I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978)
Directed by: Meir Zarchi
Distributed by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
A couple of weeks ago, I posted a review of the remake of the 1978 film, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. That review can be seen by clicking here. I was super excited about this remake, as the original film is one of my all time favorite Horror/exploitation films. The remake did not disappoint, and was a fun ride for sure. The Blu-ray and DVD was released by Anchor Bay on February 8th. Check it out if you have the chance. After seeing the remake, it got me wanting to see the original again as well. Along with the I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE remake, Anchor Bay also re-released the original 1978 version both to DVD and to Blu-ray (for the first time). The original film is the subject of tonight's review. I hadn't seen this film in a number of years, and I forgot just how good it actually was. For those of you that don't know the story, here is the basic plot from the Anchor Bay website:
Camille Keaton stars as Jennifer Hills, an attractive city woman who rents a backwoods cabin to begin writing her first novel. She is soon attacked by a group of local lowlifes – including one who is mentally disabled – and dragged screaming into a nightmare of rape, sodomy and violence. Left for dead, she devises a horrific plan for revenge. These men will be cut, chopped, broken and burned beyond recognition...but no jury in America would ever convict her. You may be shocked, outraged or even disgusted. Yet you will never forget the raw impact of the original I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE.
That last statement is very true. You will never forget the impact this film has on you. This film is unlike any film I have seen in it's raw brutality. The original LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT comes close and is similar in many aspects, although I think I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is the superior of those films.
The acting in this film is wonderful, although the part of the mentally challenged character is a little overdone in my opinion, but overall it is very good. Camille Keaton does an excellent job as our main character, to the point where you wonder if, during the very hard to watch rape scenes, if she is really acting 100% of the time, or if some of the screams and cries of terror have some realism behind them. Either way, it makes for an extremely effective set up to what will become the best part of the film, which is when she gets revenge over her attackers.
The revenge scenes in this film are very brutal, but as the tag line states, no jury in America would ever convict her. For as much as she does to her attackers, what they did to her was an unthinkable crime that they could really never pay for enough. Jennifer does what she feels she needs to do, and the audience is behind her 100%! Her methods of revenge varies from the simple (hanging) to the extreme (bathtub scene). I won't say much about the bathtub scene as it is something you will just have to see to believe. What is interesting about the way she extracts her revenge on her attackers is that she uses her sexuality to attract the men and lure them into the vulnerable situations she needs in order to carry out her plans. These men just had their way with her, yet their greed and unhealthy desires for her lead them back into her path which results in their ultimate demise.
While both the original and remake of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE are excellent films, I have to say that this original version is still my favorite, and holds a spot in my top 10 genre films of all time. This film is the perfect example of an exploitation film and is a true cult classic. The film just has a unique look and feel to it that sets it apart from other similar films that try to the match the impact of this film, but fail to do so. I highly recommend this film for all Horror/exploitation film fans!
If you have seen both the original and the remake, I highly encourage your thoughts and comments on which you thought was better and why!
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD or Blu-ray
CLICK HERE to visit the official website of Anchor Bay Entertainment