Movie Name: Evil Dead Trap
Studio: Director’s Company
Release Date(s): May 14, 1988
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
A late-night TV series called “Late Night with Nami” requests videos from its guests…the more shocking, the better! When Nami Tsuchiya (Miyuki Ono) receives a tape that appears to be a snuff film, she and her crew set out to find the location of the video and to see if it is a hoax or the truth. When they reach the abandon building, Nami realizes the tape was the bait and that they’ve fallen into a deadly trap…with a shocking captor that no one could believe!
Directed by Toshiharu Ikeda, Evil Dead Trap was released in Japan as Shiryō no wana (or 死霊の罠). The movie was produced by Japan Home Video and featured some actresses from the Alice Japan label which produces adult features. The movie has gained a cult following over the years.
I knew Evil Dead Trap mostly because of the name. The American version just decided to tack on Evil Dead since that was a franchise already and add “Trap”…it doesn’t even make sense. If it were Evil Death Trap that would be a bit more logical, but it still could have been titled better. The movie itself is known for its gore and exploitive nature…which it lives up to.
The movie’s plot goes from somewhat logical (investigators checking out the validity of a story) to completely absurd through the course of the movie. You have characters deciding to have sex while investigating the dirty, nasty warehouse and all the people of course split up despite the potential danger. The death mounts through the film until you get to a WTH ending involving conjoined twins and deadly umbilical cords. It doesn’t even really try to make sense.
The cast is pretty weak. Miyuki Ono is alright as the lead but everyone else feels like they fell out of a porn (which they did). It becomes obvious from the start of the film that they are just fodder for the killer and elaborate deaths…girls in danger.
The deaths are rather interesting and more along the lines of the gore movies of the early ’00s like Saw. Japanese horror definitely has a different style and this movie was one of the earlier movies to make it to America. I think a rather interesting aspect of this movie is “Late Night with Nami” essentially shows viral videos before the internet was around…it would be an interesting source for a remake with YouTube and other more modern technology.
Evil Dead Trap is probably only for fans of the Japanese horror genre. The movie is odd and weird and that could also attract viewers who like to watch movies that just leave you questioning what you just watched. I could see this movie being remade either in Japan or America with a more streamlined plot and a less bizarre ending (or an artsier take on it). A sequel Evil Dead Trap 2 was released in 1992.