In case you haven't noticed, I spend a lot of times here championing Italian horror movies, especially the Giallo genre. God knows how many times I've invoked them when mentioning certain slasher movies, but hey, sometimes influences are obvious. That out of the way, when someone tries to invoke that style of horror, it usually backfires. Look at movies like "Horror", "Bone Sickness" and the like as far as this is concerned. Fortunately, there have been movies that almost perfectly capture the feel and atmosphere of the best Italian horror, and the Japanese film "Evil Dead Trap" is one of the best examples.
Nami Tsuchiya (Miyuki Ono) has her own late night show. One night, she gets a video nobody would want to watch-a snuff movie. That out of the way, said video shows how to get to the location where said murder took place. So with a little help from a few of her co-workers (all the females played by adult movie stars), she goes to investigate. However, someone is starting to bump them off one by one, and the killer is not what they seem.
If it weren't for the Japanese cast and occasional lapses into 80's fixations (look for an aerobics video-complete with bad spandex-being filmed in the background), "Evil Dead Trap" is a movie you swear could have come from Italy in the 80's. I mean this as a good thing, as this is a nearly perfect tribute to the likes of Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, with all the trademarks: ocular trauma, creative and artistically done murder set pieces (one in particular almost feels like something from the first "Saw" movie-I wouldn't be shocked it the makers of that movie saw this one), graphic gore, eerie atmosphere and tension over logic, a score very reminiscent of the work of Claudio Simonetti, and so much more. It also helps that it's a largely well acted film, with Ono making for a convincing heroine, and that the whole thing is very well directed and at times quite suspenseful to boot.
However, audiences might have a problem with the final 20 minutes, in which the movie veers into body horror era David Cronenberg territory. Some may feel that it clashes with the rest of the movie, but I didn't mind it at all. I thought it was also reminiscent of Argento's "Phenomena." I did have a bit of a problem with a rape scene however, which while not actually feeling totally out of place (this movie does involve a snuff film), does feel a bit too gratuitous.
I still recommend "Evil Dead Trap" though, especially for those wanting a fine tribute to Italian horror at it's most vicious and terrifying.