Hong Kong Digital is sponsored by Poker Industries. Please see the Hong Kong Digital home page for a special offer from Poker Industries to Hong Kong Digital readers.

Issue #119a HOME E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com BACK ISSUES August 5th, 2002

Evil Dead Trap 2

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

Japanese: Hideki: Shiryo no wana
English: Hideki: Trap of the Evil Spirit

Aki Otani (Shoko Nakajima) is a shy, overweight female projectionist with few friends outside of TV reporter Eimi (KIRIKO's Rie Kondo). Afraid of men and treated poorly by everyone, Aki expresses her anger and self-hatred by attacking young women and cutting out their ovaries. Eimi tries to set her up with creepy Kurahashi (GODZILLA 2000's Shiro Sano), who has a deluded wife hidden away at home pining for their missing son. Night after night, Aki looks down from her booth and sees a malevolent looking child staring back at her but, when she comes down to the auditorium to investigate, he is nowhere to be found. Aki continues to see the boy, however, sometimes even in the background of Eimi's news broadcasts. Taking the advice of her boss, Aki visits a pseudo-religious group called The Shinki Sect and, while in a trance, experiences a vision that leaves her hysterical. The Shinki's terminally ill leader recognizes that her latest disciple is no ordinary human and this is seemingly born out as Aki becomes increasingly haunted by a series of vividly grotesque occurrences. Just what is real and what is the product of her deranged mind?

That is also the question audience members will ponder throughout most of this superior, in-name-only follow-up to the 1988 hit (see review HKD #103). Director Izo Hashimoto offers intensely stylish visuals but largely shuns the rampant Italian horror homages of Toshiharu Ikeda's original (Dario Argento fans might still recognize an occasional nod, particularly to one of the murders in TENEBRAE). Like many Japanese horror films, this approach extends a great deal of poetry amidst almost unimaginable horror and that arresting contrast helps draw one into the leisurely, dream-like atmosphere. It is difficult to describe the narrative here without giving away major events and, since the film was never meant to be linear anyway, elaborating too much would largely be fruitless. Suffice to say that this just may be the ultimate anti-abortion horror film, with the psychological and physical consequences of the procedure investigated in just about every unpleasant way conceivable. Those bothered by the oblique nature of Japanese horror will find that this picture personifies everything they dislike. More adventurous viewers, meanwhile, will likely be enthraled by the way in which various sequences so effectively mix both primal and David Cronenberg-style bodily horror.

Cover art courtesy Japan Shock.

Shoko Nakajima. Image courtesy Japan Shock.

Shoko Nakajima and Rie Kondo. Image courtesy Japan Shock.
Japan Shock #JSD 002 (Netherlands label)

Dolby Digital 2.0

Japanese Language

Permanent English Subtitles

17 Chapters (Only Titles Provided In the Menu)

Letterboxed (1.66:1)

Coded for ALL Regions

97 Minutes

Contains brutal violence, graphic horror, nudity, sexual content, and drug use

DVD menu courtesy Japan Shock.

Netherlands: 16
Spain: 18

EVIL DEAD TRAP 2 was apparently shot on 16mm, so it will never look absolutely slick or pristine. However, the 1.66 (not 1.85, as listed on the packaging) image sometimes seems more akin to VHS than DVD. Colors are bold and attractive, retaining the considerable artistry of the cinematography, and the framing looks balanced. However, some master tape damage pops up at one point and a distracting line is evident at the top and bottom of the picture, just ahead of the video mattes. Compression flaws are also in evidence during the final third. The stereo mix is energetic and has good presence. The only extra is a video promo spot that gives away the whole show.

is available at Poker Industries.

Having problems printing this review with Netscape? Go to the File option in the Netscape Task Bar, click the Page Setup from the sub-menu and make sure that in the Page Options listings, the Black Text box is clicked. This should resolve the "no text" printing problem.

Click here for more information about The Hong Kong Filmography

Copyright © John Charles 2000 - 2002. All Rights Reserved.
E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com