Nami (Miyuki Ono)
is the host of a late night television show that shows home videos
of its viewers. One night, she receives a tape from a fan that
shows a woman being tortured and killed. Feeling that it could
help legitimize her career, Nami takes four of her co-workers
to investigate the tape. The group ends up at an old abandoned
military installation and one by one, they discover the horrible
truth behind the tape.
Evil Dead Trap owes a lot
to Italian horror director Dario Argento. Despite being largely
ignored in the U.S. until the advent of DVD, Argento's classics
of the seventies and eighties enjoyed great popularity in Japan,
and their influence is undoubtedly here. The roving camera moves,
the odd angles, the muted color palette, the pulsing musical score
and the over the top gore are all straight out of Argento's work.
Fans of Suspiria will even note the maggot-in-the-hair-scene
as a direct rip-off.
However, Evil Dead Trap does manage
to carve its own path through the genre with a few surprises of
its own. All the way up to the last act, you think you're going
to get a standard slasher pic, and then you're taken down a very
strange and different road. The end of this film is bizarre to
say the least, and lends a new perspective on all that preceded
it. Instead of having the killer reveal his motivations at the
end of the film, we are told very little about how or why everything
is happening. A supernatural (or preternatural, depending on one's
point of view) relationship between the killer and the killer's
brother is left disturbingly ambiguous. It's what you don't fully
understand that creeps you out after the credits roll.
Also improved upon is the slow
clunky dialogue, which plagued many of Argento's films. The plot
of Evil Dead Trap moves at the speed of sound. Gone are
the drawn out scenes of characters discussing their predicament.
Who needs those when there are pretty eyeballs to puncture? This
film definitely knows where its priorities are. It's definitely
not for the squeamish or for those looking for a cerebral experience.
Like the films that influenced it, Evil Dead Trap is a rollercoaster
ride of blood and mayhem, with characters becoming isolated and
disposed of in various gruesome ways. Don't let the film's early
predictability get you downthe surprise ending is well worth
the wait. (Magicvoice 2003)