Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue
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Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue (真・仮面ライダー 序章プロローグ Shin Kamen Raidā: Purorōgu), also known as True Masked Rider: Prologue, is a 1992 direct-to-video superhero action-horror film directed by Makoto Tsuji and the 11th production of the Kamen Rider franchise, succeeding the TV show Kamen Rider Black RX and preceding Kamen Rider ZO. It was made to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise and was aimed towards adult fans by taking a more realistic, darker, and violent setting that draws a lot from the series’ much darker manga adaptations, particularly the Kamen Rider Black manga.
Shin Kazamatsuri (Shin Ishikawa) is a motorcycle racer who takes part in an experiment conducted by his father, Dr. Daimon Kazamatsuri (Akira Ishihama) and Dr. Onizuka (Kouki Kataoka), to supposedly develop cure for diseases. However, both father and son didn’t realize that the experiment is being funded by a syndicate that intends to use Dr. Kazamatsuri’s research to create cyborg super-soldiers, while Dr. Onizuka intends to use the experiment to create a new species by injecting grasshopper DNA into humans. As a result, Shin is turned into a Kamen Rider.
Shin must use his newfound ability and powers to protect his loved ones from the syndicate, the CIA, and a gone-rogue Dr. Onizuka, who himself has become a Rider-like mutant.
- Uncharismatic acting.
- One-dimensional and underdeveloped characters, save for Shin.
- Poor cinematography.
- Too dark and too violent, even by Kamen Rider standards. Even Kamen Rider Amazons (aka Amazon Riders) managed to get around its dark-themed plot and sequences.
- Completely fails to be realistic (as stated above) in any way, shape, or form with glaring scientific inaccuracies.
- Wasted potential; the premise of a genetically engineered Kamen Rider is interesting, however, it was poorly executed in this movie.
- No real henshins (transformation) in this film.
- Fails to build up suspense or mystery, ruining the story as a result.
- The story aspires to become an actionized "David Cronenberg body-horror" movie and fails miserably.
- It barely feels Kamen Rider related, if it didn't have the name, it would be just an action-horror movie, similar to Guyver.
- Shin Kazamatsuri is a great protagonist.
- The Film's score is beautiful.
- The fight scenes are awesome, despite the violence.
- Some Kamen Rider fans may enjoy this movie.
- Kamen Rider creator Shotaro Ishinomori actually makes a cameo in the beginning.
- The film can be emotional at times.
The movie is shunned by many Kamen Rider fans, who are put off by the movie’s overly violent and dark themes, killing off any chances of a follow-up. However, franchise creator Shotaro Ishinomori, who makes a cameo appearance, considered this movie to be his favorite entry in the franchise. Not only that, but Kamen Rider Shin would also go on to appear in later crossover movies and video games.