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Ivan E. Roth,
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The lively rural thriller "Trapped" is good fun, with fine action sequences and some memorable characters. It does come with some subtext: one of the characters believes that murder is rarely if ever justified. One can guess that he'll come out of his experience here singing a different tune. There's also something to be said for what can happen when people in isolated communities insist on making their own "laws". Effectively directed by William Fruet ("Death Weekend", "Search and Destroy") and entertainingly performed, it gets off to a good start and is paced well until the kick ass finale.
A quartet of college students travel to the boondocks to do some hiking and cave exploring, only to witness a killing. Local community leader Henry Chatwill (Henry Silva) has caught his hot babe young wife sleeping with another man, and with the help of his friends has tortured this man (including having him tarred and feathered) and ultimately murdered him. The kids try to appeal to the local sheriff (John Rutter), who unfortunately turns out to be Henry's kid brother and who believes that blood runs thicker than water. So there'll be no help on that front. The kids have to put up with being captured and re-captured by Henry and pals until the odds finally swing in their favour.
This is a lot of fun for any viewer who digs the entire "hicksploitation" genre. Much of the enjoyment can be chalked up to the scenery chewing performance by Silva, who's a hoot from beginning to end. Nicholas Campbell is okay if not that likable as Roger, the aforementioned young man with strong opinions on the taking of human life. Gina Dick ("My Bloody Valentine" '81), Joy Thompson ("Prom Night" '80), and Danone Camden ('Dallas') are all quite pleasing to look at. Viewers may be pleased to note the doses of female nudity. Standing out in the cast is Barbara Gordon ("Dead Ringers") as Henry's sister Miriam, one person who is willing to stand up to him from the get go. The screenplay is by John Beaird, who wrote the '81 "My Bloody Valentine", and the on location shooting in both Ontario, Canada and Georgia, USA, is top notch.
Incidentally, the alternate title "Baker County, U.S.A." is a little more punchy; "Trapped" just sounds too generic.
Recommended to fans of films like "Deliverance" and "Rituals".
Eight out of 10.
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