Directed by Makoto Ishikawa & Makoto Tsuji (1992)
Reviewed by Lee, added on Aug 13 2009
Guest review by Lee. Check out his podcast, Rather Odd Productions
Shin Kamen Rider is a very odd film. It was filmed and released on VHS as the first part of a new movie series or TV series depending on where Toei thought the money was going to come from. Keep in mind this was made in 1992 as part of the 20th anniversary of Kamen Rider. Their profit for this would have been from VHS, as this film wasn't made with the kiddies in mind. It was made for the adults who used to watch the original.
In Japan the original Kamen Rider was like the Six Million Dollar Man, only he was Japanese and could "henshin" (morph, transform or whatever) into a bug-themed Power Ranger who loves to ride a motorcycle.
In this movie, he's a guy who gets his DNA mixed with a grasshopper-type thing and becomes an almost Guyver-looking insect thing that looks like it was taken out of the Fly remake that Jeff Goldblum was in. Turns out the company his dad works for, that he thought was trying to make a cure for cancer, is actually trying to make fucked-up looking cyborgs using insect DNA.
The film starts like a horror film where we see some chick getting randomly murdered, then a couple doing it in a car and then a shitload of cops which then cuts to our lead hero Shin waking up in a hospital bed.
Then we get a LONG backstory explaining everything such as the cure for cancer bullshit, then the big reveal about what the project is really about, leaving Shin to think he is indeed the murderer. His best bud and a nurse from the hospital try their best to comfort him but it's only when his best bud leaves that he starts to cheer up. Why? Clearly he had hot sex with his now hot-looking nurse girlfriend in the pool but all we see is the pair laying on a futon-type thing in the middle of the pool. The chick has a nice ass by the way. Then some time later Shin goes detective, finds the scientist who told him about the "Project: Kamen Rider" bullshit, sees him transform just as the CIA appear, all but one of whom get brutally slaughtered. Or was the reveal before that scene? Ah, who cares.
Later on after the monster scientist gets killed, Shin goes Hulk-mad apeshit crazy and "henshins" only to fight a creepy-looking actor guy who rips off his own face to "henshin" into a cyborg.
We have a fight, some plot develops and then Shin decides to try and save his dad and now pregnant girlfriend who is clearly going to have some fucked-up monster looking baby. No seriously, you see the fetus twice in this movie, it's hideous! I'm so fucking glad they didn't stick in a sex scene with Shin "henshin"-ing during mid-lovemaking. UGH! I'm starting to think maybe the CIA did have the right idea about destroying everything.
Overall, despite the amount of "talky," so to speak, in this film, it's still pretty good. It would have been nice to have seen more from this very strange chapter of the Kamen Rider franchise but the problem is Toei are dicks. They just keep making more Den-O movies and firing people mid-production on shows if the toy sales aren't great.
I'd recommend this film to anyone who loved the Fly remake or even the Guyver movies. The Shin monster/rider suit has all of the detail that the Guyver suit got praised for; it's just worth watching the film for the Shin suit, seriously it is. It's a real work of art. However this film is only available as a fansub at the minute so keep that in mind when searching for it.