102 MINS
Director:  Toshiharu Ikeda
Cast: Miyuki Ono, Yuji Honma, Aya Katsuragi


A late night TV programme hostess who serves up home made videos as part of her show is sent a tape that appears to show a young woman being killed.  She (stupidly) decides to investigate this “snuff” movie, along with some of her TV show buddies.  Inevitably they end up running and screaming for their lives and is so often the case in these scenarios, not doing a very good job of it as most, if not all, end up dead!

What we have with Evil Dead Trap, is an American genre (the slasher piccie OK, not an American genre per-Se, but they’re the only douchebags still churning the bloody things out on a semi regular basis), made by a Japanese crew.  It is heavily influenced by Dario Argento, and to a lesser extent David Cronenberg.  However don’t expect any Evil Dead type demonic dealings (except for that soon to become a cliché prowling camera work) This cinematic concoction could have come out either reeking of shit or being a tour de force of gore and scares.  Luckily for us it turned out to be a cracking movie that has developed a huge following.

It follows the slasher film conventions to the letter.  The victims are dumber than dogshit and are painted so thinly that we as the viewer really don’t give a rat’s ass about them when they finally meet their makers.  Most of the film is set in a disused warehouse but somehow is still lit like a freaky fairground show run by the aforementioned Argentomeister

Also Goblin should sue the makers of this for unashamedly ripping them off.  Though it has to be said that it’s real cool to hear a European sounding soundtrack playing over Japanese actors.  It adds an extra layer of weirdness that aids the film enormously.

The ending is what marks this as a little more original than your typical knives and knickers movie.  I won’t spoil it for you but needless to say it does come as an unexpected surprise.

What about the gore I hear you cry.  It isn’t over the top splatter but it’ll satisfy the blood lust in most of the gore hounds out there.  There is a totally gratuitous sex scene that, though it is nice to see attractive Japanese women getting naked and doing the horizontal bop, is so obviously there to get the punters in.  Not all horror film fans are sad lonely wankers whose only companion is their right hand.   The same goes for the unnecessary rape scene.  Ok, so it’s an exploitation film but there is no need for this or for the amount of time given to it.  It seems to be film-making laziness to trot out these titillating scenes, where with some thought and a sense of creativity would have made it an even more enjoyable film.  With these scenes the film leaves you with a nasty taste in your mouth.

If you are a serious horror film fan you need to get this for your collection.  This is further proof that horror movies aimed at adults can be effective.

Two sequels have followed but have nothing to do with each other, so beware.

The DVD that I’ve got was released by Synapse Films, and forms part of their Asian Cult Cinema Collection.  The film and the soundtrack look and sound fine.  The extras are a bit crappy though.  The trailer shows way too much so it is recommended that you view it after you have seen the actual film.  The commentary by the director and special effects manager is one of the weirdest I’ve ever sat through.  Unintelligible most of the time, even Synapse Films decided to put a notice on the DVD to the effect that they know the commentary is off the fuckin’ planet.

Review By Martainn Russell.
© Owned Martainn Russell   31/12/2004 18:58

email:-  giovannip@pistachio-films.com


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