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Shaun vs. Evil Dead Trap (1988)

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Directed by Toshiharu Ikeda

Starring Miyuki Ono, Aya Katsuragi and Hitomi Kobayashi

A Japanese talk show host takes a group of co-workers to investigate a nearby abandoned building where a series of snuff films may have been made.  Care to take a guess what happens to them?



The story is very simple to follow, mostly because it’s very shallow.  There’s that initial plot thread of a news team investigating snuff films, which is a good enough idea in a horror film, though that idea gets dropped pretty quickly once everyone is inside the abandoned building and things go to hell.  It’s almost funny thinking about how all this plot is thrown aside and never to be talked about again because the movie’s tone shifts so dramatically.  Now had any of these people just called the authorities to check the place out before they all go in to investigate, they’d be fine, but then there’s no movie.  If there’s one standard in scary films, it’s that you can always count on stupid decisions being made.

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While the movie is thematically a slasher film, the filmmakers offer a unique twist with their killer using a series of gimmicked traps to do away with his victims, which remind me almost of the kind of traps seen in the Saw/Collection films which wouldn’t start coming out until fifteen years from this films’ release.  The killer, dressed in black with a cape like he’s a villain from the late 1800s, has his traps built all over the place and sets them up as he hunts down his prey. One person innocently sits in a chair and large spikes shoot out of the walls turning him into a fleshy pin cushion. One girl later on gets abducted and tied to a column hoping for someone to rescue her. Unfortunately there’s a wire attached to the door and after a few teasing moments eventually a machete comes down and gets imbedded into the girl’s skull.  This is not for the squeamish.

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So this goes on and on until the end comes about to actually explain what the hell is going on though if you were hoping for some closure, you’re watching the wrong movie because here’s where the flick kicks it into overdrive.  Here’s the **spoiler** if you want to avoid it but here it is:  In the end, after the heroine is alone with the killer, he’s revealed to have an alien living inside his head, which then bursts out and the heroine must fight with a tentacled alien creature.  Who couldn’t see that coming?  I’d love the combination to the drugs they used to think this up for a finale in a slasher film.

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Hey! Shoo! Get out of here! Wrong movie!

It’s a ridiculous foreign gore film that gets a little boring in the middle, but it picks up steam and keeps on going until the bizarre ending and I couldn’t help but enjoy the absurdity of it all.  If you though Japanese horror films were just films like The Ring or The Grudge, this will be a bit of a surprise for you.

TL;DR

Story: 5 – A news reporter leads her crew to certain death when investigating a building where mysterious snuff movies may have been filmed.

Blood: 8 – Yeah, this is the milkshake that brings the boys to the yard.

Nudity: 3 – A brief showing of boobs but not in fun scenarios.

Overall: 6 – There’s not much of a story, but to those who enjoy films like The Collector or the Saw series, here’s much the same but with an Asian twist.

Trivia

-The film contains several Japanese porn stars in leading roles.

-It has nothing to do with Evil Dead.  Just thought I’d point that out.

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