Directed by Toshiharu Ikeda
Directors Company/Japan Home Video
There’s a LOT about this Japanese flick that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense – including the title vis-à-vis the content of the picture – but maybe that’s par for the course with a quasi-supernatural mystery-haunted-house-slasher, who can say. (Synopsis: A television newsmagazine reporter traces a videotape that inexplicably includes her.) Other reviewers seem to feel it’s clearly indebted to the Giallo, but I’m not sophisticated enough to tell you if that’s just because of the cloaked killer whose identity eludes us throughout. I CAN tell you that the filmmakers didn’t seem to know how to end the proceedings, but ultimately chose poorly, and that by a certain point someone should have stepped in to do some editing. All in all, though, this was an entertaining and suspenseful production, though that latter quality may be largely due to the amount of creeping through poorly lit hallways the heroine has to endure. There’s an actual sequel, plus a third movie that appears to be mostly unrelated but was slapped with the tag for marketing purposes.
Why Did I Watch This Movie?
The title caught my eye, and the description suitably engaged.
Should You Watch This Movie?
It was just different enough from my standard fare to sustain my interest, for whatever that’s worth.
Highlight and Low Point
There’s a lengthy (and frankly tangential) rape in this film which, although not particularly explicit, doesn’t differ much in feeling from an earlier portrayal of consensual sex. The actress was a noted performer from Japanese porn – originally slated for the lead role. The “Evil Dead” part of the moniker basically doesn’t apply, though some Raimi camerawork is evident. One kill in particular reminded me of, I think, “Blood Tracks.“ (If not Saw.)
One thought on “死霊の罠 aka Evil Dead Trap aka Shiryô no wana (1988)”
I recently watched this too, on Amazon Prime! It was a little violent and mean! I remember seeing it advertised in Fangoria back in the early 2000s when it first came out on DVD. I expected some kind of homage to Sam Raimi’s movies based on the title. I agree with your assessment here.