When is a sequel not a sequel? Well, when it’s not a sequel, obviously. I guess I can live with Evil Dead 2, for instance, because at least a remake has some relationship with the original. The Gods of Deception, the Italians, are old hands at it too, prime examples being Zombi 2 and Alien 2 (Zombie Flesheaters and Contamination, respectively), not to mention their unquenchable thirst for countless Django and Emanuelle flicks – all unrelated, of course. The worst of all, maybe, was Halloween 3, a sheep in wolf’s clothing trying to ride to Successville on a three legged donkey dressed as a stallion. Like Charles Manson, the original Evil Dead Trap has a small, but dedicated cult following. It’s only natural that a sequel should come along sooner or later. Even better, just stick the moniker onto any old horror movie, regardless of what it is. It’s known as giving you a dog-turd and calling it a Mars bar.
Movie projectionist Aki (Youko Nakagima) is, allegedly, “allergic to men.” Well thank fuck for that! Check out those sullen, minuscule features, eyes like piss-holes in the snow, almost disappearing into the flabby jowls of her fat, perfectly round face. Constantly cigging-it (for fuck’s sake, honey, don’t give up – you might put on weight!), she heaves her bloated form around in tight, black cycling shorts, a baseball cap and a huge, baggy T-shirt embazoned with the legend, “ARMY” – man, what a turn on. For some reason however, she decides to get herself tarted up at the weekends and, like some miserable Lisa Riley lookalike, go out murdering women on the street.
As with the original Evil Dead Trap, Isou Hashimoto has decided to opt for style rather than story, a good idea when presented with a plot so incomprehensible. So much of this doesn’t make sense, the most obvious question being: Is Aki the killer or not?, but there is plenty more to keep scratching your chin over. The biggest problem with the plot to me is the desperate attempt to provide some kind of tenuous link between this and the original Evil Dead Trap – the evil child Hideki whose annoying presence tends to confuse rather than enlighten the viewer.
But if you manage to turn your brain off totally for a while, you may be able to appreciate some of the fantastic visuals on offer here, a twitching, knife-wielding body in a bath full of blood for one, and another scene featuring a knife-fight against a backdrop of white sheets. But sadly, Hashimoto cannot fully replicate Ikeda’s mastery of camerawork and sound, and thus, these flashes of brilliance are merely that: flashes. Add to this the long, long periods of silence one has to endure here, then you really end up with what would appear to be one, long dream – a nightmare which one can only escape by going to sleep.
Once, I used to think that excessive violence and gore was the key to a good movie, but over the years my mind has become much more jaded. Evil Dead Trap 2 is one of those movies that reinforces my cynical attitude, as its savagery is probably its only appeal. The violence on offer is brutal and uncompromising especially with such cold, stark depiction and, as such, will only appeal to true sickos and psychotics. Being such a ponce however, I prefer my violence, torture and sadism to have a much more light-hearted edge to it… like Ian Brady’s The Gates of Janus.