Unearthed Films presents
Evil Dead Trap 2: Hideki (Shiryo No Wana 2) (1991)
"In my womb I have the baby you want to have."- Emi (Rie Kondou)
Stars: Youko Nakagima, Rie Knodou, Shirou Sano, Shino Ikenami
Director: Isou Hashimoto
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, extreme gore, nudity, sexuality)
Run Time: 01h:37m:06s
Release Date: 2003-08-05
DVD ReviewThe original Evil Dead Trap was a cult sensation for its totally berserk attitude towards film gore, with endless onscreen depravities filmed with loving detail. This sequel (which appears to be unofficial) takes a very different story and attitude. Gone is the oppressive and nightmarish Air Force installation where the horrors were wrought by the monstrous child Hideki. Instead we're taken into urban Japan for a more prosaic but only slightly less warped tale.
Aki (Youko Nakagima) is an obese film projectionist at the local cinema. In her off time, she has taken to murdering a string of young women and ripping out their ovaries for initially unknown reasons. Her best friend Emi (Rie Kondou) is a television reporter who is enjoying a surge of popularity thanks to her stories on the murders. When Aki meets Emi's lover, the married Kurahashi (Shirou Sano), there's a mutual attraction, even though Aki has a general aversion to men. When Aki begins to see visions of a young boy, Hideki, she becomes increasingly disturbed. The connections between Kurahashi, the boy Hideki who lives with him, and a building under renovation for mysterious reasons all come into play in this tale of madness and wanton mayhem.
This picture is very different in tone from the first, even though both are more than ready to send the red stuff spraying throughout. The first hour or so, despite the gore-drenched corpses, tends to be rather idyllic and slow-paced as we follow Aki in her everyday life and catch glimpses of Hideki (though he bears little resemblance to the Hideki of the first film, beyond having no whites to his eyes). The warped sensibilities of the creators come through in other ways here, such as Emi confessing to being sexually stimulated by the sight of the violated corpses, or Kurahashi messily devouring a hamburger while he makes love to her. Clearly, Aki is not the only one who's disturbed in this film. That becomes very clear in the final half hour, as the story takes a truly nightmarish turn that, in one key sequence, evokes the finale of the original film.
Nakagima gives an odd, slightly dissocated performance as Aki. That dissociation works well for her character. Even though it's apparent that we're meant to empathize with her, the dissociation does make that a bit difficult at times. The film tends to fetishize her sexuality rather than treat it in a realistic manner, and the result is generally in very poor taste. Sano is truly creepy in his insistence on worming his way into Aki's life, always with a grin that calls to mind a death's head. Kondou probably is the most intriguing actor here, with a more fleshed out character (though deviant and ultimately whacked-out). She's at her best when her sexual jealousy of Aki erupts, making her frail figure seem highly threatening, even to the much larger woman. The brief glimpses of Hideki help to keep the mystery around him, and the flashes mimic the sight of something just out of the corner of the observer's eye.
Ultimately, though, this is somewhat of a disappointment for the gorehound viewer; even though there's plenty of blood spurting about, there are few truly stomach-wrenching scenes (as were rampant in the first installment). The tone and atmosphere are so very different that it's difficult to really consider it a sequel at all; a viewer could skip the original and not really feel its absence. Nor is the finale quite as ultimately satisfying this time around, even though the gore is copious. The result curiously takes a middle road that will ultimately satisfy few: mainstream audiences will be disgusted and gore-lovers will be let down. But as a warped character study it does have its moments. The keepcase states that the film is uncut, but the running time is five minutes shorter than the 102 minutes noted on the package.
Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B-
|Aspect Ratio||1.66:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: The nonanamorphic 1.66:1 picture generally looks acceptable. Softness is the order of the day, with little fine detail or texture present. Color is acceptable, though on occasion it's a bit washed out. Black levels are somewhat weak. Aliasing is frequently visible, as are mild artifacts. However, it does look a good deal better than the Synapse disc of the first installment.
Image Transfer Grade: B+
Audio Transfer Review: Surprisingly, the Japanese 2.0 surround track is a knockout. There's a very expansive soundstage and excellent immersive qualities. During a rainstorm, the viewer is right in the middle of the downpour, and a bass drum early on has a superb, booming impact. On the down side, the optical soundtrack sports mild hiss and noise, but on the whole, this is a standout audio track.
Audio Transfer Grade: A-
Disc ExtrasFull Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 27 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Junk, Devil's Experiment, Flower of Flesh and Blood, Making of Guinea Pig
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Extras Review: Except for a handful of trailers for more Japanese gorefests (only that for Junk is anamorphic widescreen) and about a dozen color stills in a photo gallery, there's really nothing here. Chaptering is quite adequate.
Extras Grade: D+
Final CommentsA more low-key story than the original film, with an ultimately disappointing finale and a slightly confusing dream-like story, but with a decent video transfer and a very good audio presentation.
Mark Zimmer 2003-08-03