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Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster (1966) - Blu-ray Review

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Godzilla vs The Sea Monster - Blu-ray review

4 stars

Watching a rubber-suited Godzilla fling rocks at a rubber-suited giant lobster might not by your cup of tea but it works for someone raised on a steady diet of these Toho flicks from the swinging 1960’s. This unfortunately titled film, released originally as Godzilla, Ebirah, Mothra: Big Duel in the South Seas, is too much fun not to give a passing mark to. Part Bond-like, with a master thief posing as our “Mr. Adventure” and part-monster flick, Godzilla vs, The Sea Monster! is what happens with the King of the Monsters takes an island vacation.

Originally designed as a King Kong adventure, Godzilla slumbers – trapped by a mountain of rocks – for a good chunk of the picture as Ebirah terrorizes a small island inhabited by Mothra-worshipping natives and a terrorist organization known as Red Bamboo. It is on this island that Ryota (Toru Watanabe) and two friends, fresh off a marathon dance party, have gone searching for his lost brother, Yata (Toru Ibuki). Tired as they are, it is the bank robbing criminal they’ve hooked up with that keeps them on their toes on this undisclosed island location.

There is danger at every turn as the group decides to wake Godzilla with a sword they found, using it as a lightning rod that Godzilla draws strength from. Once awake, the wrestling match begins as Godzilla and Ebirah take turns hurling a boulder at each other. One launches it, the other bats it back and so on, until Godzilla grows bored with the game of toss and launches into the sea to pile drive Ebirah into the depths. Written by Shinichi Sekizawa, the flick is the launching point of the silliness that follows the next round of Godzilla films. It’s firmly rooted in the world of Bond and the late 1960’s and looks - special effects and all - to be emblematic of the decade’s genre offerings.

Director Jun Fukuda’s first of many Godzilla flicks inserts the insanity and revives Godzilla with a loopy attitude that, ultimately, wins audiences and fans over as the battles between monsters get more wrestling-like, more comical, and more badass. It’s this vibe that both plagues and compliments the film, making it a memorable release for fans of Godzilla. And with Mothra and Ebirah thrown in the mix, fans can’t really complain about its overall shifts in tone and nonsensical plot points.

This release is one of the better Godzilla Blu-rays currently on the market. As more and more titles are released, that statement might be overturned, but right now it features better video quality than the norm for these titles with some basic audio options and a minimal amount of extras to at least limp across the finish line.

Godzilla vs The Sea Monster - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: PG for sci-fi monster violence.
Runtime:
83 mins
Director
: Jun Fukuda
Writer: Shin'ichi Sekizawa
Cast:
Akira Takarada, Kumi Mizuno, Chôtarô Tôgin
Genre
: Action | Adventure  | Sci-Fi
Tagline:
This is one lobster you don't want to order!
Memorable Movie Quote: "But I didn't pass the first year. One thing's for sure, this place doesn't make toys."
Distributor:
Continental Distributing
Official Site:
Release Date:
1969 (USA)
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 6, 2014
Synopsis: A young man steals a boat to find his brother, but he and his shipmates become shipwrecked on a mysterious island inhabited by a giant sea monster and a slumbering Godzilla.

Godzilla vs The Sea Monster - Blu-ray review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - May 6, 2014
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
Japanese: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

The video track on this Blu-ray really exceeded my expectations. The most impressive aspect are the vibrant colors. Things like the bright red life jackets for example really pop, as do the blue bars where the Infant Island natives are being captive. The print used for the transfer is also in incredible shape given the age of the movie. There is very little print damage and almost no grain either, although there is a sequence with Mothra flying that has some obvious print damage. While the video track excels, it does lack a little in terms of the overall sharpness and detail present for a 1080p presentation. The disc does have some minor edge enhancement, but done in moderation where scenes like this one with Godzilla against the rocks look very detailed. There are two audio tracks on this disc, with both the Japanese and the International English dub. The two tracks are presented in their original mono format and sound pretty good considering. The dub track lacks a little in clarity, but neither has any notable discrepancies in the audio.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

The disc is pretty bare bones, containing only the original Japanese trailer. The trailer features subtitles that translate both the dialogue and text into English.

  • Original Japanese Trailer (2 min)

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