Monday, 2 June 2014
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)
Godzilla's seventh screen outing pits Big G against a giant lobster. Not a giant lobster with laser vision, or a giant lobster with rocket-powered claws ... just a very large shellfish. I'd accuse the studio of becoming lazy with their monster ideas, but his previous enemies were a dragon and a giant moth, so it's a little late for 'becoming'.
So Ebirah isn't exactly the most innovative or exciting concept for an enemy. And he's honestly not very imposing in combat, either. He gets in a few licks against Godzilla, but everyone's favourite atomic dinosaur never really looks all that troubled by is new foe.
Despite the above, I quite liked this. The human cast are a step or too more entertaining than they usually are, and Astro Monster's excessively gonzo characterisation of Godzilla has been toned back considerably (though not entirely). So hurray for both those factors. Big G gets to rampage a bit more aggressively in this one, too. Some pretty fun model smashing sequences.
The plot? Oh yeah ... a fishing boat goes missing, but a psychic assures the family of one of the missing fishermen that he isn't in the land of the dead. So his brother steals a yacht to go looking for him, as you do. He brings along several other guys (without their consent). They get shipwrecked on an island, and discover an Evil Conspiracy, which is protected by the eponymous Horror of the Deep.
Fortunately, Godzilla happens to be taking a nap under a mountain on that very island. What are the chances? So all out heroes need to do is avoid being caught by the evil conspiracy, wake up Godzilla so he can beat up Ebirah, and somehow avoid becoming collateral damage in the process. Piece of cake, right?
If you're a kaiju fan, this is a pretty fair offering. Otherwise, you can skip it.