Evil Dead Trap
"The truly great thing about this film is that they throw so much into it...there is always something happening."
Evil Dead Trap (1998)
Director: Toshiharu Ikeda
Writer: Takashi Ishii
Cast: Miyuki Ono ,Yuji Honma , Aya Katsuragi
Running Time: 102 min.
Plot: Nami, a talk show hostess, tells her audience to send in home videos to profile on her late night program. Soon, she receives an anonymous videotape in the mail- a tape containing terrifying imagery. She watches in horror as an unseen filmmaker follows a route to an abandoned factory- and brutally tortures and kills a woman on camera. A camera crew is assembled and they set off to follow the videotape's trail to the foreboding location. What they find there is a horror beyond imagination! Someone, or something, is in the mysterious building. Something waiting in the shadows to torture and murder them one by one.
WOODY'S REVIEW: Ikeda's "Evil Dead Trap" is a very entertaining mix of the giallo (slasher) films of Italy's Dario Argento, that rushing camera trick from Raimi's "Evil Dead" films, and the "body horror" of David Cronenberg.
Stylistically, this is reminiscent of an Argento film...bright colors, creative murders, a never-still camera, the unseen killer, not to mention a couple of scenes that are obvious homages to Argento's works (maggots falling from a ceiling swiped from "Suspiria", a sharp instrument protruding from a victim's mouth from "Phenomena") and Tomohiko Kira's music, which is quite reminiscent (without being a rip-off) of Goblin's groundbreaking score for "Deep Red". Sprinkled among the Argentoisms are creatively done "Evil Dead" rushing-camera shots done in black and white. And, without giving anything away, the ending seems to be inspired by Cronenberg's "The Brood", with some disgusting body-themed horror.
One of the great things about this film is that it is fast paced. Within five minute you are watching the tape Nami receives in the mail (if you are a fan of eyeballs, skip this movie), and within ten minutes you are at the location, an abandoned army base in the middle of the forest (very atmospheric place). The truly great thing about this film is that they throw so much into it...there is always something happening. Exposition is kept to a minimum, and no more than five minutes after arriving, two characters are having a lengthy sex scene, and, adhering to tradition, one of them is killed shortly after. From there on out, it's non-stop mayhem, with brutal murders, a mysterious stranger popping up now and again, everyone getting trapped inside the base, sex, some more murders, a nicely done score, all kinds of great camera tricks, and an ending that is way out in left field.
The acting in this film is quite good, especially considering that the majority of the cast are AV stars. Miyuki Ono gives a very good, Sigourney Weaver-like performance, and manages to be believable even when her character is doing unsensible things. The guy who plays the mysterious stranger (can't find his name) is also really good...very serious. The other cast members are really just fodder for the killer, but, to their credit, they act convincingly enough. Director Ikeda has crafted a great horror flick here...fast-paced, entertaining, and gory. Takashi Ishii must also be given credit here...the future director of the "Gonin" films wrote a great, albeit strange, script for this seminal Japanese horror film.
In conclusion, this one is worth owning. I've viewed it multiple times and it never ceases in entertaining me. A must-see for fans of horror films.
WOODY'S RATING: 10/10