Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)

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Credits for Ebirah, Horror of the Deep
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep soundtrack

Godzilla Films
Invasion of Astro-Monster
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep
Son of Godzilla
Toho Company, Limited Monster Movie
The Japanese poster for Ebirah, Horror of the Deep
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep
Alternate Titles
Flagicon Japan.png Godzilla, Ebirah, Mothra: Great Duel in the South Seas (1966)
Flagicon United States.png Godzilla versus the Sea Monster
(TV 1968)
See alternate titles
Directed by Jun Fukuda
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Written by Shinichi Sekizawa
Music by Masaru Sato
Distributor TohoJP
Walter Reade OrganizationUS
Rating PGUS
Box Office ¥330,000,000[1]
Running Time 87 minutesJP
(1 hour, 27 minutes)
83 minutesUS
(1 hour, 23 minutes)
Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Rate this film!
(78 votes)

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!)

— Japanese tagline

The crushing battle of Godzilla, Mothra, Ebirah! Which will win?

— International tagline

Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (ゴジラ・エビラ・モスラ 南海の大決闘,   Gojira Ebira Mosura: Nankai no Daikettō, lit. Godzilla, Ebirah, Mothra: Great Duel in the South Seas) is a 1966 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.[2]


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.


Main article: Ebirah, Horror of the Deep/Credits.

Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.


Main article: Ebirah, Horror of the Deep/Credits.

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.



Weapons, Vehicles, and Races


Main article: Ebirah, Horror of the Deep/Gallery.


Main article: Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • 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 Monsters 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)

Theatrical Releases

View all posters for the film here.

  • Japan - December 17, 1966[2]   [view poster]Japan poster
  • Germany - 1969   [view poster]German poster
  • France - 1981
  • Spain   [view poster]Spanish lobby card
  • Italy   [view poster]Italian poster
  • Mexico   [view poster]Mexican poster
  • Brazil   [view poster]Brazilian poster
  • Poland   [view poster]Polish poster
  • Turkey   [view poster]Turkish poster
  • Thailand   [view poster]Thai poster

U.S. Release

American Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster VHS cover

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 in New York, under the direction of Peter Fernandez.[citation needed]
  • Captain Ryuui'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 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.

The film was licensed from Film Ventures International and included on the show Mystery Science Theater 3000 as Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster, with new opening credits using footage from Son of Godzilla and different ending music.

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 the Toho-commissioned Frontier Enterprises 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.

Box Office

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.[citation needed]


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).

Leonard Maltin gave the film 2 1/2 stars calling it "one of the more entertaining entries of the series", praising the use of color and Masaru Sato's score.[3]

Video 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

TriStar DVD (2005)[4]

  • 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)[5]

  • 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



Ebirah, Horror of the Deep Japanese trailer
Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster American TV trailer
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep German trailer


Recreated original Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster title card
Original Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster end title


  • 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, while it would still see use in subsequent films for water scenes. During filming, the suit's head was loaned to Tsuburaya Productions and grafted onto the head of the MosuGoji suit to depict the monster Jirass in an episode of Ultraman.
  • 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.

External Links


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: [1]

Era Icon - Toho.png
Era Icon - Showa.png
Era Icon - Godzilla.png
Era Icon - Mothra.png
Era Icon - Ebirah.png
Era Icon - Giant Condor.png


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Titan of Water

23 days ago
Score 0
Just watched the movie last night back to back with Godzilla vs Hedorah. Nothing much to say about this one, it was kinda boring. I didn’t really get into any of the characters, none of them were very interesting. And I had to deal with the cutsie wutsie DaisensoGoji suit, so that didn’t help. Ebriah is kinda a weak villain. I mean, he’s just a Giant version of something you’d get at Red Lobster and he has no powers. You know how Smaug almost never used his fire against the Dwarves im the second Hobbit movie? That’s what I felt here with Godzilla. He barely uses his atomic breath and could just boil the thing if he used it more. I don’t think this is a horrible Godzilla movie however, it was just kind of eh for me. 2/5

Titan of Water

23 days ago
Score 0
I’m is supposed to be in sorry.


20 months ago
Score 1
I love how Mothra is randomly in adult form in this movie and then a larva again in Destroy All Monsters. Such consistency lol. Despite that, I still enjoy this movie.

The King of the Monsters

20 months ago
Score 0
Well it makes sense since this Mothra is the same Mothra from Mothra vs. Godzilla and Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, only grown into an adult, while the Mothra in Destroy All Monsters is a different Mothra.

Green Blob Thing

20 months ago
Score 0
Destroy All Monsters is set 30 years in the future. The Mothra in that film isn't the same Mothra from this film.


27 months ago
Score 0
A lot of people dislike this movie all because King Kong was originally going to be in it and Godzilla was out of place. I still like this movie (even if people say it's bad), it also has my favorite Showa Godzilla design, the DaisensoGoji. 9/10.

The King of the Monsters

27 months ago
Score 0

This has always been one of my favorite Godzilla movies. I can look past the fact that the film was originally written for Kong and appreciate the merits of the film itself. The human cast is very engaging and well-written, and the story is just a fun action/adventure story. The monster action isn't bad either. Godzilla's battles with Ebirah are fun to watch, and Ebirah looks very impressive. Plus the soundtrack is fantastic.

I also consider Son of Godzilla to be a very good movie for most of these same reasons, even though a lot of people write it off just because of the presence of Minilla.


27 months ago
Score 0

I look past that fact too, I also consider Son of Godzilla to be a good movie.

I think both are really good movies, despite those facts.


20 months ago
Score 0
I luv this movie

Toa Hydros

27 months ago
Score 0

My Thoughts: Ebirah: Horror of the Deep

Though I tend to categorize this as one of the weaker films in the Showa series, it's still pretty entertaining in a "Godzilla vs Megalon" sort of way: it's goofy and nonsensical as all getout, but fun.

Much like Monster Zero, the human element is the strongest part of the story, with the protagonists being likable in there own way (except for that one really irritating guy... You know the one.), but I must admit the villains are very weak; only one guy stood out, and that was just because he had an eyepatch.

The monster action is pretty mixed here: the Goji suit is a definite downgrade, and Ebirah is kinda on the bland side as far as kaiju are concerned. He's just a giant lobster who has no special powers beyond slashing water and some decent volleyball skillz. On the other hand, the fights themselves are pretty amusing, and Goji's clash with the jet fighters was pretty cool.

If you can stomach a Godzilla film with a hefty side of cheese, you should like it well enough.