Back when you start into your fandom and its all fresh and new, the question of “What should I avoid?” seem ludicrous. Then after you are in any fandom for a decent amount of time and you take time to reflect on everything you have experienced you come to the harsh realization that not everything is sunshine and rainbows. As a Godzilla fan you put up with a lot of inconsistencies in science and the limitations that the studio had to deal with but still find yourself enjoying the movies. Yet once you scrutinize the film and learn what went on behind the scenes, you become aware of how close to greatness a project reached.
After his brother goes missing, Ryota and his friends “borrow” a boat from a man who turns out to be a bank robber and set sail. They soon fall prey to the Ebirah, a giant shrimp who also destroyed Ryota’s brothers boat. Stranded on an island, the unlucky crew finds the island inhabited by a military organization known as Red Bamboo, befriend a runaway island girl and seem hopeless. Their only option: awaken Godzilla who they find sleeping on the island.
This film makes a lot more sense once you understand it’s background and original concept. You see this film was supposed to star King Kong as the title monster fighting Ebirah. This casting smooths out the questionable moments that the film possesses such as the giant vulture that comes out of nowhere and Ebirahs lack of origin (both of which fit in perfectly if the story had been on Kong’s island of lost gigantic beasts), why the sea monster would actually be a threat (unlike Kong, Godzilla breathes underwater so those scuffles would have more severity to them), and that moment that Godzilla shares with the island girl (because as we all know Kong loves the ladies). Once you think of the movie recast with Kong instead of Godzilla you are presented with a film with a lot more gravity and less plot holes. Unfortunately Toho didn’t get the rights, had to use Godzilla instead, and we are presented with a film where the King of the Monsters doesn’t even break a sweat when dispatching his latest opponent. If they had gotten the rights to use Kong I believe this would have been one of the better outings for the giant ape but sadly this did not come to pass and Ebirah gets owned by Godzilla.
This film does age well and becomes one of last Godzilla movies I find myself re-watching. The film by itself was never really that impressive and once you know the truth behind it and the recasting, you really can feel where the movie would have been improved with King Kong in the rule and how Godzilla really is just copy and pasted in their to make the film work.
The idea of the Red Bamboo group is interesting as they seem to be plotting something with their nuclear facility (probably global domination) but have picked the worst spot possible. They have to use the local natives they kidnapped off Mothra’s island (that Yuta and Ryota both conveniently end up on) to make formula to fend off Ebirah which is waste of a lot of man hours and power. This movie really doesn’t hold up to scrutinizing at all. Sorry people. I’m not a fan.