Mar 29, 2009

Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster

aka Ebirah, Horror of the Deep

The Godzilla lexicon consists of several generational series that create cultural gaps between styles, themes, and recurring costumes that more-or-less match the economy and social climate of its native Japan. The Showa series is compromised with many early Godzilla classics such as Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla vs. Gigan, Destroy All Monsters, and the obvious debut volume of his long-destructive legacy, Gojira. The many branches of Godzilla lore that have rambunctiously spread out through time only planted seeds in fan base and in such a clever manner, alerted all walks of life of this phenomenon. My special lady friend scoffed at the idea of Godzilla being honored on the Walk of Fame. Inquiring about her experiences with Godzilla, she admitted to have never seen a Godzilla film but within this statement I made the point sincere that even with no knowledge of his story she knows who and what Godzilla is. That's the strength of this cinematic hero who has created seismic, cultural quakes that have reached every corner of the world.

The favorable post-war tragedy aesthetic is still in the past and has not been recently brought back to the surface. The evolving Godzilla spin off now encompasses monster mash entertainment inside an airtight, flimsy plot line that shows both the struggle of humans and monsters. For this "vs." film, the spotlight is not on the "Big G" but rather a lonely sibling hijacking a boat to go search for his brother who is thought to have survived a shipwreck by crashing on an island under a strict military and terrorist rule who is also being terrorized by a local monster-lobster kept at bay named Ebirah. From this, man encounters both friend and foe and decides to awaken a hibernating Godzilla to start the epic entertainment and set forth the greatest boulder-catch match this side of Tokyo.

As far as Godzilla "genrefication" goes, this one isn't as experimental or sci-fi as say Godzilla vs. Hedorah, which took the preconception and predated a Happy Feet-esque environmental musical, rapes the idea, and creates a flying 150 foot tall lizard that fights an alien cloud of slime. As a kaiju film, this is an exceptional entry. Toho posters have this inverted charm that provides a visual assault with colors and always highlights mesmerizing montages of both man and monster. With Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster, you will notice an incredible technicolor-like aesthetic that shines with a smooth presentation and color palette. What's even more surprising is this is Jun Fukuda's first entry out of five for the Godzilla legacy. He directed the established Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster (aka Ebirah, Horror of the Deep) then went on to create Godzilla vs. Gigan, but what happened after remains a mystery. He must have spent a night with an African hooker, caught an advanced case of HIV and decided to direct the equivocally abysmal Godzilla vs. Megalon.

Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster is a worthy venture to continue this monster cavalcade of bromance, rubber suits, and evil military regime whether it be a human or alien effort. From its slick design mechanics to the ill-suited humor between unintentional kaiju boulder volleyball, Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster finds itself in a safe zone with a partially accepting fan base. This is a very solid demonstration that not only emphasizes monster destruction but as well as commits to the memory of "little people." Each Godzilla film has this amazing structure that leaves one memorable scene to be desired. They all have it and as I've mentioned before, Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster's is the boulder ball game. The Tennis effect is infectiously contagious as your eyes trail a foam boulder bee-lining between monster, back and forth. With each catch and toss, you find yourself becoming stupider. It's a rough game out there, people. With my final words, the only real advice I can really build upon is that this is a must-see Godzilla film for a wacky adventure scenario.


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