Monster of the Day #105

“Quick, get the giant vat of drawn butter!”*

[*I’m pretty sure I’m the first person EVER to make that joke.]
  • My main man Ebirah! I love this guy! Concept-wise one of the worst foes Godzilla ever fought (a shrimp with no powers v. the King of the Monsters? Really?), but man, did he give it his best shot!

  • As I’m sure I’ve noted before, this was my first G film, and so I imprinted on it pretty heavily. Son of Godzilla was my second, and thus I was amazed and shocked as an adult to learn there were those who held the two “Pacific island” Godzilla movies in disdain. I continue to find them quite wonderful.

  • The Rev.

    Poor Ebirah. At least he lost to the King of the Monsters in this one; years later he’d lose to a bunch of mutant alien ninjas with laser guns, the poor bastard.

    I’ve grown more fond of this movie as I’ve gotten older. I wouldn’t put it in my favorites, but I have more fun with the non-monster stuff nowadays.

    Cullen: Well, considering he was originally supposed to be an opponent for King Kong…

    I haven’t seen it in a while, but I seem to recall Godzilla never once using his breath on Ebirah. As a kid this mystified me; I understand now they were trying to prolong the fight. Still, he didn’t do too badly, all things considered.

    Ken: Since I used to not rank it very highly, I can see where people might not be thrilled with this one. As we’ve discussed before, though, I’m completely with you on SoG, and that was one of the last of the original series I saw.

    My first G-movie was Godzilla ’85, which sadly has not held up (although I look forward to seeing the original version someday). The second one I saw, and first one I owned, was Godzilla vs. Megalon, which I love more and more as I get older and realize just how batshit that movie was. It got even better when I finally saw the uncut version and finally found out the signifigance of that huge rock flying toward the camera. (Yes, my original store-bought copy had cut that particular death out!) I always thought Megalon was a pretty tough opponent, with all his bombs and rays and metal drill hands. It was also, of course, my introduction to Gigan, who is awesome.

  • Reed

    Ebirah could have been an awesome opponent if he had been one of those shrimps with the little hammer arms that hit with the force of a .22 bullet. I saw a thing on the Discovery Channel about those one time, and they said that if you used the same impact/size ratio and expanded the shrimp to man size it could hit with the force of a deck gun from a battle ship. Make him Godzilla sized…

    Ah, who am I kidding. He’d have been heavily armed sushi. You do have to admire his fighting spirit, though. What possible thoughts of victory could have been going through his shrimp brain?

  • DrK

    I remember this one as a kid as well, but I think what had the biggest impact on me was Kumi Mizuno running around in that sarong thing…..

  • The Rev.

    Reed: Ahh, the pistol shrimp. Yeah, that would have been interesting. Hell, we’ve got a giant mutated dinosaur that breathes radioactive fire; have the “snap” turn into some sort of concussive beam attack!

    I keep waiting for someone to make a movie with giant killer mantis shrimp. Imagine what a car-sized one could do to a person. Pistol shrimp could be good too.

    I also keep hoping for gulper eels, but that’s just me.

  • Ericb

    It’s surf and turf kaiju night at the Sizzler!

  • BeckoningChasm

    Before I clicked, I was almost thinking it might be “Teenagers from Outer Space.”

  • Rock Baker

    Godzilla does use his ray a time or two, most prominently to put some space between himself and “that mammoth lobster.”

    Fantastic fun, this movie is! Its just so…so…60s! You can tell this was made right at the very hight of James Bond Fever. Just great, super-fun stuff! I only wish they’d made one or two more films in this vein along with Son of Godzilla and King Kong Escapes.

  • There are two crustaceans with snapping claws – the pistol shrimp, which apparently does use its claw for a percussive distance attack to stun prey, and that mightiest of all arthropods – the mantis shrimp, which is festooned with weapons and defenses like a mini-kaiju. From a thickly armored tail shield it uses to protect its body to upside-down mantis claws which move fast enough to grab guppies out of the “air”, they rule. Plus they’re brightly colored. And they can be big, for shrimp. Up to 14 inches long.

    At least they regularly eat vertebrates, which might give them a chance against a non-breathing Godzilla.

  • Rock Baker

    14″ shrimp?! I’m very hungry all of a sudden…

  • zombiewhacker

    The “Pacific Island” ones rock. Wouldn’t Destroy All Monsters sorta fall in this category as well?

    Also, anyone know why the quality of the movies dropped so precipitously in the 70s?

  • I’m not sure the Godzilla film quality dropped THAT precipitously in the 70s. After all, Godzilla Raids Again is one of the worst, and that’s way back in the 50s. Also Son of Godzilla and Godzilla’s Revenge were both filmed in the 1960s and they blow fat toads IMO. Even King Kong vs. Godzilla is pretty terrible.

  • Incidentally while I have never eaten a mantis shrimp, word on the street is that they are quite tasty, and they have extraordinary long and meaty tails compared to normal shrimp.

  • The Rev.

    I’m with Sandy on the perceived drop in quality. There were ones that weren’t that great before the ’70s. I disagree on SoG but agree on Revenge. I have heard the original, unbutchered version of GRA is actually quite a bit better, although not great; however, that doesn’t help the Americanized version most of us are used to, which is pretty bad. KKvG is pretty fun, although certainly not a classic and it does bog down at times.

    As for the ’70s, the two with Gigan were not very good in an objective sense, although they’re a hoot in a bad movie sense. However, I thought the two Mechagodzilla movies were among the stronger entries of the Showa series.

  • Rev, I will fail to defend Son of Godzilla at every opportunity.

  • John Campbell

    Most favorite Big G movie ever!

  • Rock Baker

    I once again feel like I’m alone in my boat, since I happen to’ve really enjoyed both Gigantis AND King Kong vs Godzilla. I also must say I enjoyed Godzilla on Monster Island.

    As to ZW’s question of the drop in quality, the answer is mostly tied with the budgets and changing times at Toho. Around the 69-72 era, Toho’s creative crews were changing, helped along by budget cuts. Most of the old crew went to television doing various Ultra shows. The new crews, reportedly, didn’t hold the series to heart and standard as the previous guard had. Mostly, it was reduced budgets, which brought on the ‘Pacific Island’ period to start with. Toho began to cut down on the cost of their effects films in 1965, and the cuts became more and more drastic until we reach Godzilla vs Megalon, which is why it and the previous film are so stock footage-heavy. With 1974 and Cosmic Monster, Toho modestly increased the budget with hopes of breathing new life into their cash cow. After Terror of Godzilla, it was obvious the returns didn’t justify the increased budgets and the series was dropped altogether.

  • zombiewhacker

    “…and the cuts became more and more drastic until we reach Godzilla vs Megalon, which is why it and the previous film are so stock footage-heavy.”

    Yeah, budget cuts are a big part of it. But also the scripts just stink. KK v. G (whichever version you watch) and G v. Mothra are infinitely superior script-wise to the likes of G vs. Megalon.

  • Rock Baker

    Well, that’s part of it. When I mentioned the changing creative crews and new staff, the series fell into lesser hands on all counts. To the new regime, Godzilla was no longer an important element of Japanese culture so much as a pop-icon sold just as much to the all-important U.S. market as much as for domestic consumption. The 90’s films, and even more so the ones that followed, were as much about reclaiming Godzilla as a Japanese symbol as much as economic gain, or so one would believe from the films themselves, which seem to wear their feelings on their sleeves.

  • sandra

    i was hoping that was Naraz, and he was going to join forces with Godzilla and Mothra to save Japan from attack by superhuman vegetables from outer space, led by a giant cauliflower named Vego. Always wanted to see that movie.