If you're looking for a Japanese version of the EVIL DEAD films, this isn't it! Instead EVIL DEAD TRAP is an ultra-stylized, vicious variation on the slasher film, with its aesthetics owing as much to Dario Argento as they do to Japanese horror.
Nami is a late night television host who, with her crew, investigates the origins of a videotaped brutal murder that was anonymously sent to her. After following the trail to an abandoned industrial complex in the countryside, the crew members are killed off one by one, and Nami soon discovers what type of fascination her secret admirer(s) have for her.
Director Toshiharu Ikeda has pulled out all the stops with this one, and despite the derivative nature of its storyline, EVIL DEAD TRAP remains remarkably different, and is a memorable example of modern Japanese horror
- Video Watchdog No. 18, 1993
"Four years later Ishii and Ikeda collaborated again on the first film of a trilogy that has produced some of the most disturbing images of modern Japanese horror."
"The influences on the film are obvious - Cronenberg has already been mentioned - but the insistent, keyboard-led score gives another name away: the presence of Dario Argento. On the other hand EVIL DEAD TRAP delivers the goods in a way that no Argento film since DEEP RED has managed. Like DEEP RED, Ishii's film also explores the notion of childhood evil reasserting itself in the present. However the notion of vengeance being enacted on the mother (of whom Nami is the chosen symbol) is pretty much a Japanese one."
- Mondo Macabro Pete Tombs, 1998
"When I made EVIL DEAD TRAP, Takashi Ishii was my right hand. Ishii is a notorious horror fanatic: I'm surprised he's never directed one. He helped me plan the special effects, the story and the payoff for EVIL DEAD TRAP. However, to be honest, I virtually wrote the script. I changed a great deal of Ishii's original screenplay. That's the nature of the business."
"I admit - I have a personal attraction to water. I like the way it reproduces on film. Whenever I watch movies by other directors, I always perk up when I see a water scene. A girl under water - or a woman glistening in a thin liquid coat - is absolutely the most beautiful thing I can imagine."
- Asian Cult Cinema No. 18, interview by Maki Hamamoto with Toshiharu Ikeda. 1998
all photos from Asian Cult Cinema, issues 15 and 18