Saturday, October 1, 2022

EVIL DEAD TRAP 2: HIDEKI (1991) (Unearthed Films Blu-ray Review)

EVIL DEAD TRAP 2: HIDEKI (1991) 
aka Shiryô no wana 2: Hideki

Label: Unearthed Films
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated 
Duration: 97 Minutes 
Audio: Japanese PCM 2.0 Stereo and 2.0 Mono with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Director: Izô Hashimoto
Cast: Shoko Nakajima, Rie Kondoh, Shirô Sano

Evil Dead Trap (1988) was a bonkers slice of surreal and Gory Japanese cult movie making, this sequel-in-name-only, directed by Izô Hashimoto (the screenwriter of Akira) centers on a young woman named Aki (Shoko Nakajima) who by day works as a film projectionist in a dingy theater and by night she stalks the streets at night and murders prostitutes, carving out their ovaries - apparently this is how she deal with the trauma of her past. She's also haunted by what may or may not be the ghost of her aborted fetus. 

Aki's best friend is Emi (Rie Kondoh, Doll From Hell), a TV news reporter who has been covering the mutilation-murders which are big news in the city. Emi introduces Aki to her new boyfriend Kurahashi (Shiro Sano) over dinner, and he takes a creepy interest in Aki and makes several advances on her over the course of several days, and we find out he's a married man with a haunted past of his own. Emi herself is also a weirdo, she totally gets off at the sight of the mutilated women at the murder scenes and has an unhealthy obsession with Aki. 

Well shot with plenty of stylish neon-lit photography the film is pretty interesting if a bit befuddling, at certain points I did not know WTF was going on, but that didn't ruin it for me, I was in for ride and and we get plenty of psycho-sexual weirdness, arthouse imagery, and blood and guts. I think this is a film that done a disservice by having been slapped with a sequel title when this could have stood on it's own I think, and probably would have enjoyed a better reputation. 

Audio/Video: Hideki: Evil Dead Trap (1992) arrive on Blu-ray from Unearthed Films in 108-p HD widescreen (1.85:1). There's no verbiage about this being a new scan and it appears to be an older master with chunky grain, muted colors and blacks levels are a bit anemic. The source is in good shape though, no issues with print damage, etc.. Audio comes by way of Japanese PCM 2.0 Stereo and 2.0 Mono with optional English subtitles, both tracks are solid but the stereo was more robust to my ears. The first film has a very Goblin-esque edge to it, the sequel score by Masaya Abe is not quite as good as that but I thought it was quite eerie and interesting in it's own right. 

Slim pickings on the extras for this one, we get a 2-min Still Gallery with home video artworks, stills and promotional images, plus Trailers for the film and other Unearthed release. The single-disc release arrives in a clear keepcase with a single-sided sleeve of artwork that looks fantastic, and which is also featured on the slipcover. 

Special Features: 
- Photo Gallery (2 min) 
- Trailers: Evil Dead Trap (1 min), Evil Dead Trap 2: Hideki (3 min), Dr. Lamb (3 min), The Untold Story (3 min) 

Screenshots from the Unearthed Films Blu-ray: