After his brother Yata is lost at sea, young Ryota steals a yacht with his two friends and a bank robber. This motley crew runs afoul of sea monster Ebirah, and washes up on the shore of Devil's Island, where a terrorist organization manufactures heavy water for their nefarious purposes, as well as a chemical that keeps Ebirah at bay. The organization, Red Bamboo, has enslaved natives from Infant Island to help them, but the natives hope to awaken a dormant Mothra to rescue them. In their efforts to avoid capture, Ryota and his friends, aided by a beautiful native girl, stumble across Godzilla sleeping within a cliffside cavern. The group devises a plan to defeat the Red Bamboo and escape from the island. In the process, they wake Godzilla using a lightning rod. Godzilla fights Ebirah, but the giant shrimp escapes. Godzilla is then attacked by a giant condor and a squadron of Red Bamboo fighter jets, but destroys them. The humans retrieve the missing Yata, free the enslaved natives and Godzilla begins to destroy the base. Godzilla smashes a tower that has a self destruct button that makes the island unstable. Godzilla fights Ebirah and defeats it, ripping off both Ebirah's claws and causing it to retreat into the sea. The natives summon Mothra to save everyone, however, Godzilla challenges Mothra when she gets to the island. Mothra manages to push Godzilla away and carry the people off. Godzilla escapes the island just before it explodes.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
In 1968, the film was released directly to television in North America by the Walter Reade Organization. It was the first Godzilla film to not receive North American theatrical distribution. There were several small alterations made:
Dialogue was dubbed to English.
Captain Ryuui's name was changed to Yamoto.
Deleted: The opening credits sequence. This version features only the title card, Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster.
Deleted: A scene where Ryoto goes to the Maritime Safety office and sees a poster on the wall for a dance contest.
Deleted: Rock music that played in the Japanese version during Godzilla and Ebirah's battle.
When Ebirah, Horror of the Deep was released theatrically in Japan on December 17, 1966, it had an attendance of 3,450,000. When the film was re-issued on July 22, 1972, it received 760,000 attendees, adding up to a total of roughly 4,210,000 tickets sold.
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep has met with mixed reviews from the Godzilla fanbase, though many have agreed that it's one of the weaker entries in the series.
This is the first Godzilla film in which an uncharted island is the primary setting rather than a location inside Japan.
The film originally didn't involve Godzilla, but was meant for King Kong. That explains why Godzilla was revived by lightning and why the opposing monsters in the film have no special abilities. It may also explain why Godzilla fights Mothra, despite becoming allies previously; because King Kong had never met Mothra.
This is a list of references for Ebirah, Horror of the Deep. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: