Monday, November 4, 2013

I Spit On Your Grave Movie Review – "That's What I Like in a Woman – Total Submission."

Runtime: 101 minutes
Release Date: November 22, 1978
Rating: NR
Director: Meir Zarchi

Jennifer wants nothing more than to spend some time in the country to focus on her writing and work on her book. After renting a house in the woods, she makes the "mistake" of actually talking to men and letting one stop by her house to drop off some groceries instead of keeping to herself and being barefoot and pregnant. The men also think she wants them because she has the "audacity" to sit inside her own yard in a bikini, wear a bikini on the water, and talk to them in town.

One day, four of those men decide to make her wish she never came to their town. They confront her in the woods, brutally rape her, and let her walk away. After she wanders through the woods for hours, they come out of the shadows and do it all over again. Jennifer finally escapes and makes it home, only for the men to come out and rape her again. They finally leave for good, but send their mentally challenged friend back to kill her. He chickens out and tells them he did the deed.

Jennifer recovers from the rapes and beatings long enough to think about how she can enact her revenge on those men. She lets them know that she's still alive, which leads to them beating the snot out of their friend. She then lures that man back to her cabin, where she has sex with him before strangling him and hanging him from a tree. Jennifer then takes the time to slowly dispatch of each man in a new and horrifying way.

I Spit On Your Grave is one of those films that you watch once and never forget, but in my case, you watch it once and remember it as much harsher than it actually was. A friend watched the remake, and when he mentioned that he never saw the original, we decided to sit down and watch it recently. I kept talking about how dark and disturbing the movie was, so much so that I only ever watched it once before. It somehow went down a little smoother the second time.

Watching the movie for a second time, I couldn't help wanting to see his reaction at some of the death scenes. While he squirmed during the penis-capitation scene in the bathtub, he didn't find anything else very dark. That led me to wonder why I remembered the deaths as so dark and intense. One man gets an ax to the back and another gets a boat engine on him, but the film doesn't really show anything too dark. In today's world, we don't have a problem showing someone's penis laying on the table or at the bottom of the ocean, but I Spit On Your Grave asked you to use your imagination. When we see the blood spurting around the bathroom, that's all you need to see.

The rape scenes in this movie really left a lasting impression on me. As soon as I knew those scenes were coming up, I found excuses to get up and walk to the bathroom or grab something out of the kitchen. Camille Keaton really sells her part well. When Jennifer locks the bathroom door on the man, walks downstairs, and sits down while listening to the man's screams, you can't help but feel something for her.

I can see kids today watching this movie and rolling their eyes, but for true horror fans, it's something that they can't miss. While the death scenes weren't as dark as those scenes were in my head, I Spit On Your Grave is still a dark film that leaves me feeling unsettled.

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