Saturday, December 15, 2018

Kamen Rider BLACK! Episode 11 - The Starving Mutants. Summary/Review

Did you know that there are mutants in Golgumville that are struggling to get a good feed?  The Golgumville food shortage is getting so bad that hundreds (if not gazillions) are dying from starvation and only you can help.  By donating $5 a month to Kaiser Sensei's Feed the Mutants Foundation, you, that's right, you can stop these poor mutants from dying off.  Every donator will receive a letter of gratitude and a 7" mutant plush.  Help these mutants get a good feed so they can go conquer the Earth and enslave all of humanity.  It's a good cause.  (Click on "Read More" to read the full article).


This episode opens up in a pretty interesting way, the Golgom are getting frustrated because all of their monsters are running out of food.  Things get worse, the monsters are now fighting each other just to get a feed.  This is no ordinary food, they require a special fruit called Gorugomes and this fruit won't grow where they are because it is too dark there.   So, what do the Golgum do? Well, they introduce the monster of the week, a Cactus Monster.  This situation gives the Golgum a new layer to them, making them feel more vulnerable and human like, just like our main hero.

Next scene focuses on two mountain climbers who are well... Climbing a mountain.  A mountain that they like to climb every year.  On this particular trip they notice that the mountain has changed, all of its trees are withered and the soil has gone dry, like sand, they also notice that there are cactus' growing.  Not too long after that they see a Bat Monster carrying something weird.  Before the climbers can do anything about it they are attacked by a big nasty Cactus Monster that shoots spines from its chest (even though it looks like it's shooting them from its butthole).  One of the mountain climbers falls off a cliff and to his doom (doooooooooooom) and the weird Bat Monster drops what turns out to be a big cluster of seeds... Gorugones seeds.

The weather starts to change, Kotaro is working at his friends shop, with his sister and her friend. Someone walks into the shop and this is where things get brutal. The man that walked in falls to the ground and they notice that there are things growing out of his head.  Kotaro and the gang rush the man to the hospital where things get worse. The man has plants growing out of his head, which leaves Kotaro in a very suspicious mood.  Kotaro starts investigating and runs into something dreadful.  Kotaro runs into a coach and a children's soccer team, they have plants growing out of them and the poor children are also writhing in pain.  Kotaro is fortunate enough to get some answers and finds out that it was the Golgum that used the rain to plant seeds into people.

Back at the Golgum's lair, we find out that they need the humans in order to grow the Gorugomes.  We also get a full on look at the Cactus Monster and boy is he ugly! He looks like the unholy love child of if the Predator got into a threesome with a Xenomorph and an ultra drunk Juggalo. It's one ugly motherf***er!  Kotaro walks into a press meeting and finds out which areas had been affected by the deadly rain.  The press meeting ends in panic because someone spotted the weird Bat Creature spreading his seed again.

Kotaro gets on his bike and drives to the mountains, where he sees the police recovering the body of the mountain climber that fell off the mountain.  Don't worry, he isn't dead, it turns out he just has some really nasty boo-boos.  Kotaro talks to the police about where he was before they found him, the police tell him, Kotaro bolts off.  Now we cut to the Golgum, where we see them harvesting the fruit out of some people.  Eecckk!  Yeah, it's not as brutal as I make it out to be but the fruits do kinda look like Red Hulk's testicles.

Kotaro makes it to the mountain but he is ambushed by Cactus Monster and you know what that means?  IT'S HENSHIN TIME, BABY! Kotaro transforms into Kamen Rider (nearly giving me a seizure because of the intense screen flashing) and gets caught up in Cactus Monster's vines *Sad Trombone*.  Kamen Rider calls Battle Hopper, where it drives by and breaks the vines, setting Kamen Rider free.  Kamen Rider gets a few good moves in and busts open Cactus Monster.  Yup, we've got some mild blood and gore in this episode.

Cactus Monster runs away and jumps into the ground, leaving a trail for Kamen Rider to follow.  Kamen Rider finds Cactus Monster's bloodstains and uses his Sensitive Ear technique to see if he can hear the monster.  Kamen Rider hears one of the Golgum members inside of the mountain, giving him all the information that he needs.  Kamen Rider storms the mountain and fights the Golgum and the Cactus Monster.  Kamen Rider fights off the Cactus Monster well but the Golgum manage to knock Kamen Rider over.  The Golgum mess up and accidentally reveal the secret of how to save the people.

You wanna guess how to stop the plants? Well, the plants die when they are exposed to too much radiation which also probably leaves the people with cancer as well... But this is a kids show and as dark as this how gets, I highly doubt that they'll go that dark.  Kamen Rider gets caught in Cactus Monster's vines and is then dragged outside but Kamen Rider manages to get free.  The Golgum re-join the fight and use the force to throw Kamen Rider off of a cliff!  Lucky for him, Battle Hopper saves him and so Kamen Rider drives back up and starts running them down.

The Golgum manage to get away but Kamen Rider still fights the Cactus Monster and goes for his RIDER PUNCH!  It didn't work, Cactus Monster blocks the attack and Kamen Rider's hand is covered in prickles.  Kamen Rider goes for the signature RIDER KICK!  It also doesn't work and now he has prickles all over his foot as well (ouches).  What does Kamen Rider have to do to put a stop to this crazy thing?  Well, before he can think of anything, he gets grabbed and stabbed by Cactus Monster, leaving them bonded together (double ouchies).

Kamen Rider remembers some advice he had gotten about cacti earlier that day.  Kamen Rider grabs Cactus Monster tightly and jumps off the cliff and into the river.  The water did indeed weaken Cactus Monster and made his pricks go limp and Kamen Rider finishes him off with his finishing moves.  With the Golgum's golden harvest put to a stop, they had to freeze a good chunk of their minions to prevent them from starving to death, giving them a huge blow to their army.  Cutting back to the hospital we see all of the victims are getting treated and Kotaro swears on getting his brother back. THE END!


The story in this one wasn't bad, it was a very well rounded and complete story that had a start, a middle, and an end that answered all of the question and plot that this episode gave (geeze that sounded generic).  Oddly enough, not much action was in this episode and it mainly focused on drama and investigation but you know what? It was the perfect amount and was a well balanced story.

I loved the way that the characters were used in this one, especially how they added in that hunger factor to the Golgum, it added some new layers to them.  It was very sad and distressing seeing all of the people and children having plants growing out of them.  This made me care about the minor characters and it made the threat feel real.  Not many locations used in this episode but they were used well and all did look interesting and helped to add some good atmosphere to this episode.

I've said it once and I'll say it again, Cactus Monster was one real ugly looking motherf***r, seriously.  Cactus Monster is really creepy looking and it didn't feel like a person in a cheap rubber costume.  I did like how they made Cactus Monster a bit more tricky to defeat.  It makes the show more exciting and less predictable.  The fight scenes were the weakest part of this episode but that doesn't mean that they were bad. We did get to see Battle Hopper in action and I do really enjoy seeing that thing.

The fighting in this was mainly Kamen Rider being thrown around and grappling also happened but again, that twist of how Cactus Monster was harder to kill and having the Golgum involved really added to the fights.  It was very interesting to see some blood for once, granted it was green cactus blood.  I did find Cactus Monster's needle attack to be disturbing looking, even though he shoots them out of his chest.  Overall, a really solid episode that told a good one off story while also adding something new to the show.  I'm giving this episode an 8 out of 10.

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