Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 16th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Canada / USA, 1982
Director: William Fruet
Writer: John Beaird
Cast: Henry Silva, Nicholas Campbell, Barbara Gordon, Gina Dick, Joy Thompson, Ralph Benmergui, Allan Royal, Sam Malkin, Stuart Culpepper, John Rutter, Danone Camden, Jeff Toole, Jere Beery, Ervin Melton, Wallace Wilkinson, Lloyd Semlar, Randall Deal, Leonard Flory
DVD released: August 4th, 2009
Approximate running time: 98 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Code Red
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Trapped was directed by William Fruet, whose other notable films include Death Weekend, Search and Destroy and Spasms. The screenplay for Trapped was written by John Beaird (My Bloody Valentine). The cinematographer on Trapped, Mark Irvin is most known for his collaborations with David Cronenberg. Some of his other notable non-Cronenbreg films include Spasms and Wes Craven’s Scream.
Bored with the hustle of the big city four friends quickly find themselves in over their heads while vacationing in the rural backwoods of Tennessee. They cross paths with Henry Chatwill a megalomaniac who takes an eye for eye to the extremes. Henry is married to a busty blonde who is permanently in heat. One day he catches another man with his woman with gets his blood boiling. He tracks the man down and teaches him a lesson. Things soon get out of control as he beats the man to death. Unknown to Henry and co-conspirators the four friends witnessed their crime. The remainder of the film consists of the four friends trying to get the law to look into the murder they witnessed and when the law gives them a cold shoulder they take matters into their own hands. This proves to be a big mistake as they are rounded up by Henry and his cronies who trap them only to have them escape and three of them are captured again. The films finale revolves around the one friend who wasn’t recaptured as he is forced to go against his pacifist ways and get in touch with his more primal side.
There are many peaks and valleys along with the plot that is at its strength during the cat and mouse chases between Henry and his victims. It is immediately established that Henry is one mean son of bitch who short fuse leads to countless violent outbursts. When there is violence it tends to be more on the sadistic side with moments like one man being tied up, painted with tar before he is covered in feathers. Sure this film is not without its flaws like a meandering plot, static direction and average acting from the bulk of the cast, still the film manages to overcome many of these things because of Henry Silva’s tornado like performance as Henry Chatwill. Henry Silva has had a long and varied career with some of his more notable films being The Manchurian Candidate, Assassination, Manhunt, The Boss, Almost Human and Above the Law.
Code Red presents Trapped in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. The materials used for this transfer are in good shape with print damage kept to a minimum. Colors also fare well even though there is some noticeable instances where they fluctuate. Black levels are adequate at best with some darker scenes looking overly dark and details generally look crisp throughout.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Dialog is clear and everything is balanced. If anything this audio mixes only flaw would be that this mono mix is not that dynamic.
Extras for this release are limited to a Spanish language trailer for the film (1 minute 36 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), no English subtitles. Also included with this release are a T.V. spot for Devil’s Express and trailers for Weekend Murders and Rituals. Overall Trapped gets a strong audio / video presentation from Code Red.