Sunday, January 20, 2013

Godzilla vs The Sea Monster (1966)

The first of Godzilla's two island adventure films, GODZILLA VS THE SEA MONSTER is an immediate departure from the earlier entries in the series, which should come as no surprise considering the lack of involvement from director Ishiro Honda, composer Akira Ifukube, and the limited involvement of Eiji Tsuburaya overseeing the special effects. The script, as originally written, was to include King Kong in place of Godzilla, which accounts for many of Godzilla's atypical mannerisms, as well. The combined effect of each of these changes amounts to one of the weaker entries in the series, with subpar special effects and an uninteresting storyline. This time around, a group of unassuming teenagers happen upon an evil terrorist organization while searching for one of their brothers who was lost at sea. The Red Bamboo defend the island from a giant crustacean known as Ebirah using a chemical weapon that is produced by the natives, who, Ryota and his friend learn, are being enslaved. When it is discovered that Godzilla is also hibernating on the island, Ryota and the others work up a plan to destroy the Red Bamboo and free the slaves with the help of Godzilla and Mothra! GODZILLA VS THE SEA MONSTER seems to draw a strong influence from the industrial espionage that frequented the Bond series in England at the time, and hardly reflects the growing interest in science fiction from the previous films. Ebirah's presence is inconsequential to the plot, and the action sequences are disappointing to say the least. Godzilla and Ebirah even volley a boulder back and forth in one of their few grudge matches. The island series would end the following year with the birth of the SON OF GODZILLA.

Monsters: Godzilla, Ebirah, Mothra. 

Rating: 5/10.

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3 comments:

  1. This is the one, Carl, I mentioned to you that was originally supposed to be a vehicle for Kong. I found it to be quite enjoyable and Kumi Mizuno was super hot here.

    A good cast and the first of a handful of G films directed by Jun Fukuda who took the series in a different direction compared with Ishiro Honda's films. His films were more jazzy, adventure laden and often more child oriented than many of the other entries.

    The Japanese version is much better. The terrorist organization is never recognized by name in the English version, but in the Japanese original, they are called The Red Bamboo.

    Some of the best films to start with in this series (not counting the original) would have to be GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA (1964; possibly the best of all the sequels), MONSTER ZERO (1965; a massive fan favorite) or GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA (1974).

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  2. I should be cracking open the Classic Media set next Saturday if all goes as planned, snuck this one in since I just got my DeepDiscount box with the flicks I bought with my profit from selling the copy of MADMAN I found used for $5 =D

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  3. The King Kong thing is actually more complicated than that.

    -'King Kong vs. Godzilla' was meant to be 'Frankenstein vs. Godzilla,' but changed.

    -The second 'Frankenstein' movie (after 'Frankenstein vs. Baragon') got changed into 'War of the Gargantuas.'

    That's why the whole lightning thing works for Godzilla in this film, when it was meant to work for King Kong...but based on the idea that it would work for Frankenstein.

    Don't films make your head hurt?

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