We figured that we’d celebrate the spooky occasion that is Halloween by reviewing a few Halloween/just plain creepy episodes for you guys to check out. First up, I’ll be reviewing a random episode of Kamen Rider Black where a village goes insane for goat. True story.
A frightened girl runs through the forest, seemingly being chased by a mob, until she collapses right in front of a truck on the nearby road. The driver runs over to her to see if she’s okay and notices she has her ID in her hand. Smart girl. The next day, Kotaro drives Kyoko to the hospital to check on her friend Akane, the girl who collapsed. The driver found Kyoko’s number in her wallet and called her right away. Kyoko tells Kotaro that Akane was out in the village visiting her brother who had a place up there. Kotaro mentions that he’s heard of the village before. Asahi village will be hosting an International Peace and Friendship Conference to which many world leaders will be attending. Of course, Golgam is involved and wants to use the conference to spread wide panic and destruction among the human race.
In the hospital room, Akane awakens and freaks out at the fragments of memory she has retained from the night before. Given a sedative, Akane rests while Kotaro and Kyoko talk to her doctor to find out what’s going on. They are immediately interrupted as Akane has left her room and gone onto the roof of the hospital. She sees the image of a goat monster and seemed to be in a trance as she creeps to the edge of the building. Snapping out of it right at the edge, Akane falls but is saved by Kotaro and brought back to her room. Kotaro heads to the village to investigate.
At the village, he sees a group of kids destroying a garden and beating up another kid who seems to own it. Kotaro breaks up the fight but notices the weird, vacant stare in their eyes. A group of adults pop up out of nowhere, sporting the same stare and attack Kotaro and the kid. Fortunately, someone rings a bell and the crowd disperses, mumbling that its time to pray to “Lord Goat”. Kotaro checks the nearby houses and sees the residents praying to a goat statue. The kid from before, Mamoru, asks Kotaro if he’s friends with Akane and leads him to a cave at the edge of the village where his grandfather awaits. His grandfather is the leader of the village and explains to Kotaro what has transpired in the past couple of days. While on a fishing trip, the village seemed to be possessed by some creature and when they returned, they seemed to be out to get them. The Leader escaped with Akane and Mamoru and told Akane to find help and tell them about the village.
Kotaro scouts around and finds a group of villagers walking through the woods with torches. Mamoru follows Kotaro and tells him that he knows where they gather at night. At the site, Kotaro sees the Goat monster using a gas and an strange chant to possess the village. He tells Mamoru to cover his ears and not to inhale, but is a bit too late as Mamoru tries to kill Kotaro. Knocking him unconscious, Kotaro takes him back to the village leader’s place and he waits with the Leader for the crowd. Since he uses a hearing aid, the Leader figures he can use that to bait the villagers unharmed by the trance and somehow snap them out of it. This doesn’t go over well and they are immediately overwhelmed by the mob.
Kotaro transforms and jumps straight to the location of the Goat monster. He uses Battle Hopper and a Rider Chop to cut the antlers of the monster, breaking the curse and clearing the ominous air enveloping the village. He then uses his trusty Rider Kick to finish the job. Kotaro returns to the hospital to see Akane awake and free from the spell. She reunites with her brother and Kotaro rides into the distance, another day saved.
Now, this isn’t necessarily a Halloween-themed episode, but its the stuff that Halloween stories are made of. We have a monster controlling a village through creepy chants and having them chase after the village leader. If that doesn’t make you sleep with the light on, well, I don’t know what to tell you really. I rather enjoyed this episode quite a bit. It was a bit subdued but it possessed that eerie tone that keeps you in the fiction.
The actually plot by Golgom seems a bit lazy on Golgom’s part. Instead of attacking the conference head-on, they have the villagers do it for them. But I guess its just them being efficient. Have the village chosen for this momentous occasion turn on that very conference and spawn massive panic and confusion. If anything has been proven to rip apart alliances, its mass confusion and fear. So, good on Golgom for thinking outside of the box a bit and being creative.
Anything that has to do with massive amounts of possessed people coming at you makes for a good story for me. Maybe it’s my fondness of zombie shows/movies, in particular The Walking Dead. Though, these people aren’t dead and they aren’t after your BRAAAAINS, its still unsettling to see a mass of mindless drones attacking someone. Most of the episode is at night so it adds to the spooky factor. And the constant overlap of the chant adds to the overall atmosphere. The goat design itself wasn’t very shocking in any way. But I guess the weirdness of seeing a group of people worship a goat would be odd for anyone. And also the fact that many cultures see goats as satanic icons.
For the most part, Kotaro seemed to be following the clues that would eventually lead him to Golgam’s plans. He had a few heroic moments in this, the main one for me being when he saved Akane from falling to her death from the hospital rooftop. Moreso than the fact that he saved her, its the actual stunt that impressed me. There is a wide shot of the stunt and you dont really see much in the way of wires or harnesses, though I’m sure there were some. It just looked like a really impressive stunt and one that could go horribly wrong at any moment, especially from that height. Kotaro also fends off a bunch of villagers when they surround the village leader and Mamoru. But, it seemed like the director realized 5 minutes before credits were going to roll that this was a Kamen Rider show and immediately had him transform in the midst of the mob. It’s just that after he transforms he jumps out of frame, leaving the mob to chase after the Leader and Mamoru. You don’t see them go after the two, but since Kotaro was the only one holding them back, its safe to assume that the kept pursuit. The end battle between KR Black and the Goat monster is pretty quick and dry to save time.
Overall, its an interesting episode that seems to keep the mood of the show at this point while offering a bit in the realm of creepy happenings. Its worth the watch and goes well with some sweet Halloween candy.