SLASHER MONTH: Shiryô no wana 2: Hideki (1992)

Evil Dead Trap 2 has moments of absolute beauty and scenes of frightening horror, often within the very same frame. It’s about three people who are brought together by a serial killer who isn’t just murdering people throughout Tokyo, but tearing their organs out and leaving them in the open for all to see.

They are a projectionist named Aki Ôtani (Shoko Nakajima), who is forever behind the scenes of the movies she shows from the projection booth of her work, hiding from the world that she wants to love her but feels that they never will because she doesn’t have the body or looks that see as ideal. And oh yeah, she’s haunted by a small boy’s ghost who pushes her into scenarios of abject horror.

Then there’s Emi Kageyama, her best friend, who is more traditionally beautiful yet also someone who is sexually excited when she gets near the murder scenes that she crosses her legs, so overcome with passion that her hardened crew is disquieted.

And finally there’s Kurahashi, the man that Emi tries to set up with Aki, who ends up being married and that’s the very least of his secrets.

Then everything stops making sense and gets really interesting.

This is the kind of movie that you can watch and try to figure out the story and never really get there. That’s because at its heart it is just as much a giallo as it is a slasher. It wears its devotion to Argento not only on its sleeve, but in every frame, with a battle between Aki and another killer that emulates the white sheets sprayed with gore from Tenebre. There’s also a moment where the very theater itself comes to life as if it wants to destroy Aki, sending echoes of Demons through my mind (and yes, I realize that Argento didn’t direct that film, but let’s be honest, his vision is all of that one).

Director and co-writer Izô Hashimoto also wrote the script for the anime version of Akira, as well as the movie version of the manga Shamo.

This really has nothing at all to do with the original, but why should that both you? It also makes zero to no sense by the end of the movie, which made me love it even more.

There’s a moment in this movie where the neon of Tokyo is captured in one wide shot, but as you take in that colorful incandescent beauty, you notice in the corner of the screen that the killer is stabbing someone in the water over and over and over. It’s a near-perfect shot and close to something that even Argento would be proud of. If all this movie had was that one shot — and it certainly has so much more — I would still recommend it to you.

R. D Francis informed me that you can watch this on FShare.

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