu-Ray)
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono), English (2.0 Mono, international dub)
- Subtitles: English
- Special Features: Japanese trailer
- This is the first Godzilla film in which an uncharted island is the primary setting rather than a location inside Japan.
- Originally, this film was titled Operation Robinson Crusoe: King Kong vs. Ebirah, and starred King Kong instead of Godzilla. This explains why in the film Godzilla draws strength from electricity and exhibits a sort of attraction to the female protagonist, Daiyo, traits previously associated with King Kong. It also explains why neither of Godzilla's opponents in the film possess special abilities and why Godzilla attacked Mothra despite having been allies with her previously, as Kong had never met Mothra. Rankin/Bass Productions, who had provided Toho with the license to Kong in order to co-produce a tie-in film for their cartoon The King Kong Show, reportedly felt the film did not follow the show closely enough, so Toho replaced Kong in the film with Godzilla and produced King Kong Escapes instead the very next year.
- The Godzilla suit used for this film is the same "DaisensoGoji" suit used the previous year for Invasion of Astro-Monster. This is the last movie where this suit is used throughout.
- Ebirah, Horror of the Deep was re-released at the Summer Toho Film Festival on July 22, 1972 alongside a theatrical version of episode 18 of Mirrorman titled Mirrorman: Dinosaur Aroza Rises From The Dead and various cartoons.
- Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, under the title Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster, was featured on Season 2 of the movie-mocking television series Mystery Science Theater 3000. Like a number of movies shown during the show's early seasons, it featuring a new opening and end credits created by Film Ventures International using footage from a different movie, in this case Son of Godzilla.
This is a list of references for Ebirah, Horror of the Deep. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: 
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