Kaijū Menagerie

NAME: Ebirah
Ebirah (エビラ Ebira)

Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, 1966

– two mismatched pincers
– antennae
– red shell
– yeah, he’s a bloody lobster, mate

– bursting out of the ocean dramatically
– smashing up ships
– accidentally impaling Hedorah with his claws (no shit)


Ebirah, Horror of the Deep has the distinction of possessing one of the greatest Japanese titles of a Godzilla flick (Godzilla, Ebirah, Mothra: Big Duel in the South Seas), but it’s pretty low on my list of Shōwa era kaijū efforts. It’s not so much bad as it is unremarkable and forgettable. It does, however, feature a unique foe in Ebirah.

Most Godzilla adversaries are very alien and fantastical in design. King Ghidorah is a three-headed, laser-beam-firing dragon. Hedorah is a giant slab of sludge. Mothra doesn’t look like a moth. But Ebirah is a much more earthly monster. He’s a giant lobster.

The “ebi” of Ebirah’s name means shrimp, but Ebirah is no shrimp. Nope, there’s no denying his lobstery roots. As a giant, destructive crustacean, Ebirah is fairly useless. He’s never much of a threat. Sure, he can pull a boat or two apart, but against Godzilla, he’s like a squealing lobster in a restaurant’s sweaty kitchen. His unworthiness as an opponent is further demonstrated in Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) where Godzilla uses Ebirah as a kaijū barbecue skewer, flinging him through the air and stabbing Hedorah.

Still, Ebirah is at least fun to look at. The monster suit of Ebirah, Horror of the Deep is a thing of beauty. It’s up there with my favourite designs of the era. And it’s quite thrilling seeing a giant lobster bursting from the ocean to fuck shit up… even if he very quickly is dealt with by the big green guy.