5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Woman's Day
A pretty young novelist rents a secluded cabin in the woods in order to have a nice, quiet place in which to hunker down and start writing the great American novel. But instead of peace and serenity, she ends up as the victim of brutal rape and torture at the hands of a band of semi-literate rednecks. She somehow survives the ordeal, though, and after regaining her...
Published on June 30 2004 by Michael R Gates
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Attention all Joe Bob Briggs Fans!
I bought this DVD for one reason and one reason only: Joe Bob Briggs. As an avid watcher of Monstervision, my Saturday nights have been dull and barren without my weekly Joe Bob fix (and yes, I know that makes me a geek and a loser -- ask me if I care!). So when I saw that he does a full-length commentary on this particular DVD, I really had no choice but to buy it. I...
Published on March 7 2004 by Blue Ridge Book Lover
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Woman's Day,
A pretty young novelist rents a secluded cabin in the woods in order to have a nice, quiet place in which to hunker down and start writing the great American novel. But instead of peace and serenity, she ends up as the victim of brutal rape and torture at the hands of a band of semi-literate rednecks. She somehow survives the ordeal, though, and after regaining her physical and emotional bearing, she finds the inner strength to return to the scene of the crime and confront her attackers.... Thusly winds the plot of 1978's infamous and controversial revenge flick I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (originally titled DAY OF THE WOMAN).
In the uncut version of this soupçon-budget flick--which is the version offered on the DVD from Elite--the gang-rape and torture sequence consumes an inordinate amount of screen time. Though this sequence has sometimes been compared to the sodomy scene in Boorman's DELIVERANCE (1972), it is more often criticized as being merely gratuitous and subliminally misogynistic. Unlike Boorman, who only slyly and skillfully SUGGESTS the sodomy and torture in his famous film, the director of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, Meir Zarchi, is unflinchingly graphic in his depiction of rape. He doesn't want to do anything that might candy-coat this bitter pill, because he wants the audience to see just how abhorring such personal violation actually is.
Lauded by loyal fans as a simple film that makes an important and abstruse point, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is admittedly neither complex nor deep. Yes, the plotting is rudimentary and subtext is virtually nonexistent. Yes, the film lacks a musical score. And, yeah, a few of the characters are trite, shallow, and one-dimensional, and some of the dialogue is hokey. To certain aesthete filmgoers, this raw simplicity may come across as banal, sophomoric cinema. But aesthetics is only a secondary concern with this film. The primary purpose is to declare a particular message or two and to declare them as in-your-face as possible. The film DOES indeed have a couple of staunch points to make regarding the repugnance of rape and misogyny, an individual's rights regarding their body, and the justification for exacting eye-for-an-eye revenge. And it proclaims these points in a graphically straightforward manner that, if nothing else, certainly grabs the audience's attention.
The Elite DVD version of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE offers a surprisingly clear, clean anamorphic transfer of the film in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The sound, while not as impressive as the digital video, is available in Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS Surround Sound 5.1, or the original mono. The disc's extras include a feature commentary by the director, as well as a hilarious commentary track by cult-film aficionado and critic Joe Bob Briggs, the stage persona of actor/writer John Bloom. (Joe Bob's articulate, knowledgeable, and extremely humorous commentary is itself worth the disc's purchase price.) Also included are the theatrical trailers--some of which promote the film under its original title--various interviews, and press-coverage items that include the merciless repudiation of the film by some famous critics. For a film that has generated such negative publicity over the years, this is quite meritorious bonus material.
True, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is an exploitative splatter film with a plot that is often dismissed by critics as a tale of one city girl and handful of sadistic hayseeds traipsing through a series of grisly scenes. It's definitely not for the squeamish, but anybody who views the film is certain to walk away with a firm pathos for rape victims and a strong disdain for rapists. And since that is what the filmmakers were aiming for, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE must be regarded as a highly successful film.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what you'd expect!,
This review is from: I Spit on Your Grave (VHS Tape)
A friend of mine and I watched this movie, expecting a cool horror movie, we had heard about the scene where she cuts off an attackers penis, and thought it would be a fun movie. well, we were about as wrong as we've ever been.
THE STORY: Jennifer, rents a cabin to work on her novel, she meets this cute but dorky guy who instantly falls for her beauty and charm. Later in the film, the dorky guy and his friends attack her and rape her brutally. The treat her cruelly like an animal, and the dork loses his virginity to her. She gets away, and plots her revenge. Each man gets his own, and she brutally murders each one.
This movie isnt a horror, and it certainly isnt an erotic film. the directing was cool, the acting could have been MUCH better. Though, Camille Keaton did a fairly good job. I think this movie is great because, it empowers women. I believe it says "sure you can knock us around, but you'll pay for it". And Jennifer definitely makes them pay for it!!!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the most infamous exploitation movies ever made,
This review is from: I Spit On Your Grave-Mille (DVD)
When movies first came out on video there were two legendary exploitation films I had to track down. One was "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and the other was "I Spit on Your Grave," which is actually the more memorable film of the pair overall (although I do grant the highest place to the "hook" scene in TCM). Director Meir Zarchi's 1978 film has become rather infamous, since critics hated it, audiences were outraged, and the film was banned in Germany and Great Britain. The story, such as it is, finds Jennifer Hill (Camille Keaton, Buster's grand-niece) out in the woods of Connecticut to work on a novel when she crosses the path of some local boys who decide she should be the first sexual partner for their mentally-disabled friend. When he cannot complete the rape, his friends do it for him. Then they decide that they are not done with Jennifer.
At issue are not Jennifer's specific acts of revenge, including the infamous bathroom scene, but rather the series of brutal rapes that precede them. I do not want to meet anyone who is not disturbed by these rape scenes and I think it is fairly obvious that Zarchi intended to make audiences uncomfortable. In retrospect you have to wonder about all those movies with rape scenes that do NOT upset the audience (the current obvious exception that proves the rule would be what happens in "Monster" right before the first murder). But Zarchi certainly pours it on thick, absolutely assuring that things go beyond the tolerance level of anyone who watches this film. So the bottom line is that this film will upset you and it is therefore effective at doing exactly what it wants to do. I have always considered this an "X" rated movie although I would not consider it pornographic in the traditional sense. But it is a very disturbing film and I do not think I would want my kids to see it until after they graduate college (if ever). Anyone renting this film for cheap thrills is in for a shock.
As I now understand it, this 1978 film was originally released as "Day of the Woman," but that rather innocuous title was replaced by the well known "I Spit on Your Grave," although the film was also screened as "I Hate Your Guts" and "The Rape and Revenge of Jennifer Hill." All of this is interesting since it seems the producers were trying to pass off this film with both higher and lover levels of pretention. The cult status here is more for the shock value than any cheap artistic pretentions, that is for sure.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Attention all Joe Bob Briggs Fans!,
I bought this DVD for one reason and one reason only: Joe Bob Briggs. As an avid watcher of Monstervision, my Saturday nights have been dull and barren without my weekly Joe Bob fix (and yes, I know that makes me a geek and a loser -- ask me if I care!). So when I saw that he does a full-length commentary on this particular DVD, I really had no choice but to buy it. I was, of course, not disappointed with Joe Bob -- he was as incisive, informed, and funny as ever (and that's really saying something when it comes to a movie like this). As for the film itself, I found the rape scenes as brutal and offensive as anything I have ever seen...and that, again, is really saying something. The horror in this movie is that of man's inhumanity to man -- or in this case, to woman. The pain that one human being can inflict on another is what makes this movie shocking and offensive. The movie does NOT glorify rape -- quite the reverse. It shows rapists as what they are: mindless, stupid, brutal thugs. And in this movie, they get what they deserve. As I woman, I found the rape victim's revenge to be very satisfying, indeed. At the same time, however, this movie is not at all for the faint of heart. My suggestion: if you like Joe Bob, watch the movie and enjoy his commentary. If you are not a fan, choose another film.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Exploitation at its worst,
It was 6 years ago and i had finally purchased my first DVD player for 250 dollars. Pretty good bargain back then. I was staying with my Pops back then and he had brought home his first DVD purchase, It was "I spit on your Grave". Imagine my chagrin. "Its got a hot chick on the cover with a knife" he said. Then we sat down and watched one of the most horrific Rape and Murder movies ever. First the acting is atrocious, the story is so silly and the Director really got his jollies off of overextending the softcore rape scenes that were more laughable then horrific. Not that rape is in anyway laughable but if you plan on tackling a serious subject then have some class. If you want to see a brutal and TOTALLY realistic Rape and revenge flick then track down the French film "Irréversible". Now that film will make you squirm, cry, scream or a combination of all three. Just stay far away from this trash unless of course silly violent sex flicks are your cup of tea. If so, watch away!
1.0 out of 5 stars Contrived, Dull, and Melodramatic,
I Spit on your Grave is first and foremost, an awful title for a film. The word "art" should never again be associated with this contrived and melodramatic film. The rape scenes are filmed from the rapists' point of view, and are FAR too long, in the sense that after 20 minutes, they lose their power, thus it becomes pornography. According to this sexploitation movie, revenge is a churchoing solution to violence. Something unforgivably dull about this movie is that there is NO soundtack. You would think they would learn that music is powerful after the harmonica scene, but unfortunately not. "I'm telling you (the town) it's too peaceful" is an example of the laughable dialouge that painfully ensues.
Save yourself the misery and instead buy the powerful, artistic rape film "Last House on the Left" which is great whatever you classify it as, horror, rape, revenge, or 70's darkness. But sadly, I Spit works on no levels, so don't waste you're money on it like I did.
Last Note- I Spit on Your Grave shows the rape victim get dirtier as she is sexually assaulted, and she is olny clean when she kills her assailents 'gloriously'. In Last House on the Left, it is the killers that become dirty and discusting after destroying their victim's innocence and lives.
4.0 out of 5 stars Spit is a classic of it's time. -Mixter of other Cliche's.,
By A Customer
This is a wildly intense horror film of it's time. -"I
Spit On Your Grave." -Grapples many horror cliches on
screen. -Camille Keaton. -Plays a women victim of rape
and unless she can put a stop two it. -She can. -This
movie holds the barrier for wes cravens. -The Last
House On The Left. -Which was the best movie ever
made. -And I think. -The director might of that
and write his own version of rape and torture. -I
may just give away a little on this film. -It starts
out as the nice girl going on vacation and is
confronted by some hoods and they beat her up
in a cabin and she escapes and enact a bloody
revenge on the hoods. -I saw this movie some time ago on
Video. -VHS. -And the movie looked grainy in it's hay day.
this makes the perfect transfer now on DVD. -I am glad
that; -Horror; -Garu. -Joe Bob Briggs. -Still cares about
the horror genera. -I hope he keeps it up the day he dies.
I can't believe they did not ask him two do a commentary
for; -The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. -Special Edition. -And
The Last House On the Left. -The two films that Monster
vision never allowed two show. -TNT. -Was sinsere on
cinsor part. -Briggs. -Is the best commentator.
I've wish they make him. -President.. -Of; -DVD Horror.
Back two the Indy Horror slasher. -This is The Last House On
The Left; -clone. -It is one of the second best and I do
compare it two that flick. -Ms. -Keaton. -Does a good job.
Specially she may be related to. -Mr. -Batman. -Him self.
Michael Keaton. -I don't care how badly the critics squash
these movies. -Their good. -They just tell a story like it
is. -Specially. -I know the kid is mentally handicap.
I seen the part where she is sunbathing on a boat and
spotting the guys. -Their I said. -This is a great horror
movie. -In it's dark nature.
4.0 out of 5 stars Long before Lorena Bobbit, there was Jennifer,
Jennifer is a writer who heads out to a country cabin to spend time writing her novel. What she didn't count on was the small town local yokels, a group of savage .... rednecks who see her as an easy target.
Which she is. They all set upon her and rape her one by one, in a fairly drawn out part of the movie. She is raped, then let go, then caught and raped again, then let go, then caught and raped again, and so forth. Finally, the "boys" convince the dim-witted grocery deliver boy to go back in and kill her, which he finds he cannot do, so he fakes it.
So what's a girl to do? Instead of reporting the crimes, Jennifer decides to get even. One by one, she picks her assailants off. The bathtub scene is not to be missed, and what separates this from the rest of the cheesily made 70's splatter films is her languid calmness as she sets about her business.
The down side of this is that the DVD version promises digital remastering. That's fine, but don't count on good sound quality, if they remastered the video they seemed to have forgotten about the audio. The sound is as bad as it was in the original.
What made this movie so scandelous back in the 70's was the nudity and what was, back then, a fairly realistic and brutally intact rape scene. Watching it again now, it is as cheesy as the rest of the movie, and yet still holds it's entertainment value against the newer and better made films.
If you are a fan of cheesy older splatter films, you will love this movie. If you are not, you might want to pick up something else. All in all, I give it four stars. Enjoy.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great �Hack �Em Up� Film with Feminist Agenda,
As a slasher movie, it stands the test of time. However, the movie and the story both need work. Since reality programming is now all the rage and people expect a sensibility of reality in their movies, I'll approach my review from the standpoint of the social aura that defines society as of 2003. In other words, I'll cover how the society and this movie feed off one another. It may not be fair to hold a piece from 1978 to the fires of 2003, but I'm going to do it anyway.
I would first make the woman less helpless. She's smart and sophisticated, like most city women, but she doesn't seem strong enough to live in the city. I would give her a bit more strength and common sense. Playing her as a helpless little girly-girl and a pure victim throughout most of the movie should offend most feminists.
However, the "helpless woman" is a powerful ideal that allows women in our modern society to play both sides of the fence in social and legal arenas. Women love to be strong, yet helpless. Empowered, yet underprivileged. Equal, yet they must receive special considerations. Sadly, this enigma is a social phenomenon that allows this movie to work well.
Only a woman can be a helpless killer.
To maintain this unique social power, feminists will turn a blind eye to all fiction and non-fiction characters that portray women in this light. The best way to avoid exposure of the feminist agenda in this script is to distract the moviegoer by pointing a finger directly at what one can visually see: The Rape Scenes.
These scenes are powerful on a disturbing level. But who is it that is committing the rapes? There are four "men" in this group. However, only two of the characters were effectively developed. The Alpha Male (the leader) and Matthew (the retarded man) were developed in such a way that you cared about them a little. However, they were depicted as back-wood country boys (ref: really stupid) who only think with the little head between their legs.
This is about as accurate a depiction of men as the character of the woman. Are women really this helpless and naïve? Are men really this stupid and hormone-driven? These characters are simplistic at best and offensive at worst.
To make the pack of men stronger, I would get rid of one of the miscellaneous friends and develop the third one more. Make the men a little bit smarter; bring the overall challenge to a higher level. People are more complex than what we see on this screen.
I would also get rid of a few scenes. The "Forgive Me" scene in the church was gratuitous at best. Does this woman need an excuse to kill? Does she require forgiveness? She has a good reason to want them dead. Reporting them to the police wouldn't result in a good slasher movie, though, unless the guys killed the one-man police force and brought more peril to the situation (a-la "Misery").
Even if the guys didn't rape her, she could use PMS as a legal defense and no jury would convict her.
Another scene that needs to be cut is the "Missing Husband" scene, where the Alpha Male's fat, bull-dykish, grumpy wife bounces around the yard outside the gas station, wondering where her loser husband has gone. She is not concerned that something bad may have happened to him. Her presence only serves to solidify the feminist agenda of this script.
If my observations do not convince you that feminist tone exists in the film, how about the original title. "Day of the Woman" says it all.
This agenda is so overwhelming that everybody misses the FOURTH rape. What I'm talking about is the rape of Matthew. He just wanted to fit in with the guys and got sucked into their idiocy and mayhem. It was most disturbing when the leader was showing him how to kill with a knife, sending him in the house to do the dirty work. In a feminist light, this shows the true cowardice of the men. However, it could be argued that, if the Alpha Male had carried out the stabbing, Matthew would have blabbed it out at the diner (which he blabs on himself later). Matthew was a pawn in their game.
Finally, I would move the scenes around. Having cut one of the male friends out of the picture, I would kill the least popular one first (maybe the guy wearing the suspenders). Then I'd take Matthew out, and finally blow my cinematic load with the bathroom scene. As the movie stands now, I think that the bathroom scene is the climax of the movie. After this scene, I didn't care about the other two. Having them team up on her was the only (partially) saving grace.
When I got my driver's license in 1980 at the age of 16, the first thing I did was drive to the big city from my little Indiana country town, go to the midnight movie, and see "I Spit On Your Grave." I couldn't wait for the slashing to begin.
Even with my teen hormones awhirl, the rape scenes were still disturbing to me. This gives me hope that all people are not victims of their hormones, especially men who commit the heinous act of rape and women who kill their spouses and children under the guise of PMS.
Those who say that this movie glorifies raping women are missing the bigger picture. Nobody has tackled the notion that there could be an insidious message that it's socially acceptable to kill a man or sever his member because he's "being a man" (insert feminist definition here).
This proves one thing; that this film allows a person to take away from it exactly what they bring into the theatre. The Mysogynist and Mysandrist alike (and normal folks), can revel in the shallow filthiness of this movie.
I loved it!
4.0 out of 5 stars Message Film That Will Shock,
This review is from: I Spit on Your Grave (Original Uncut Version) (DVD)
"I Spit On Your Grave" has a rather remarkable history for an exploitation film. I vividly remember a little video store close to where I lived ten years ago or so placed this film in their adult section, apparently concerned that the disturbing images within were so dangerous that only those interested in the latest Ron Jeremy release could appreciate them. Director Meir Zarchi, a definite one shot wonder if there ever was one, continues to squeeze every drop of coin out of his film as possible. How many different versions of this movie is this guy going to release? A "Millennium Edition"? Are you kidding me? I have spent some time viewing several of the more extreme entries in the exploitation genre, and I can confidently state that "I Spit On Your Grave" is one of the more milder contributions to that exalted field. If you want to watch something truly mind boggling, track down a copy of Ruggiero Deodato's "Cannibal Holocaust." The fact that Zarchi's film got a widespread DVD release while Deodato's little gem remains mired in virtual obscurity constitutes one of the great crimes in the B movie arena. Still, "I Spit On Your Grave" does have a message for those willing to sit down and watch it.
In what must have shocked New York filmgoers who screened this exploitation piece in one of the grindhouse theaters in the 1970s, "I Spit On Your Grave" concerns the brutalizing of a young girl from the Big Apple named Jennifer Hill during a sojourn she makes into rural upstate New York in order to write a novel while slumming around in a riverfront cabin. Jenny, played by a very pretty Camille Keaton, almost immediately runs into four local losers when she stops at a gas station near her rented house. These four goons, after learning that one of their gang has never spent time with a woman, arrive at the brilliant idea of launching a full frontal assault on Jennifer. They don't immediately overwhelm her, of course, but rather build up to it by slowly terrorizing her. They cruise by her digs on a noisy motorboat, distracting her from her writing with their hoots and hollers. Our gang of rural cretins finally makes their move when they discover Jennifer out on the river in a little row boat. Using their big, bad powerboat, the gang hijacks the unfortunate lass's vessel and tows her to shore.
What follows are several distressing scenes of rape and violence, sequences that drag on for what seems like hours as the gang has their fun, lets Jenny go, and then reappears for more nightmarish activities. After this lengthy degradation finally, mercifully comes to a close, the criminals force one of their crew to go dispatch Hill with a knife. Regrettably, for these tough guys who seek to erase the evidence of their monstrous endeavors, the man they pick to do the deed suffers from a mental disability and cannot muster enough nerve to go through with the ultimate crime. Big mistake. Jennifer recovers from her injuries and begins to plot her revenge against her tormentors. Making good use of that old adage about a "woman scorned," Jenny uses her feminine wiles to lure and ultimately murder the four men who committed such nauseating violations. What you would think would provide plenty of gory thrills turns out to be a rather tepid series of revenge killings. One of the men dies when Jenny hangs him from a tree, another in a bathtub when Hill applies a knife to a most cringe worthy area, and the final two in the river. The movie ends with Jenny roaring down the river in a motorboat, seemingly sated by her well laid plans.
Several things do actually work in "I Spit On Your Grave." The willowy, pretty Camille Keaton lounging around her house at the beginning of the film in her bikini is nice (but definitely not later, when the horror begins), but doesn't inspire me to admire in any way the activities of the men in the film, one of whom eventually tells his victim that she was "asking for it" because she wore revealing clothing. I can appreciate what Zarchi tried to do with his nasty little shocker: present a picture of rape that is both as realistic as possible and as disturbing as possible. The director does achieve the desired effect, I think, by showing how such a despicable crime degrades everyone involved in it. What didn't work was the mediocre script, especially when Jennifer Hill goes on her vengeful rampage. The fact that these guys willingly went along with a woman they terrorized just two weeks previously seemed amazingly contrived. I am willing to believe these men are stupid, but not THAT stupid. If a woman who suffered such a horrific incident as Jenny did decided to strike back, I think it would probably resemble something like serial killer Eileen Wuornos's rampage rather than "I Spit On Your Grave." Women simply don't go on killing sprees against their attackers, and even nowadays often don't report rape to the police.
The DVD I watched contained a trailer for the film and a widescreen transfer of the nicely restored picture. "I Spit On Your Grave" is definitely a film with a message and worth watching once, but I recommend renting instead of buying it. If you like viewing Zarchi's film on a regular basis, you probably have some problems that need addressing soon, preferably at a place where nice men in white jackets can introduce you to the wonderful world of Thorazine.
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I Spit on Your Grave (1978) by Meir Zarchi (DVD - 2011)
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