Ebirah, Horror of the Deep

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Ebirah, Horror of the Deep
Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJun Fukuda[1]
Produced byTomoyuki Tanaka[1]
Screenplay byShinichi Sekizawa[1]
Music byMasaru Sato[1]
CinematographyKazuo Yamada[1]
Edited byRyohei Fujii[1]
Distributed byToho
Release date
  • December 17, 1966 (1966-12-17) (Japan)
Running time
87 minutes[1]
Box office¥330 million (Japan)[2][3]

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: Big Duel in the South Seas) is a 1966 Japanese kaiju film directed by Jun Fukuda and produced and distributed by Toho Studios. The film stars Akira Takarada, Kumi Mizuno, Akihiko Hirata and Eisei Amamoto, and features the fictional monster characters Godzilla, Mothra, and Ebirah. It is the seventh film in the Godzilla franchise, and features special effects by Sadamasa Arikawa, under the supervision of Eiji Tsuburaya. In the film, Godzilla and Ebirah are portrayed by Haruo Nakajima and Hiroshi Sekita, respectively.[1][4]

During its development, Ebirah, Horror of the Deep was intended to feature King Kong, but the character was replaced by Godzilla. The film was released to theaters in Japan on December 17, 1966, and was released directly to television in the United States in 1968 under the title Godzilla versus the Sea Monster.


After Yata is lost at sea, his brother Ryota steals a yacht with his two friends and a bank robber. However, the crew runs afoul of Ebirah, a giant lobster-like creature, and washes ashore on Letchi Island. There the Red Bamboo, a terrorist organization, manufactures heavy water for selling weapons of mass destruction; as well as a yellow liquid that keeps Ebirah at bay, presumably controlling him. The Red Bamboo has enslaved natives from nearby Infant Island to create the yellow liquid, the natives hoping that Mothra will awaken in her winged, adult form and rescue them.

In their efforts to avoid capture, Ryota and his friends, aided by Daiyo, a native girl, come across Godzilla, who previously fought Ghidorah and is now sleeping within a cliffside cavern. The group devises a plan to defeat the Red Bamboo and escape the island. In the process, they awaken Godzilla using a makeshift lightning rod. Godzilla fights Ebirah, but the huge crustacean escapes. Godzilla is then attacked by a giant condor and a squadron of Red Bamboo fighter jets. Using his atomic ray, Godzilla destroys the jets and kills the giant bird.

The humans retrieve the missing Yata and free the enslaved natives as Godzilla begins to destroy the Red Bamboo's base of operations, smashing a tower that causes a countdown that will destroy the island in a nuclear explosion. Godzilla fights Ebirah and defeats him, ripping his claws off, forcing him to retreat back into the sea. The natives await for Mothra to carry them off in a large net. However, Godzilla challenges Mothra, since the monsters previously battled in 1964, when she gets to the island. Mothra manages to repel Godzilla and save her people and the human heroes. Godzilla also escapes just before the bomb detonates and destroys the island.


  • Akira Takarada as Yoshimura
  • Toru Watanabe as Ryota Kane
  • Toru Ibuki as Yata Kane
  • Chotaro Togin as Ichino
  • Hideo Sunazuka as Nita
  • Kumi Mizuno as Daiyo
  • Pair Bambi as the Shobijin, Mothra's tiny twin priestesses
  • Jun Tazaki as Red Bamboo Commander
  • Akihiko Hirata as Red Bamboo Captain Ryuui
  • Hideyo Amamoto as Red Bamboo Captain Naval Officer
  • Yutaka Sada as Farmer
  • Hisaya Ito as Red Bamboo scientist
  • Tadashi Okabe as Red Bamboo scientist
  • Chieko Nakakita as Mrs. Kane
  • Ikio Sawamura as elderly slave
  • Shoichi Hirose as escaped slave
  • Kazuo Suzuki as escaped slave
  • Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla[5]
  • Hiroshi Sekita as Ebirah[5]



The film was originally written to feature King Kong rather than Godzilla.[6] The film's working title was Operation Robinson Crusoe: King Kong vs. Ebirah, and the project was rejected by Rankin/Bass Productions before being accepted by Toho, after which King Kong's role in the film was replaced by Godzilla.[7] Despite the fact that Eiji Tsuburaya was given directorial credit for the special effects, Sadamasa Arikawa actually directed the special effects under the supervision of Tsuburaya, who had his own company, Tsuburaya Productions, at the time.[8] Toho had decided to set the film on an island in order to cut back on special effects costs.[9] Arikawa has cited the film as a frustrating experience, stating, "There were major limitations on the budget from the studio. Toho couldn't have made too many demands about the budget if Mr. Tsuburaya had been in charge. The studio knew I was also doing TV work then, so they must have figured I could produce the movie cheaply."[8]

Special effects[edit]

The underwater sequences were filmed on an indoor soundstage where the Godzilla and Ebirah suits were filmed through the glass of a water-filled aquarium, with some scenes of the Godzilla suit shot separately underwater as well.[8] Haruo Nakajima (the suit performer for Godzilla) wore a wet suit under the Godzilla suit for every scene that required him to be in the water, which took a week to complete the water scenes, Nakajima stated, "I worked overtime until about eight o'clock everyday. Even though I wore a wet suit under the costume, I got cold. But I never got sick, because I was so tense during the filming."[8]


This is the first of two Godzilla films in which a Pacific island is the primary setting, rather than a location inside Japan. The second and final one is Son of Godzilla (1967).[citation needed]


Ebirah, Horror of the Deep was released theatrically in Japan on December 17, 1966 where it was distributed by Toho.[1]

The American version of the film was released directly to television by Continental Distributing in 1968 under the title Godzilla Versus the Sea Monster.[1] The film may have received theatrical distribution in the United States as a Walter Reade, Jr. Presentation, but this has not been confirmed.[1]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD on February 8, 2005 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.[10] The film was released on Blu-ray on May 6, 2014 by Kraken Releasing.[11] In 2019, the Japanese version was included in a Blu-ray box set released by the Criterion Collection, which included all 15 films from the franchise's Shōwa era.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Galbraith IV 2008, p. 234.
  2. ^ ゴジラ・エビラ・モスラ 南海の大決闘
  3. ^ 歴代ゴジラ映画作品一覧
  4. ^ Ragone 2007, p. 145.
  5. ^ a b Ryfle 1998, p. 356.
  6. ^ Gramuglia, Anthony (7 April 2019). "Every Godzilla Film, Ranked". ScreenRant. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  7. ^ Ryfle 1998, p. 135.
  8. ^ a b c d Ryfle 1998, p. 136.
  9. ^ Ryfle 1998, p. 133.
  10. ^ "Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  11. ^ "Ebirah: Horror of the Deep Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  12. ^ Patches, Matt (July 25, 2019). "Criterion reveals the collection's 1000th disc: the ultimate Godzilla set". Polygon. Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved July 25, 2019.


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