Our tale of horror begins on a dark and snowy night. It’s Christmas time and our young heroine, Robin (Sullivan Hester) and her friend Monica (Laura Kallison) leave Robin’s father’s boring party for one that is more happening across town. As they travel the treacherous roads they come near a prison. They pass a sign clearly warning of being near a prison and NOT to pick up any hitchhikers,.Well you can’t have an 80s style horror movie if you don’t pick up the hitchhiker! So Monica stops their car when she sees someone up ahead signaling for help.
Three escapees Mongo, (Michael Nash) Face, (Alex Kubik) and Randy (Mark Witsken) have escaped from the prison and end up taking the women hostage in their own truck. Here’s a protip for anyone planning a road trip in the wintertime. Roll up your windows! Sounds like a novel idea, yeah? After seeing the kidnapping, I had a feeling Trapped Alive wasn’t going to get much better from here and neither will any of the characters’ life choices.
Mongo has the two ladies under control in the backseat. Up front is Face and Randy, who has been forced to escape with these two as the getaway driver. Icy roads don’t make for good traveling and quickly the group slides off course and crashes into the caves of the closed down Forever Mine leaving them *dun dun dun* TRAPPED ALIVE!
We are also introduced to Billy Williams, (Randy Powell) a police officer that you would think is going to save the day. Instead he ends up banging the weird lady living in a house that is nearby the cave. I guess you must find some way to throw in the gratuitous nudity. It is an 80s film after all!
Robin and Monica are now trapped with three dastardly murderous men. Billy will eventually pull up his pants and join in the party. But that isn’t all! There is more going on within the caverns that they don’t know about. Stalking around in the darkness is a monster that craves human flesh. Will they join forces and survive the monster? Or will they all die a most gruesome death?
As much as I wanted to enjoy Trapped Alive; the pieces didn’t fall into place for me. The pacing is incredibly slow. There are two elements of fear: dark mine and flesh-eating monster. The ball was dropped representing both in this instance. I rolled my eyes when the cannibalistic monster finally appeared. So much potential lost!
The acting is what you expect out of a trashy 80s horror flick. The two ladies end up getting fierce as well as figuring out a reason to show more skin. Randy the getaway driver becomes the whipping boy for Officer Billy. And Mongo gets his just deserts. Trapped Alive is pretty much your paint-by-numbers horror film but leaves so much to be desired, even when the twist is revealed in the end.
Even though I wasn’t a fan of Trapped Alive, this blu-ray release looks impressive. It also contains a bunch of special features that I will list below. In fact, I am going back to watch the film again with the commentaries because I would love some insight into this film. Maybe it will explain why it was filmed in 1988, but not released until 1993! I am sure I can look that up, but hey! I want to enjoy these features. Overall, I won’t persuade horror fans to skip this one. I am sure there is a fan base for Trapped Alive, but I was disappointed with the missed opportunities I feel the film overlooked.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
- Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Original mono audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Brand new audio commentary with director Leszek Burzynski
- Brand new audio commentary with special effects artist Hank Carlson and horror writer Josh Hadley
- Brand new audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues
- There s EVIL Underground… – brand new making-of documentary featuring interviews with director Leszek Burzynski, cinematographer Nancy Schreiber, production manager Alexandra Reed and actors Alex Kubik and Sullivan Hester
- Upper Michigan Tonight – 1988 television documentary on Windsor Lake Studios, featuring footage from behind the scenes of Trapped Alive and contemporary interviews with director Leszek Burzynski, producer Christopher Webster and production designer Brian Savegar
- Leszek Burzynski: The Early Years – the Trapped Alive director discusses his early forays into genre movie-making
- Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn
- FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Zach Carlson