It's true that Evil Dead Trap director Toshiharu Ikeda blatantly rips off Italian genre greats Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci for this outrageous piece of late 80s slasher craziness, but he does it with such aplomb that only the most sour of horror purists would bother screaming 'plagiarist'. Let's face it, how often do you get to see what the bastard offspring of a giallo and a Japanese splatter pic would look like? I sure can't think of any other films that provide that opportunity. Ikeda's movie begins with TV presenter Nami (Miyuki Ono), the host of a late night home-video show, receiving a tape through the post which appears to show real footage of women being tortured and then killed (be prepared for a particularly nasty Fulci-style eye slicing during the screening of this tape). Rather than immediately contact the police like any normal person would do after receiving a snuff movie in the mail, intrepid Nami seizes the chance to prove her worth as an investigative reporter and decides to locate where the video was made. Accompanied by her equally dumb crew (four women plus one horny guy to allow for the obligatory sex scene), Nami follows visual clues on the tape, ultimately arriving at the site of a derelict factory where a masked killer waits patiently for the group to (in time-honoured slasher fashion) split up and investigate the building. After several elaborate death scenes, including a juicy impalement on metal spikes and a splattery machete-in-the-head booby trap, only Nami is left alive. Help is seemingly at hand, however, in the form of enigmatic stranger Daisuke, who knows of a subterranean passageway that leads to safety. So far, so predictable, but in the film's final act, Ikeda stops following the recognised slasher rules and suddenly enters Cronenbergian territory, introducing his audience to Hideke, the murderous parasitic child with telekinetic powers that lives inside the body of Daisuke! At this point, any semblance of logic and predictability vanishes, and madness reigns: Hideke makes fireworks explode around Nami as she tries to escape, the little fellow erupts from his brother's body to attack Nami in person, and Daisuke attempts to destroy the creature by forcing it back into his torso and setting himself on fire. This combination of bloody stalk and slash and bonkers biological horror proves to be quite irresistible, and although Ikeda definitely isn't on a par with Argento, the director he attempts to emulate the closest (just check out the primary coloured lighting and Goblinesque score), Evil Dead Trap does manage to be solid entertainment from start to finish.
Evil Dead Trap
Evil Dead Trap
A TV station employee takes a camera crew out to an abandoned factory to investigate a purported snuff film that was made there, only to end up running for her life when a small, fetus-like creature murders her crew.
October 12, 2020