on October 31, 2003
This is a five star film with brutal honesty and is the product of the director's real life encounter with a rape victim. Other open minded reviewers have done this film justice, I just wanted to point out a few things about the small minded review put foward by PETER below:
1. The scenes are extended to make the audience feel as though they have gone through an ordeal and to fully express the pain and horror of the crime! But you seem to think a PG rated sequence lasting 10 seconds be more honest?!
2. This movie deserves royal DVD treatment more so than any of todays mainstream garbage as it clearly makes more of an impact than any major studio's tame market friendly drivel which is put out as modern horror. Many companies such as Anchor Bay, Blue Underground, Shriek Show ect have made it their buiness to put uncut lavishly produced DVD's of films like this out as there is a gap in the current market that can only be filled by classic genre films. Don't belive me? They have remade Texas Cahinsaw Massacre!
3. I'd like to know how you can critize the intelligence of other reviewers when in another review you gave a CD by boyband FIVE 4 stars?! There is a lot of sybolism in this film and if it went over your head then no one else is to blame but yourself! You show your true intelligence by quoting a previous review which is clearly written by another small minded reviewer who hates the film and is satirical mocking the films fans as an example of a 5 star reviewer?! Try reading that review again and this time you might get that they are against it too! Unfamiliar with the concept of satire are you, Peter?
4. As an international customer I found your xenophobia (get out the dictionary Peter) quite distasteful to say the least. If you don't like foreign film directors then stick with Titanic and Pearl Habour and write reviews on how brilliant and important those films are and leave the genre films to true genre fans!!!
I just hope that I've helped any one else who is reading these reviews and is deciding on whether or not to give this contraversial film a chance. Ignore condesending reviews like Peter's and see for yourself. This film is definitely not for everyone and I am sure that there will be intelligence people who won't like it due to it's confronting nature. It's best that you take a look for yourself, make up your own mind and please do not let the ideals of a very vocal and dim witted group who have continued to persecute this film from it's initial release to this day lead you to dismiss the other level to this film beyond it's harshness.
on October 1, 2003
This flick has what so many other great flicks have; nudity and blood. I think this is a great movie, perfect 70's drive-in camp if you will. Camille Keaton plays her role wonderfully. She played both the victim and the avenger perfectly.
This movie is most famous for it's bathroom scene when Camille kills one of her perpetrators. I also like when the idiot gets hung by his neck and gets dumped in the lake. The only complaint I would have with this movie is that while the first two kills were fabulous, the last two seemed rushed. While the first two were killed separately, the last two were killed together, I admit the ax in the back was great, but the boat motor's slicing and dicing was not that realistic. I mean who would climb into a boat on top of the motor?
You would almost think that this film was written and directed by a militant feminist. I mean the four men are just so dumb. Would they really expect a rape victim to suddenly come on to them and want their company? And why would the four men discuss rape, murder, and body decomposition in a tiny and crowded ice cream parlor at a volume where everyone can hear?
People can say what they want about this film, it's trash, it has no value, etc. But how many of the thousands of movies over the last thirty or forty years can claim the same? I believe it's the majority. This story could really happen I think, not in the exact way of course, but a story like this is entirely possible, and it wouldn't be pretty.
on July 17, 2003
Surely you've heard the hype, but does this film live up to its reputation? Well that depends on whether you are expecting a sleazy trashy exploitation flick or a shocking cult classic.
Is it a good movie? By conventional standards like budget, dramatic acting, star power ect, this film is a dismal failure, a cheap exploitation flick nothing more many will tell you. Most people would read the title and just assume it's bad. But really this film is brilliantly directed, does it matter how much it cost to make? Is it still an exploitation flick when the director married the actress who is being 'exploited'? Why is it that films like this which use more naturalistic acting as opposed to dramatic acting are automatically classed as being poorly acted? Weren't the cast convincingly real especially Camille Keaton with her brave and harrowing performance? So what if everyone involved never went on to bigger projects or never appeared in any other films, this film will live in infamy forever and the stunningly beautiful Camille Keaton is already an immortal icon in cult horror. If it was better known under the more noble title "Day of the Woman" and not "I Spit on Your Grave" (which is about as campy as titles "Surf Nazis Must Die" and "Nude for Satan") would it be treated more seriously.
The real question isn't whether this is a good moive, but is this good cinema? Love it or hate it, how can you deny the power of a film that has such an effect on it's audience. The realism in the rape scenes, the lack of any musical score and voyeuristic yet artistic camera work deliver the kind of shear visceral power that big budget movies these days can only dream of possessing. So yes, this is undeniably spectacular cinema.
Why do people hate it? Roger Ebert would have you believe it's sick and pure garbage. However read his initial review and you will find he largely justifies his views by reactions from nonthinking audience members which he found appalling and not what was happening on screen. Still there is no shortage of people who call this film sick. Even more sad is how some people out there want to censor or ban this film (book burning religious zealots no doubt) just check, theres like two yahoo groups dedicated to this childish cause (pathetic though as they only have about a dozen members between them). This film is not made to be an enjoyable viewing experience, it pulls no punches, just because you don't like it does that mean it must be sick? Rape is a horrible crime, would it be more acceptable to portray it any other way?
What would posses someone to make such a film? Meir Zarchi wrote and directed the film after a real life encounter with a rape victim who he took to a police station (in retrospect he admits she should have gone to the hospital) and the cops were unsympathetic. This genuine horror he saw which existed in the real world which doesn't require werewolves or zombies, is the inspiration for the film. The revenge half of the film obviously an expression of the rage he felt at how the victim was treated, in the real world justice is rarely served. He uses in your face realism to get his message across. Just because his story is simple doesn't mean it's unintelligent. He dodges the one dimensional rapist stereotypes seen in other movies early on by humanising them with crude but still humorous personalities, one even has a family, the message: villains are real people too not comic book characters. One rapist while pleading pathetically tells Jennifer she asked for it by he way she walks and dresses, a damning criticism of some real life attitudes which state women are themselves to blame if they are attacked. The sequence of Jennifer after the attack is brilliant in displaying the traumatic detachment and loss of self suffered by real victims. It's the inclusion and excellent handling of the small details that elevate this movie beyond its low budget limits.
Why would anybody like this film? I personally admire powerful films, films that are unique whether they are shocking or thought provoking. One reviewer complained that the violence wasn't disturbing in comparison to some other films, hey if you have seen Dead/Alive like you claim (although I own and prefer the uncut version called Braindead) then you must know that the most goriest movie ever is a comedy. The gore isn't the real focus of this film anyway. I own uncut copies of Cannibal Holocaust, Men Behind the Sun, Cannibal Ferox, Anthropophagous, Flowers of Flesh and Blood and just about every notorious gore film out there. The only gore films more disturbing than ISOYG are Cannibal Holocaust and Men Behind the Sun, simply because like ISOYG these films are made by talented directors. Besides how could any amount of gore be disturbing when you want Jennifer to carry out her vendetta?
So does it live up to the hype? This film is something you experience not just another movie. It's definitely a well deserved cult classic and one of the original cornerstones of the video nasties. While the more jaded viewer might not find it as disturbing as some, this is still a film you won't soon forget. The Millennium Edition DVD is outstanding, the film has never looked better and you get two excellent commentary tracks. It's a shame they didn't get any input from Camille Keaton when putting the extras together on this DVD, but you can't have it all I guess. I wish I lived in the USA so I could go to a horror convention and ask Camille Keaton for her autograph.
Final thoughts? This is a challenging and outstanding cult masterpiece, it's a shame that this genuinely great piece of cinema is so universally misunderstood and under-rated.
on March 19, 2003
I get a chuckle out of many people's reaction to this movie, as opposed to Deliverance. While Deliverance had a higher budget and better acting, the plot is roughly the same - out of towner is raped by some yocals, who then pay for their crime with their lives through an act of revenge.
In this movie, viewers are more shocked that a woman is raped instead of a man. Anyone who has seen Deliverance will forever remember the words, "Squeal like a pig." Viewers of I Spit On Your Grave are not treated to the same physiological thrills; only, raw and brutal images.
I found the low-budget flick very refreshing from the usual Hollywood glitz and horror film cookie-cutter format. The plot was no worse off than, say, Friday the 13th for example. And, it was so unusual to see an abundance of gratuitous sex and violence in an American film.
Worthy of note - this film has been banned in several countries, including the UK, while Deliverance received no more than an R (18) Rating. I take this to mean that it's more socially acceptable to rape a man than a woman.
Aside from all the controversy, sex, and violence, I put it on par with Pink Flamingos. You don't need a billion dollar budget to tell a story or make a good shocker film.
on March 2, 2003
First off I do consider 'I Spit On Your Grave' aka-'Day Of The Woman' which I do actually prefere as the title, a cult classic. Some may just happen to hire and view the film by chance and laugh through it at some of the rapes and especially Jennifer's revenge on each rapist, but what I see and understand with each viewing is that as I interpret it, that it has an important message throughout out it, and in each scene. I really like this film, and I know in saying that, that it can be confusing for other people to understand that especially if they don't like or deeply understand the film as I do. I think it's a important film out there in the world and that it really says something if analised and watching each performance carefully. The beautiful Camille Keaton did a wonderful,honest,brave, spellbinding, mesmerising job as Jennifer Hills.The other actors who played the rapists were very good in their roles and pulled it off convincinly. One day while watching 'I Spit', my brother watched some of it and commented that the actors who were the rapists were crap. I believe that, that wasn't the case, it was just that they did such a convincing job that it somehow does affect the viewer. 'I Spit': Millennium Edition is worth the buy, the 2 commentaries are very informative. The Joe Bob Briggs one is excellent and I learnt quiet a lot, The Meir Zarchi one is good and more informative about some of the behind the scenes stuff, and it's very interesting to hear Meir tell his sad tale about a real rape that happened which in spired him to write 'I Spit'. The only thing I was disappointed about was that there wasn't any cast interviews. But all in all a great buy.
on March 11, 2002
while i've always gravitated to the most controversial films i could find, this is one that i wanted to hate but somehow can't. the scariest thing i should mention upfront is that i spit on your grave was around long before baise moi, thelma and louise, & that oscar-nominated jodie foster film the accused. i spit on your grave has somewhat of strange cult following. this may be one of the few exceptions to the rule but everything you've ever heard about this film is probably true. you will either love it as quite a few people did or you will be sick to your stomach & never want to see it again. camille keaton gives a nearly flawless depiction of a rape victim & a terrific avenger. meir zarchi has fabricated a hideous tale of animalism, senseless hatred, & completely barbaric depictions on the dark side of human nature. still interested? keep reading. the box tells us that the woman on the cover has just cut, chopped, & burned five men beyond recognition but no jury in america would ever convict her. was this woman ever on trial? i don't know because the film didn't tell us one way or another but i don't think many viewers will actually care one way or the other either. after seeing how camille keaton's character exacts her revenge on these 5 merciless men who brutally raped her leaving her for dead, you actually are cheering her on when he carries out her bloody revenge. while the violent acts towards the end are definately not as graphic as most horror films we've seen, they certainly are the MOST disturbing ones ever filmed. by the way, what happened to meir zarchi? does he make films anymore?
on January 9, 2002
This movie among a few others is one of my favorite horror films. This movie is about revenge and I also believe it tackles an interesting subject-RAPE. Rape is a subject most often portrayed in a mild manner, however in this film it is portrayed in a very graphic nature. This is something that should not be taking place in the world- but it does.
The movie may be offensive to some people because of the brutal and graphic rape sequences.
Originally titled Day of the Woman, which fits the film quite well, is unequaled in my opinion by any other film in the genre.
This is the most graphic and brutal portrayal of rape EVER brought to the screen.
This film is quite good and I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks they can stomach it!!! This film is not for the squeamish.
See it at your own risk!!!
NOTE: This film was originally released with an X rating because of the graphic rape sequences!!!
One must be open-minded when viewing this film. Let's keep in mind that this is ONLY a movie!!! However, it touches base with an important subject- rape. This portrays rape realistically(very violently) and in actuality it is that way. It is mean and hateful and one of the many bad things that take place in the world. So to portray it mildly would be incorrect!!
I have never seen a more violent and vile movie, but I give credit where it is due- they got their point across!!!
After watching this movie, you will come to know RAPE(as wrong as it is) and you will witness it first hand.
Finally, you will never be the same again!! No one should ever have to deal with the pain of rape...but to disregard this movie as garbage is quite wrong!
My advice is to view this movie with an open mind!!!!!
In doing so, you will see this movie for what it is- ART!!!
This movie is a work of art and the message is that rape is a terrible part of our society, but yet it is a part of our society and this movie helps us to understand that rape does happpen and most importantly, that it SHOULDN'T!!!!!
on October 23, 2001
I plan on never watching this film again. So why did I give it 5 stars? Well, art can perform more than one function. It can be used to entertain, but that isn't its only purpose. Art can also be used to get across a message or hold a mirror up to society. Unfortunately, while serious books and art can treat horrible subjects with great frankness and without entertaining and still receive great praise, movies are stereotypically seen as more of an entertainment medium, so when a movie comes along that doesn't even try to be entertaining, people don't know how to react.
This movie is not in the least bit entertaining. In fact, watching it is a rather horrible experience, but it should be. Any movie that pretends to treat the subject of rape seriously should be discomforting. This movie has one of the most powerful depictions of rape I have ever seen. Other major hollywood films that have tackled the subject of rape, like the one starring Jodie Foster (I forget its name), are lauded for their powerful depictions of rape, but when a more effective, low-budget depiction like this one comes along, one that gets across the horror of the act far more powerfully, it gets dismissed as exploitation.
Sure, the cover art is rather exploitative and seems to be geared towards attracting viewers looking for sexual thrills, and the same goes for the trailer, but the film itself is not one bit as exploitative as, say, the Deliverance. It is an excellent depiction of the brutality of rape, the sexual immaturity of rapists, the cowardly nature of the act, and the fact that it is an act committed by those who usually feel powerless in everyday life. The lead female, while staying at a remote cottage in order to write a novel, is gang raped and left for dead. She starts trying to rebuild her life (her taping together of her torn up manuscript is an excellent symbolism for this), but is then discovered to still be alive by her rapists. She then kills off the rapists one by one. Perhaps not the most admirable of choices (although they did try to murder her), but the manner in which she kills each of them, playing off of their psychological weaknesses, brilliantly makes a point about the pathetic nature of rapists.
All praise aside, it IS a disturbing movie to watch and one I hope nobody will find entertaining, and as a result I don't plan on watching it again. Once is enough. But that makes this great art.
on August 6, 2000
What was I expecting?
When I picked up this title, I noticed two things: the words "I spit on your grave" in blood-shot red; and a scantilly clad lady with a knife in her hand. I thought, "Well, this is just one more slasher film. Probably so bad you'll have to laugh."
Boy, was I dead wrong.
I Spit on Your Grave is one of the most disturbing, terrifying and thought-provoking movies I have ever seen. It begins quite peacefully when Jenny (Camille Keaton) arrives in the country to write a book. She's rented a cottage by the river. Pretty, slender, and from the big city, she catches the eye of four locals. They try to catch her attention, but appropriately, she ignores them.
Unhappy that she has refused them, the four decide to teach her a lesson. One day, while she is in her little canoe sunning, they come by in a motor boat and take her away, against her will, to a hidden part of the woods. I can't even begin to describe what happens in this movie's next chapter. All I will say is that I was horrified, petrified and practically moved to tears. If you cannot imagine what it is like to be helpless and at other people's mercy, just watch this movie.
One of the four guys orders one of the others to kill her so she won't witness against them. Unbeknownst to the other three, the supposed killer is unable to complete his task. Presumed dead by the three, she slowly recovers from her injuries. Once recovered, she only has one purpose in her mind and heart.
One by one, she plots the death of her four attackers. What is amazing in this movie, is that during each act of revenge, you wonder whether or not she will succeed.
Brilliantly directed and acted, I Spit on Your Grave is a classic. Camille Keaton's performance is so stunning the whole thing seems like it is actually happening. You just don't get performances like this from Meryl Streep or Sally Field. This is raw and real. But be warned, this is NOT for the faint of heart.
on January 13, 2000
Why is this brilliant film so maligned by so many so-called film critics? It is a gripping, intelligent anti-rape film, which is brilliantly acted by a cast of unknowns(though star Camille Keaton appeared in several Italian exploitation films). The 'Videohound' reviewer said that the scenes in the film were irresponsibly portrayed, which is a total joke. The reason why this film has such an impact is because it is so realistic; because of the lack of music, the great acting, and most importantly, the fact that the film is so subtle. In the rape and the murder scenes, the viewer sees very little; there is hardly any gore or graphicness. That is not irresponsible, that is brilliant film making. Anyone who thinks this film could encourage rapists obviously hasn't seen it, as the rapists get their brutal come-uppance. In fact, this film should be shown to convicted rapists over and over, like the pavlovian therapy meted out to Alex in 'A Clockwork Orange'; It might make them think twice about raping again. I think that ISOYG comes across as a feminist film, though wether or not Meir Zarchi intended this is hard to tell.