Number seven in the long running Godzilla series and more well known under the title Godzilla vs the Sea Monster, this film started life as a King Kong project until the proposal was rejected in favor of King Kong Escapes. Not wanting to put the script or monster costumes to waste, the film switched stars to Godzilla. Known in Japan as Gojira, Ebira, Mosura Nankai no Daikettō.
The film begins with a young man, Yata, becoming lost at sea. His brother Ryota, certain that he's still alive out there sets out on a stolen yacht with two friends and a bank robber to search for him. On their excursion, they narrowly avoid destruction at the hands of Ebirah, a colossal crustacean guarding an island base home to a terrorist syndicate called the Red Bamboo. Using a special chemical, the Red Bamboo are able to repel their ships from Ebirah's wrath and have enslaved the natives of nearby Infant Island to produce the stuff. Evading capture, Ryota and crew meet a young native woman Dayo, who brings them to a cave on the island where Godzilla is currently slumbering. A plan is hatched to wake Godzilla with a lightning rod in order to get rid of Ebirah and the Red Bamboo and the slaves to escape and summon Mothra in order to rescue them.
Followed by Son of Godzilla.
The film provides examples of
- Actor Allusion: Akihiko Hirata played another eyepatch-wearing character in 1954, but is a tragic hero in that film. Here, he's a villain.
- An Arm and a Leg: Godzilla rips off Ebirah's claws during their second battle
- Antagonist Title: Ebirah is both the title character and the movie's chief kaiju antagonist.
- Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Literally! Godzilla is not on any side of the conflict, and is just a neutral third party tucked away in a deep sleep on the island. Once he wakes up, everything goes absolutely haywire for the previously untouchable Red Bamboo as neither they nor their crab are equipped to handle the radioactive dinosaur.
- Bottle Episode: The bulk of the film takes place on an island with no huge city sets and the ocean. Though there is an enemy fortress for Godzilla to stomp on.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- Yoshimura's lock pick, used to break into the Red Bamboo base.
- The Infant Islander machete the group find shortly after washing ashore and the coil of wire Dayo takes from the Red Bamboo base to wear as a necklace, both of which are later used as a makeshift lightning rod to wake Godzilla up.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: According to Ryota, Yata always tries to help people who are in trouble.
- Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Neither the Red Bamboo or Ebirah are referred to by name in the Titan dub.
- Convenient Decoy Cat: Or bird, in this case. Dayo brings along a captured bird as the group tries to sneak into the base, and releases it when one of the men stumbles, deceiving the wary guards.
- Curbstomp Battle: The Red Bamboo's forces don't stand a chance against Godzilla, and Ebirah fairs little better.
- The Dragon: Captain Ryuui to the Red Bamboo commander and Ebirah to the Red Bamboo.
- Dub Name Change: Captain Ryuui is renamed as "Commander Yamoto" in the English version.
- Eye Patch Of Power: Captain Ryuui.
- Giant Enemy Crab: Ebirah, though he's more of a Giant Enemy Lobster, or if you go by the name itself, a shrimp.
- Godzilla Threshold: The main characters decides to awaken Godzilla by using lightning to face off Ebirah and Red Bamboo. It arguably works too well as Godzilla goes thrashing their base before having a second round with Ebirah.
- Helicopter Flyswatter: Every one of the Red Bamboo's jets is dispatched in this manner. Godzilla catches some with his hands, bats others with his head, and even swats one with his tail!
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: None of the copious amount of bullets fired hit their target, with the exception of Captain Ryuui, who manages to shoot from some distance a rope tying down a balloon.
- Living Macguffin: Ryota's determination to find his missing brother is what gets the movie started.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": The heroes collectively gasp in horror once they realize they happen to be sharing a cave with something far worse than either the Red Bamboo or the Giant Enemy Crab: Godzilla.
- Master of Unlocking: Yoshimura.
- Mobile Shrubbery: The heroes adopt this strategy to sneak into the Red Bamboo base, aided by the additional ploy of bringing along a captive bird to release if anyone gets suspicious.
- Ms. Fanservice: Dayo. She is so sexy that even the King of the Monsters himself is entranced by her.
- Nebulous Evil Organization: The Red Bamboo. Beyond being nuclear-armed Far East Asian Terrorists that like to use slaves, nothing is really specified about them.
- Never Trust a Trailer: Or the posters for that matter. Godzilla tussles with Mothra briefly out of just being a curmudgeony jerk it seems, but there's no three way battle between the leading monsters.
- Nominal Hero: Godzilla plays a big role in thwarting the villains, but only because they're an annoyance. The heroes' plight means nothing to him and he barely pays them any mind.
- On Second Thought: When planning their first raid on the Red Bamboo base, Nita declares he's staying behind. Then he notices Godzilla is sleeping in the cave and says, "I'll go too!"
- Out of Character: Godzilla's behavior patterns. This is clearly evident when he first sees Dayo, and he certainly did not care about humans since his first appearance in Godzilla Raids Again. His belligerence towards Mothra counts as well, since they were allies at this point in the series. Partly justified when the role was originally given to King Kong.
- Self-Destruct Mechanism: When Godzilla starts thrashing around the place, the bad guys set a nuclear detonator to destroy the entire island.
- Ship Tease: Notable in that this is the only film where Godzilla ever displays interest in a human, but that's what happens when he catches sight of Dayo, turns docile immediately and nods off. Dayo herself takes a shine to the big guy from the incident and even expresses some rare sympathy for him at the end. This is mostly a holdover from the film's original vision as a King Kong vehicle.
- Summon Bigger Fish: The survivors and slaves can't hope to defeat Red Bamboo or Ebirah by themselves, so they awaken an even bigger monster to the job for them.
- Tennis Boss: Godzilla and Ebirah volley a boulder back and forth at each other in their first encounter.
- Villains Out Shopping: While not exactly villainous here, up until this point, Godzilla was a major threat to humanity. Here though, it can be interpreted that he's just taking a vacation since throughout the first half of us seeing him, he's just napping.
- Waist-Deep Ocean: The fight between Godzilla and Ebirah alternates between taking place on the surface and underwater — with both kaiju alternating between being waist-deep and fully submerged.