Evil Dead Trap
Ever wanted to see a Japanese horror film which is an homage to the '70's and early '80's Italian slashers and giallos? I thought so. This movie is as close to a Western horror film as I've ever seen come out of the East. It is a novel idea and you can tell, all the way down to the music, that the filmmakers truly love the giallos of Italy and the Slashers of North America.
Director Toshiharu Ikeda starts this flick off with a scene of graphic violence which harkens back to Lucio Fulci and his love of "eye" horror with a videotape which has been sent to a journalist that depicts a woman being brutally tortured and killed. Included on the tape is footage of the killer(?) driving to an abandoned factory which is presumed to be where the girl met her untimely fate. This is just the first minute of the movie. Ikeda wastes no time in the setup. Character development be damned!
She assembles a small crew to accompany her and they embark on their last assignment. I don't want to give anymore of the plot away, but I assure you that it includes some of the most inventive deaths and bizarre imagery that you've ever seen in an '80's flick. Writer Takashi Ishii pays homage to Argento, Fulci, Cronenberg, and Raimi in his off the wall; never know where it's going to go storyline.
This movie has got it all for a horror buff such as myself. Great atmosphere, "Goblin-esque" music, costumed killer, amazing death scenes, a fucked up ending, and a dash of cheesy nudity. The first time I saw this, I thought I had died and gone to horror heaven. Synapse released this movie 10 years ago, and you can still pick it up just about anywhere. I got it in their "Asian Extreme Horror" boxset, which includes three other great Japanese horror flicks "Entrails of a Virgin", "Entrails of a Beautiful Woman", and "Organ". I seriously recommend this movie to any Italian horror fan, Asian horror fan, and Slasher fan... which should included just about everyone under the sun as far as I'm concerned.
As an endnote, Unearthed Films released the sequel "Hideki" which is greatly inferior to this true horror classic. I won't suggest avoiding it, but I don't recommend it either.