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 Co., Ltd. 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.
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.
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).
Director Jun Fukuda notes that producer Tomoyuki Tanaka was not particularly active on this production, with the exception of being involved with the budget. The producer would, however, visit the set “often” to watch progress but only as an observer.
Although Eiji Tsuburaya is credited as the special effects director, actual directorial duties were handed over to Teisho Arikawa, who at this stage had been promoted to Tsuburaya’s first assistant director. Tsuburaya still had the final say on effects sequences but served more of a supervisor role on the production.
With a new special effects director in the seat, Toho tried to limit the effects budget. Sadamasa Arikawa lamented that Toho likely did this due to his inexperience and TV history, noting that “Toho couldn’t have made too many demands about the budget if Mr. Tsuburaya had been in charge” and that he “was also doing TV work then, so they must have figured I could produce the movie cheaply.” To keep the budget down, Toho instructed Arikawa to avoid expensive composite shots as much as possible. Although the movie has minimal composite shots, it is not devoid of them as scenes such as Godzilla’s foot composited near actress Kumi Mizuno or a sequence of Mothra composited as her followers rush toward here are some examples of these sequences that made it into the final film.
Jun Fukuda was not fond of the film. In an interview he was quoted saying, “Toho sent me a copy of the VHS tape edition of Godzilla vs The Sea Monsters when it was released. It was like opening up an old wound, I didn’t watch the tape.”
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep was released theatrically in Japan on December 17, 1966, where it was distributed by Toho.
The American version of the film was released directly to television by Continental Distributing in 1968 under the title Godzilla versus the Sea Monster. The film may have received theatrical distribution in the United States as a Walter Reade, Jr. Presentation, but this has not been confirmed.
widescreen, color, mono, 83 minutes, dubbed in English! DVD-R comes packaged as shown in color DVD case, wrapped in plastic!