GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Evil Seeds: The Ultimate Movie Guide to Villainous Children by Vanessa Morgan + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

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Sunday, September 5, 2021

Evil Seeds: The Ultimate Movie Guide to Villainous Children by Vanessa Morgan + giveaway


Evil Dead Trap/Shiryo No Wana
(1988) 
–A movie Review by Evil Seeds Contributor Justin McKinney
Director: Toshiharu Ikeda
Cast: Miyuki Ono, Yûji Honma, Hitomi Kobayashi, Masahiko Abe
Country: Japan
A TV crew investigate the origins of a snuff video and find themselves trapped in an industrial death trap controlled by a pair of murderous brothers.

Nami (Miyuki Ono) hosts a late-night TV program where she shows viewer-submitted homemade videos. As she goes through her mail, she comes across what appears to be a snuff tape. In it, a tied-up woman is sliced up with a knife and has her eyeball gouged out. Her producer thinks the video is just an elaborate prank and that airing it would "encourage sick behavior," but Nami suggests to go to the abandoned factory depicted in the video to investigate. She gets a half-hearted approval and takes along three female colleagues – Masako (Aya Katsuragi), Rya (Eriko Nakagawa), and Rei (Hitomi Kobayashi) – and one guy, Kondô (Masahiko Abe). When they arrive at the factory, they notice it's not listed on their map, the padlock on the gate hasn't been secured, and all of the vegetation inside the fence appears to be dead or dying.

Once inside, they split up to explore. Nami bumps into a mysterious man (Yûji Honma) wearing sunglasses who tells her to be careful and to keep her guard up before he wanders off. After Rei has sex with Kondô, she discovers a corpse and is impaled by three large steel blades that emerge from the floor and wall. The place is full of lethal booby traps, but that's not all they have to contend with. A masked killer and his obedient slave are lurking the grounds as well. The slave gets his hands on Rya and has his way with her before getting killed himself. When Rya tries to get away, she's lassoed with a razor-sharp wire around her neck and pulled over their jeep. Kondô doesn't make it much longer as he's decapitated. Masako disappears but later turns up in a death trap wired to a crossbow and a machete blade that our heroine accidentally sets off. All of Nami's friends are dead, and there's still about an hour left to go.

Nami runs across the mysterious man yet again, who claims he's searching for his missing brother, Hideki. The big revelation here is (spoiler warning) that the mysterious man is being controlled by his talking, giggling infant brother, who's been living inside of him and makes him kill. Once the man is mortally wounded, the baby decides to pop out, uses its umbilical cord to try to strangle Nami, and exhibits supernatural powers by making everything explode.

One of the most viewed Japanese genre films from the 1980s, Evil Dead Trap aka Evil Dead's Trap or Trap of the Dead Spirits, has a reputation as a gore-fest, but it's not a deserved one. While there are a few gruesome moments, most of the bloodshed is relegated to the first half. What's more prominent is that the director is a huge fan of Italian horror. It's stylish and colorfully-lit, with certain moments lifted wholesale from such classics as Suspiria (1977), and composer Tomohiko Kira made about as many alterations to Fabio Frizzi's Zombi 2 soundtrack as Vanilla Ice did with Under Pressure for Ice Ice Baby. But just because this is derivative of several other movies doesn't mean it wasn't influential in its own right. James Wan and his Saw franchise owe this a huge debt of gratitude. It features a killer who uses multiple television sets to trick, taunt, trap or showcase his "work," which includes elaborate death traps, and has a scene where a camera flash is used to see in the dark. The finale takes place in a tiled kitchen, which mirrors the tiled bathroom where much of Saw (2004) takes place, and when one of the victims pops up on a video monitor with their face painted white and red, it can be connected to the Jigsaw dummy. Not just that, but the grimy "industrial" look and feel, the flashy editing, some clangy metallic noises, and some of the camerawork were also copied.
-Justin McKinney

Evil Seeds: The Ultimate Movie Guide to Villainous Children
by Vanessa Morgan
August 14, 2021
Genre: Thriller, Horror, Drama, Movie Reference Guide
Something's wrong with the children. They're murdering classmates, torturing parents, speaking in tongues, drinking human blood, and practicing black magic. Your offspring is on the rise, their blood no longer innocent. There will be casualties, and you may be among them.

Featuring nearly 250 of the creepiest, weirdest, and most dangerous kids ever to inhabit the cinematic landscape and sourced from over 40 different countries, Evil Seeds is THE comprehensive movie guide to villainous children in all their incarnations: the supernatural horror of ghosts and demonic possession, twisted tales of twins and changelings, dark matters of witches and evil babies, visceral frights of werewolves and vampires, the lurid lore of golems and trolls, and shocking drama of murderous orphans, juvenile serial killers, survivalist youngsters, and disturbing family values.

From cult classics to obscure fan favorites, Evil Seeds proves there is no shortage of frightening children. So keep an eye on your little darlings, or they might just fix their sights on YOU.

EVIL SEEDS EXCERPT #1 – MOVIE REVIEW: THE GOOD SON (1993)
By Justin CooteIn 1987, Ian McEwan's novel A Child In Time was being reviewed as a masterpiece, winning the prestigious Whitbread Novel Award. Soon after this success, 20th Century Fox contacted McEwan, also known as Ian Macabre due to his gothic short stories, to create a film that would affect moviegoers the same way his novels had affected readers. They gave him the vague task of writing a film "about evil – possibly concerning children." The result was The Good Son, the story of a young boy named Mark who, after his mother has passed away, is sent to live with his aunt and uncle for a few weeks while his father is away on business. He becomes close friends with his cousin Henry, who slowly starts to show signs of violent behavior.

Although the screenplay was well-received, it was not deemed commercial enough. It floated around in Hollywood limbo, going from 20th century Fox to Universal, where it was dropped after they were unable to secure funding. McEwan's story changed hands and studios for over three years, finally landing at Universal again, where Brian Gilbert (Voyage of The Damned, The Gathering) was set to direct. The film, once again, could not get proper funding and the production was canceled.

The success of The Silence of the Lambs (1991) proved there was money to be made from dark and intellectual thrillers, so now, the studios had the audience they needed to greenlight The Good Son. McEwan was excited that his "small but classy" story was finally going to make it to the big screen. That excitement was short-lived once child star Macaulay Culkin's father became interested in the project and demanded not only that his son be cast in the starring role but that his daughter Quinn have a part as well. His demands were followed up with threats that his son would not participate in the sequel to the blockbuster holiday hit Home Alone (1990) unless he was given the part. Because of the financial success of Home Alone and Culkin's star power, the studio agreed and production began.

It didn't take long for McEwan to be removed from the project. Nevertheless, the studio stayed true to the controversial ending and darker elements written before his departure. The final product is an experience in the existence of evil through someone who is typically thought of as innocent, simply because of their age. We're not asked to explore Henry's upbringing or family lineage to explain his actions. We're challenged to accept that harming others for our own gain comes naturally to some, even children.

The Good Son was released on September 6, 1993. Audiences were warned that Culkin would not be the sweetheart they had embraced in other films, and taglines like "evil can be as close as those you love" and "evil wears many faces" were on every poster next to the cold stare of America's favorite child star.

The film did well during its opening weekend but caused controversy due to a scene in which Culkin's character throws a dummy over a busy overpass and into oncoming traffic. Officials believed that this prank would inspire children to imitate the scene. Although there were reports of this happening, no actual reenactments are known to have taken place. The scene was removed from the UK video release, where The Good Son was never given a wide release anyway due to the murder of James Bulger, a toddler who was killed that same year by two 10-year-old boys. The distributors felt that releasing a popular film depicting a young killer would not only be disrespectful but also a sad reminder of the evil that naturally exists in the world.

About the Author

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Vanessa Morgan is an author, screenwriter, and blogger. Three of her works (Next to Her, The Strangers Outside, A Good Man) have become films. When she's not working on her latest book, you can find her reading, watching horror movies, digging through flea markets, or photographing felines for her blog Traveling Cats. She lives in Belgium.

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