Trap (1982)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2007-05-14
Summary: Avoid
“Trap” gives bad movies a bad name. Compared with “Trap” the shot-on-video Philippine action movies with Oshima Yukari as Cynthia Luster are a cross between “Battleship Potemkin”, “Rules of the Game” and “Citizen Kane”. “Trap” is amateurish—literally, I think since several of the actors didn’t know what to do when in front of the camera. Even if one were to ignore all the post-production maladies that afflict it—badly cropped, insanely dubbed, obvious color changes from reel to reel—and give it a pass for the zero budget sets and ham-handed editing it is still one of the worst movies you will ever see. So I suggest you don’t see it.

If you do you will notice some of the difficulties right away. The first scene after the opening credits shows two police officers and two criminals sitting in a restaurant and arguing. The police officers are trying to convince one of the criminals to testify against Ma, a crime lord. It is clear that the actors don’t know what to do after delivering their lines and that the director either neglected to or wasn’t able to give them a cadence for the lines—there was a noticeable pause—nothing purposeful, just a blank spot—after each line and the actor who said the line had nothing to do while waiting for the next piece of dialog. This scene was ended, none too soon, by two gunmen arriving to kill the four men at the table to the relief of at least one viewer—me. The same type of thing happens during action scenes—it is obvious in several instances that person being hit has to wait for the blow to fall—part of this is bad editing, part bad action direction.

There is a hint of a plot that shows up more than halfway through the movie. A police cadet is sent undercover against a murderous crime lord—the operation is set in motion when she is publicly dismissed from the academy. She is the daughter of RHKP Sergeant Ho, who has actually quit in disgrace after beating up the crime lord and his lawyer while serving a search warrant. The plot doesn’t really thicken—it congeals.

Zero points