Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966) – Jun Fukuda

It’s time for another kaiju throwdown as I settle in for Ebirah, Horror of the Deep. Light, funny, and goofy, the story follows a young man, Ryota (Toru Watanabe) who sets out in search of his missing brother, Yata (Toru Ibuki), who has been lost at sea.

He needs to find a boat to do so, and thinks about entering a dance contest to win one; there he meets Ichino (Chotaro Togin) and Nita (Hideo Sunazuka), who are determined to show him a yacht, and maybe make off with one. Unfortunately they stumble across one that is serving as a hideout for a safecracker, Yoshimura (Akira Takarada).

The only one that knows how to sail is Ryota, however, so they all finds themselves pulled into an adventure that leads them to Devil’s Island. Here a vicious organization known as Red Bamboo, who are developing atomic weapons for their own use.

The island, itself, is protected by a giant underwater crustacean known as Ebirah, that can only be bypassed by spraying a yellow liquid into the sea around the traveler. To help refine this liquid, the Red Bamboo have taken slaves from nearby Infant Island, the home of Mothra – the remaining locals, led by the Shobijin (Pair Bambi) are singing and praying to the creature to wake it up and rescue their loved ones.

On the island, the boys who are joined by an escaped islander, Daiyo (Kumi Mizuno), and as the elude the Red Bamboo patrols, they find a cave which contains a sleeping Godzilla!!

They cook up the scheme of waking up the great big green guy, in the hopes he will stop the Red Bamboo and maybe Ebirah as well so that they can escape off the island – and worry about a roused Godzilla later.

Godzilla awakes, stomps the Bamboo base, which is ticking down to an inescapable self-destruct, squares off against Ebirah, and Mothra provides air support in rescuing our heroes and the villagers from the island before it’s too late.

The model and effect work is still a lot of fun to watch, and there’s a fun sequence of planes attacking Godzilla that uses angles and shots that we haven’t seen in the series before which, consequently, give the beats a sense of excitement. He also looks great going after Ebirah, and the pair fight in and under the water, and Godzilla makes a lobster dinner of the beast, but only after the escaping Red Bamboo leaders are destroyed.

And after all his work, Godzilla is left on an island that is about to explode, but our heroes call to him, and tell him to jump for it – and the big guy survives for another day, and shows that he still likes a good fight, and maybe he can get along with humans… or at least some of them.

Next time the big guy returns, he has company in… Son of Godzilla!

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