Document type
20 March 2001
Format viewed
Japan Shock Video
The Netherlands

Evil Dead Trap

picture: Evil Dead Trap (1988)picture: Evil Dead Trap (1988)

Original title
Shiryo No Wana
Toshiharu IKEDA
  • Miyuki ONO
  • Hitomi KOBAYASHI
  • Eriko NAKAGAWA
Running time
100 mins.

picture: Evil Dead Trap (1988)

Tom Mes

An American genre done the Italian way by a Japanese director. That's probably the best way to describe this highly effective and suspenseful slasher movie scripted by former comic book artist and future ace filmmaker Takashi Ishii. Evil Dead Trap puts its American routine production-line counterparts to shame.

The plot kicks into gear almost immediately, after a tv reporter receives a particularly graphic snuff video (always a good device for setting the mood of a horror film) in the mail. She gathers her usual crew and sets off for the location of the recording, an abandoned factory on the outskirts of town.

In a scene a bit too reminiscent of Scooby Doo, a black-clad stranger warns them of the dangers they are about to face, revealing that his demented brother was responsible for the killing. Before the reporter can get any more information out of him, the stranger has disappeared, leaving the crew to venture into the abandoned factory on their own. And guess what happens next...

Few people will praise Evil Dead Trap for its inventive storyline. The slasher formula is closely adhered to. It's how it fleshes out the bare-bones plot that does the trick. Director Ikeda not only gives us some of the most imaginative and gruesomely impressive death scenes in this or any genre, but he fills his film with some truly suspenseful sequences that go far deeper than the usual "look out, he's behind you"-moments that pass for suspense in your average horror movie.

Visually too, this film excels. Though Ikeda wears his influences on his sleeve (Raimi, Argento and Fulci among them), the end result is very much his own. The visuals are but one part of an overall approach, rather than serving to cover up what is not there.

Combine this with a truly astonishing finale - a thoroughly unexpected dive into Cronenberg territory - and you've got yourself the final word on the slasher genre.


Synapse (USA)

picture: DVD cover of 'Evil Dead Trap'

Region 0. English subtitles.

Artsmagic (UK)

picture: DVD cover of 'Evil Dead Trap'

Region 2. English subtitles.

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VZ (Germany)

picture: DVD cover of 'Evil Dead Trap'

Region 2. German subtitles.

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Video Maker (Japan)

picture: DVD cover of 'Evil Dead Trap'

Region 2. No subtitles.

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