We Have to Use Our Brains

Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster Review

Due to the fact that Godzilla is making his return to the big screen next month, various studios are re-releasing their properties to the public. Because I am now visiting some of the kaiju movies that made the G man and other monsters so popular, you know I just had to get my hands on some of the new HD versions of the films. One of these titles being re-introduced is Jun Fukuda’s Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster.

A young man named Ryota is desperate to get a boat in order to go on a search for his missing brother, Yata. He meets with two strangers at a dance competition who agree to take Ryota to a dock where multiple boats are stationed. While exploring, the teens stumble across a man, who happens to be a bank robber, sleeping on one of the boats. He allows them to stay aboard and when they awaken, the boat is sailing in the middle of the sea. Ryota just couldn’t skip this opportunity ‘from the gods’ to search for his brother.

Little do the men know, but they are sailing on the waters inhabited by the giant sea creature, Ebirah. Ebirah, along with a storm, destroys their boat, causing them to be stranded on an island. Devil’s Island turns out to be the location overtaken by The Red Bamboo, an organization whose main objective is to capture natives from Infant Island (aka Beiru Island, see Mothra) and force them to aid in the repelling of Ebirah, all while making nuclear weapons in their factories. With the help of a seemingly dead Godzilla, the young men and the natives must all escape the threat of The Red Bamboo and also of the island monster, Ebirah.

The Toho kaiju universe is a vast one with many large creatures and giant monsters running amok. The best part of having so many monsters to deal with is the amount of combinations that can be presented in any one of the films. Not only are we introduced to the giant crab-like Ebirah, but we are also treated to seeing the on-screen returns of Godzilla and Mothra. While the fight scenes between these goliaths are indeed entertaining, I really wish they weren’t so goofy. I’m pretty sure at one point, Godzilla and Ebirah were just playing volleyball with a huge rock. It certainly showed off their brute strength and fighting techniques, but it was silly, nonetheless.

To make matters even worse, most of the action scenes were accompanied by this strangely upbeat surf music. I know the film takes place on an island, but we could have used some more badass monster fight music than what was presented here.

My favorite part of the few kaiju films I’ve seen thus far is most definitely the writing. While the main attraction to these films is obviously the promise of titans slugging it out, you also need a little more substance than just 90 minutes of fighting. Fortunately, that’s exactly what you get; There is a pretty well thought out plot involved here and everything is accounted for perfectly. How the boys end up on the island, how they come across an unconscious Godzilla, how Mothra is involved, etc. are all very well explained, making for a rather cohesive story.

If you’re like me, you’ll want to see the best versions of films like Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster. Section 23 Films/Kraken Releasing’s blu-ray release of the film has a beautiful transfer and awesome sound, as well. You also have the option of viewing the film in its original Japanese language with English subtitles, or for you guys out there that aren’t subtitle fans, you also have the option to watched the English language dubbed version.

I give this film 2.5 bolts of lightning out of 5 and recommend adding it to your creature feature collection for sure!

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