Lionsgate Entertainment’s scatterbrained home video release schedule for Power Rangers Samurai continues in their latest Rangers title, Monster Bash, coming to DVD September 11, 2012. Lionsgate previously offered up the first eight of Samurai‘s 23 episodes in two DVD volumes in June of this year. Two months later, they pushed out the first eight episodes of the follow-up season, Power Rangers Super Samurai, without any sign of the intervening fifteen episodes in between. Continuing this perplexing trend, Monster Bash comes packaged with three Halloween-themed episodes including two episodes from Mighty Morphin and the 21st episode of Samurai.
So if you’re attempting to watch Samurai for the first time in their home video release as I have been, you might be tempted to pick up Monster Bash in order to at least fill in some of the 15-episode gap between Lionsgate’s Samurai and Super Samurai releases. But if that’s case, just take my advice and avoid this release if at all possible. Only the unsuspecting or perhaps parents strolling through a department store desperately seeking a way to pacify their children for 65 minutes are likely to pick up Monster Bash. No discerning consumer, having done even the most cursory research, would realistically sink their money into this release.
What I find most irksome about this release is that the episode it has been cobbled together to showcase, Samurai‘s “Party Monsters,” is in fact the season’s clip show. In this episode, the Nighloks that the Rangers have defeated throughout the season come together for a party in the Nighlok version of Hell, and take turns reminiscing about the battles in which they were defeated by the Samurai Rangers. This means that, with a few exceptions, this set offers nothing but spoilers for folks like myself who have yet to view the unreleased 15 episodes between the Power Rangers Saumrai: A New Enemy DVD and Monster Bash.
What’s more, the remaining episodes on Monster Bash were apparently so hastily tacked on that they appear on the disc in the wrong order with “Trick or Treat,” Mighty Morphin‘s 54th episode, appearing on the disc before “Life’s a Masquerade,” the 25th. And as if that weren’t bad enough, “Life’s a Masquerade” features one of the single most embarrassing monsters the Rangers face in all of Mighty Morphin, a Frankenstein monster with floppy hair (in the American footage at least) and a fake forehead and eyes which the performers wear over their own like goggles. Just looking at this atrocity upsets me, and has ever-increasingly more so each time I’ve seen the episode since its initial broadcast.
If anything can be said for this release, it’s that it actually includes a special feature in the form of Power Rangers Samurai Halloween Safety Video. So that’s something at least.