Film Review: I Spit On Your Grave (Anchor Bay Entertainment)

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by Bill Dixon


Sarah Butler is about to do some pruning

Director Steven R. Monroe takes a stab at the 1979 cult classic, I Spit On Your Grave (originally titled Day of the Woman). The film, once again, follows novelist Jennifer Hills, who moves to a nondescript rural town to work on her new novel. As is true of all rural towns, there is a group of unsavory gentleman, with southern accents, who take notice of the beautiful Miss Hills. The band of hillbilly misfits brutally gang rapes and nearly murders Jennifer. Barely escaping with her life, she then executes one of the most vicious revenge schemes ever plotted by a 20-something female novelist from “the big city.” I assume she goes on to pen He’s Just Not That Into You.

The Good: Comparing this version to the 1979 version is pointless when you consider the first I Spit on Your Grave has been suggested by many, and endorsed by me, to be one of the worst films ever distributed. So yes, this film is better than the original because it’s nearly impossible to be worse. So putting that aside, there is a gritty realism to the film and the fact that these actors had to put themselves in a very dark place to shoot a good portion of these scenes is worth (some) praise. I’m sure it was grueling for everyone involved and I think that’s a fact that is often overlooked when talking about films where characters are subjects of, or party to rape, suicide, genocide, etc. I think for the subject, it was shot brilliantly.

The Bad: There is a 30-minute, very graphic, oral, vaginal, and anal rape scene. The fact that I know those specifics should convey to you the nature of the rape scenes.

The Rundown: There is a certain formula for vengeance movies wherein you calculate the injustice, multiply it by 1,000, and divide it by the number of offenders and that equals the catharsis you feel when frontier justice is served. This film gives you that catharsis but getting there is a far too grueling and painful of a process. The film is only “fun” in the last 30 minutes, when Jennifer systematically gets her revenge, one hick at a time. While I’ll confess, it is truly wonderful to watch hillbillies get castrated; it’s just too brutal of a ride to get there.

At the end of the day you have to ask, “Did I enjoy that movie going experience? Did I take something away from that?” With I Spit on your Grave, I can’t imagine there are too many nods of approval on that. Save your money for something enjoyable.

Official I Spit On Your Grave Website

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