Evil Dead Trap

Evil Dead Trap (AKA Evil Dead’s Trap, Shiryo No Wana)

Directed by Toshiharu Ikeda
Japan, 1988

With most Japanese horror films you get great budgets which able the movies to possess some great special effects, inventive camera techniques and professional acting (well, sort of). With Evil Dead Trap I’m not sure if the budget is low because when I see a low budget movie I think along the lines of extremely minuscule such as Basket Case, Bride Of Frank or Violent Shit. All of the Japanese horror films look great on camera, very professional and always shot on film, not on video. Movies such as Evil Dead Trap which is also followed by a sequel would never make it off the ground in North America. It obviously has something to do with the different film markets and what audiences are looking for. It makes me disappointed in the majority of the North American movie watching public who, thrive on watered down, over saturated computer special effects laden movies. Movies which seem to repeat themselves in an endless cycle and suffocate each other in their own unoriginality.

Social commentary aside, what discriminating thoughts does the title alone of this movie bring to the attention of the more genre oriented fan? If you guessed having the name ‘Evil Dead’ in the title then go get yourself a cold one out of the fridge. Fortunately the unoriginal title has nothing to do with the movie, you could slap the name “Warehouse Slaughterhouse” on it and it wouldn’t make much of a difference. Maybe the makers of it were looking for a title to catch peoples eyes since ‘Evil Dead’ is a well known horror movie. As I stated above there is no relation with ‘Evil Dead’ in this movie and surprisingly no homages. There is however some graphic eye violence reminiscent of the late Lucio Fulci’s Zombie but, to say it’s a homage to Zombie is a clearly distant speculation. I could also mention other Jap flicks such as Splatter (Naked Blood), Guinea Pig: Devils Experiment and Guinea Pig: Flowers Of Flesh and Blood but to say all of them were inspired to include eye violence in their movies because of Fulci is inept and well....just plain stupid. Evil Dead Trap does however use music from ‘Day Of The Dead’ and I’m pretty sure music from a Dario Argento movie (I’m not sure which one exactly, I’m thinking ‘Deep Red’ but maybe not) in a big way. So much so that the two themes borrowed make up most of the score for the movie!

It seems the film makers were really trying to out do themselves in originality (hehe) as well and still managed to get what looks to me like a nice budget to make this. Like with a majority of the Japanese stuff the storylines are confusing and hard to comprehend and if you don’t like making your own interpretations your just left confused. In this case Evil Dead Trap has an incredibly simple plot, so simple it almost crosses over into the slasher genre of plot structures.

Nami, a young female host of a late night talk show called “Late Night With Nami” made for “those who don’t sleep” receives a video tape in the mail intended for her show. Upon watching it the video features a young woman chained up and savagely mutilated. After the video is over a picture of Nami appears on the screen. Since her show is sagging in the ratings department Nami wants to use the video on her show. Nami’s superior tells her its a bad idea and it will only attract negative attention. Nami then gets another “brilliant” idea, why not follow the same route as featured on the video, go to the same location and investigate, this will surely give her career the boost it needs. Nami enlists her shows crew to accompany her and off they go.

Once they arrive at the location it appears to be abandoned. After looking around and taking pictures the five of them become fewer. In some instances the killer seems to be supernatural whilst in others it appears to be a human wearing dark attire. The conclusion and outcome of the movie is what lowers it a notch especially when the climax “climaxes” for too long. The killer is obvious from the beginning but the movie still manages to throw in a twist. If its blood and guts your looking for this film has some great scenes of human destruction, the realistic make up work is a definite plus. The acting is just tossed in there for the sake of not having a silent movie (its subbed anyway so..). The set for Evil Dead Trap is another plus with the dreary, dust laden, and dingy abandoned buildings which add a great atmosphere.

In retrospect Evil Dead Trap is a simple plot less Japanese horror movie with a decent budget, a nice number of realistic looking effects, shot in a good location ideal for a horror movie with the typical walk around, separate from the group and get killed ideology. The conclusion didn’t do much for me but regardless no movie is without its flaws and Evil Dead Trap still delivers the goods so its not a bad crazy little horror movie. This copy is letter boxed with subtitles.



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