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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2004
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.
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on September 12, 2002
Getting back to the series of reviews I did on exploitation horror films like "The New York Ripper" and "Zombie," I now take the time to analyze the fiercely disturbing "I Spit on Your Grave" from writer-director Meir Zarchi. I'd seen the box for this film on movie store walls since I was about ten, and had been interested in seeing it ever since, but had always ended up passing it up for something else. Was it worth the wait? Yes. Could it have waited longer? You bet. It is a good film, but it's far from being a great film. The cult appeal of it is obvious. It was made on a low budget with shoestring cinematography and almost no makeup effects whatsoever. The makeup effects we do see are bad, so it's no wonder Zarchi decided to hide that gruesome castration behind the porcelain wall of a bathtub. Such things are better left to the imagination, as John Carpenter has pointed out to us; how it will look in the audiences mind is infinitely more terrifying. Zarchi isn't of that school though, and the violence in this film is put on display wholesale for us to digest and possibly throw up. "I Spit on Your Grave" is a merciless film.
The plot of the film is simple: A woman rents a cabin out in the woods, craving peace, quiet, and solitude to work on her first novel. She is quite attractive, and this is the first thing four men in town happen to notice when she stops by a gas station and later on gets a visit from the grocery boy. They decide to rape her. Very simple, and very disgusting, to think that there might actually be men in the world who think this way. And even more frightening yet to see the consequences of this way of thinking executed on screen in a series of vicious rapes and beatings that make the rape scene in "The Accused" look like passionate, consentual sex. Just when you think all the turmoil for this young woman is over, after she's forced to walk back home, naked, through the woods, stepping through mud and grit and trees with sharp branches, there's more to come. It seems like it never ends. Even the one man we have hope for betrays our trust, and hers. I was sick to my stomach by the time this was finally done. I know this was the reaction Zarchi was going for, but he could've done it with more style and less grit. Yes, this is disturbing, and most people might think it'd be disservicing the material to stylize it in anyway, but there really is a question of going too far here. As I've previously stated, when it's left up to our imagination, it's infinitely more terrifying. Nonetheless, the rape scenes, because they are so brutal and straightforward in their heinous nature, what ensues afterward seems justified. By the time the woman heals, we are already rooting for her, and we are one hundred percent with her when her plan to launch deadly revenge against the four men who attacked her goes into action.
On that level, I recommend this movie. It's hardcore, stomach-churning, and all-out girl-powered. The four guys in the movie are the reasons why some women hate men. ... The men in this movie are pigs. And we rejoice in the revenge of this young woman after she was sodomized again and again by the absolute bottom of the male gene pool. "I Spit on Your Grave" is a dish best served cold.
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on April 1, 2002
I have to say that I was never really interested in this movie as I had never heard of it. I had seen it at my local video store almost everytime I went into the horror section. It's hard to forget the cover. Anyway, after seeing this movie on a list of video nasties I figured I would give this movie a try and check it out.
What I found was a movie that I didn't think was to bad but it has an extremely sensitive subject matter. As a matter of fact if I were a woman I would find it very difficult to watch. Four "Good ol'" boys brutally rape and torture a young woman on vacation. Needless to say she gets her revenge. The acting is not really great and I thought the four men who committed the crime were incredibly stupid. I gave this movie three stars because of how violently she kills the men. Especially the bath tub scene which was hard for me to stomach.
This movie was rated R. Now I don't know if there is another version of this movie but I thought the content of this movie should've got this movie a harder rating than R. This movie is Definitely not for younger viewers. It has extremely brutal rape scene, plenty of nudity, and some harsh graphic scenes. I can see why this movie was banned in some countries.
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on February 26, 2001
I Spit on Your Grave is a movie 90% of people hate ... simply because they don't understand it. Without retelling the plot, the rape scene is what most people complain about, and there is a part of you that has to say "It's only an act" to endure it, as any of us males with wives, mothers, sisters, or female friends would want to protect them from such a horrible fate.
There are 3 & 1/2 rape scenes in a row. Why? simply the director is making you think the worst is over, and then wham! it's only just begun. This is to play with your emotions and to also illustrate that sometimes in life we think we go through something bad and then it's over, but in reality life is not ready to say "The End" so quickly concerning some things.
Also another sore point with people is the retribution she seeks, very simply survivors of Rape need councilling to ever recover, and out by herself without support and in a fearful confused mindstate revenge seems like the only therapy that will comfort her ... and it is well deserved.
If you can watch this movie with an open mind, and not touch the fast forward button then you will enjoy it. However one must have a strong stomach and be an avid viewer of horror movies in my opinion to like this film.
The most disturbing movie ever made? i don't think so, but to a rape victim watching it, it may very well be. I suggest this movie should only be watched alone ... as it tests what type of person you are and how your emotions operate ... and socializing can often distort and interfear with such serious soul searching.
The DVD picture is great, but it's a shame no commentary by Camille Keation or the director was available, it really deserves it. This is why I give this disc 3 stars and not 5, because for the price we really deserve a commentary.
Hire it first, watch it alone.
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on November 9, 2000
Upon its initial release, "I Spit on Your Grave" was made out to be an utterly worthless, pro-rape film by overly PC critics who feared their reputation would be tarnished if they admitted fanfare for this disturbing and competently made movie.
But that's not to say it's not without its problems. Writer-director Meir Zarchi, obviously under the influence of Wes Craven's gritty "Last House on the Left," constructed a very simple plot where a beautiful woman is isolated only to be beaten and raped by a gang of local hoods. After they leave her for dead, she recuperates and takes sadistic revenge against her attackers.
The rape scenes are too choreographed to be considered realistic, and this is complemented by camera angles that render the incidents voyeuristic. The heroine has no discernible personality aside from her looks, and is a model of perfection that is violated unfairly. The way the rapists are seduced and buy the fact that this woman could be attracted to them after the fact is just preposterous. And the movie ends on a note of absolute nihilism.
But I think Zarchi wanted to make an example of men, and how they allow their privates to do their thinking for them. So the way the rapists' libidoes lead them to their doom is a bit symbolic. The act of revenge that takes place in the third act is mean-spirited, unpleasant, but honest. After all, revenge is a hollow act that isn't intended to bring about a feeling of pleasure.
"I Spit on Your Grave" is a decent film. I give it an extra star because of the recent Anchor Bay remaster that has an excellent picture and sound.
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on July 23, 2000
I confess I have a warm, soft spot in my heart for violent female revenge movies. At the top of the list are LA FEMME NIKITA and THE LAST SEDUCTION. MS. 45 is a very stylish core collection here. And so we come to I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. In a way the most realistic of the bunch (the hillbilly rapists are incredibly believable, much more than the hillbillies in DELIVERANCE though not as menacing). But also the simplest plot. And yet, not quite so simple. We know what our heroine is going to do. But she diesn't do it by brute force, she does it by trickery and guile, making the revenge ever-so-sweeter. Be prepared for a cheaply produced movie--stitches appear on our heroine's face even though she didn't see a doctor, but a couple of days later they are all gone as if they never were there at all, even though she didn't take time out to go to New York to see a top plastic surgeon. All right, so the makeup department was underbudgeted. And the pace of the movie is a bit slow, perhaps because it was done way back in 1978, when it was probably fast for those days. Three stars coming from this cheapskate reviewer is high praise, and I believe you'll thoroughly enjoy this movie if you don't go in expecting DELIVERANCE. It definitely belongs on the Female Revenge Movie shelf, which is saying a lot because it's a short shelf of real goodies.
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on February 4, 2000
One of the most notorious films of modern times. Made on a shoestring budget with Buster Keaton's granddaughter in a dubious role, ISOYG (also known as "Day of the Woman") has made lists of the worst movies, most disturbing movies, movies to be banned. The overall message is clear: rape is avenged, with a vengeance. What is interesting is the shift in method of revenge. The first two rapists are killed within sexual contexts, the second in scenes of visceral violence minus a sexual dimension. Does this represent a change in Keaton's character's mindset? (cf. the interesting scene where she reflects, almost meditatively, on whatever while her second victim fills her bathroom with blood and screams). One thing is for viewer will identify with these four rapists (which would have been irresponsible for Zarchi to allow). What is probably so controversial, besides the incredibly brutal rape sequence (it actually stretches over three scenes and there is no eroticism - this is rape for what it is, brutal and vicious, with sex merely the weapon of choice), is the mentally retarded character who plays the first one of the four. Zarchi provides enough issues via this character to write a book. A diffficult movie to recommend...too notorious nowadays to ignore completely. A tour de force acting job by Camille Keaton...whatever happened to her?
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on August 1, 2001
I Spit on Your Grave is not for everyone, and I can think of a few female relatives who would turn the VCR off in disgust, and immediatley call for a ban of the film in the name of Feminism. My biggest problem with it, is that the four bad guys, especially the retarded one, Matthew, are horrible actors. Camille Keaton, is lovely and believable as the young, sexy writer. But the 4 rapists act idiotically throughout the film, taking away from the raw horror of the brutal, and graphic rape scenes, very realistically shot. The revenge scenes were set up well, and provide a great climax to the movie...I would like to see this picture remade, as they have done with other classics such as "Psycho" or "Planet of the Apes", featuring a fearless actress, and 4 competent actors who would play the parts for realism. But would it sell well today? Only time will tell.
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on June 20, 2002
This movie honestly examines the realities of big city vs. small city life. While newspaper headlines accuse big cities of being crime ridden and small towns being safehavens of good values, this movie powerfully exposes that false myth.
A young writer from the Big City of New York goes to a small town believing she will find serenity. She instead is brutally raped in an approximately 40 minutes (originally 57 minutes and was cut down to make it less graphic if you can believe it) scene.
As hard as it is for big city folk to comprehend in their sheltered environment, this is normal everyday life in a small town. This is the only movie I know that brings the experience of the realities and horrors of small town living to the safety and security of the big city home.
Should not be used as entertainment but for understanding of this dark world.
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on September 30, 1999
An earlier reviewer wrote 'why didn't Keaton just call the police?' That's just the point. That never brings justice. It might be according to the law whathappens then, it's not justice.
The slow pace, the long scenes, the silent sequences and the threatening absence of a musical score thoughout the entire film make for a wonderful constant suspense. You KNOW what is going to happen all the time, it's the WHEN and HOW that matter here.
The scenery and camera angles are at some points almost poetic and a real contrast to the ugly violence that is shown. That makes the film even more uncomfortable to watch, and that is precisely the point.
It's not a brilliant film, there are some inconsistencies here and there, and apart from Camille Keaton's the acting is rather bad. But there are many good points about it as well.
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