Godzilla movies are a lot like sex. Even when they’re bad, they’re still pretty good but sometimes you get crabs.

When Ryota’s brother is lost at sea, he begs anyone who’ll listen to him for help but his pleas fall on deaf ears. It’s not long before Ryota realizes he’s own and he’ll have to take matters into his own hands.

So Ryota nonchalantly hijacks a boat only to discover the supposed owner is in fact a thief. And just as his unwilling passengers begin to contemplate mutiny, an ominous storm brews of their bow and a giant claw emerges from the water & knocks them from their ship. Now depsite (or maybe because of) the extreme close-ups & signature models used in Godzilla movies this scene runs rings around modern cg storms. It’s surreal. Everything’s just so slow, so suspenseful. Not like today, where scary = a darkly-lit screen + an unidentifiable thing running around (looking at you Cloverfield).

As day breaks the men awaken to find themselves on a strange island where an organization known as Red Bamboo has been enslaving the inhabitants of Infant Island otherwise known as home of everyone’s favorite bug – Mothra!

But don’t count on Mothra to swoop to the rescue, he’s sleeping as usual and he’s not the only one. Ryota and his friends find an unconscious Godzilla buried beneath a mountain of rumble. With few options open to them, they decide to wake up the sleeping giant in hopes that he’ll take care of the sea monster – Ebirah! So it’s a pretty big let down when Godzilla decides to a nap right after they wake him up!

Eventually the big guy does kick some butt, but surprisingly what’s supposed to be the main event: Godzilla Vs. Ebirah, which looks like a virtual volleyball match at one point with them tossing a bolder back and forth, is upstaged by what is usually only a footnote in Godzilla battles. I’m talking of course about the inevitable airplane attacks. Not only is the fight sequence straight outta King Kong, Godzilla can clearly be seen dancing to the surf music soundtrack that he shouldn’t be able to hear…

Godzilla is so strong he can even break the 4th wall.

Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster AKA Ebirah: Horror of the Deep is perhaps most memorable for what’s not in it: King Kong. It was originally called Operation Robinson Crusoe: King Kong vs. Ebirah but when the Americans pulled out it was rewritten with Godzilla as the star, which explains scenes like Godzilla going ape over one of the islanders.

Despite the aforementioned monster snoozefest the story’s pretty solid (even if a little lacking in character development) and seeing Godzilla dance, well that alone makes this worth watching. As always I’ve included the best scenes in an original trailer (above).

Random Factoids:

  • Ebi is Japanese for shrimp, so Ebirah is quite literally a jumbo shrimp.
  • The blast radius of a Nuclear explosion ends at the shore’s edge, regardless of the size of the island or explosion.
  • Total arms ripped off: 1 (watch to see whose).
  • Godzilla can dance.