Worth A Look: 24.18%
Pretty Bad: 13.19%
Total Crap: 14.29%
5 reviews, 61 user ratings
|I Spit On Your Grave (1978)
by Brian McKay
They came in the mail from Netflix on the same day. I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, and the inevitable follow up I SPIT ON YOUR CORPSE, I PISS ON YOUR GRAVE. I didn’t even remember putting them on my list. Must have been under the influence of one of mother nature’s most enjoyable by-products, and thought these movies would be fun to watch while in the same condition. Naturally, I’m not holding anything when they finally get here. I figured I might as well watch them anyway. The sooner I do, the sooner I can send ‘em back. This is my story.7:45 p.m. – I start thinking about watching these movies. The night is young, and I’ve got nothing else going on. Why not? However, am hit with the sobering realization that I might not make it through them sober.
"One man’s journal of a spitting, pissing, and damn near puking time."
7:57 p.m. – while contemplating a run to the liquor store, am notified by fellow critic Scott Weinberg via instant messenger that the new edition of Spit on Your Grave has commentary by Drive-in Critic and B-movie god Joe Bob Briggs. My heart goes aquiver.
7:58 p.m. – Check my version – no Joe Bob. No commentary at all. Damn, no Joe Bob and no chronic. This is shaping up to be a substandard evening.
8:00 p.m. – Trot my happy ass down to the liquor store for some refreshements, but decide to check the local video store on the way for a copy of the version with Joe Bob on it. They don’t have it. Shit.
8:15 p.m. – I stand in the liquor aisle bemoaning the fact that all the booze comes in huge bottles and sells for at least $25.99. Don’t they have anything in a “just need to get fucked up for tonight” size?
8:17 p.m. – Pick up a bottle of Ron Caballero’s imported rum – The finest legal buzz that $5.59 can buy. Thank you, Ron!
8:19 p.m. – Am stuck in line behind two yenta soccer moms, who are arguing with the Oompa Loompa behind the cash register over a fucking penny. “Jesus Christ” I mutter under my breath. The cute Black girl behind me smiles at me and laughs. I think about trying to get her number, but she looks a little young. Or maybe I’m just chickenshit.
8:30 p.m. – get home and start doing Rum and Vanilla cokes. Not bad, actually. I was going to do Tequila, limes, and Corona just to be in sync with the Joe Bob commentary, but since Netflix sent me the shitty version of the movie, Rum and Coke it is.
9:10 p.m. – oh yeah, starting to feel every penny of that $5.59. Difficulty typing – check. Slightly blurred vision – check. Shoddy equilibrium – check. Amused by my own banal running commentary – Double check! Stagger to the kitchen to make microwave popcorn
9:26 p.m. – the movie begins (finally). Let the Rum and Jolly Time flow.
9:32 p.m. – so far, so good. Gorgeous lead actress with rock-hard body (Camille Keaton) – check. Gratuitous post-credits skinny-dipping nude scene – check. Production values and digital transfer slightly better than expected. DVD sound quality is cack, though.
9:35 p.m. – after skinny dip, girl finds gun in drawer of her rental cabin. Could come in handy later. Tells goober grocery delivery boy that she’s here to write her first novel. This guy could have been cast as Duddits in Dreamcatcher
9:37 p.m. – Goober tells thugs that hang around at the gas station that he “saw her tits”. Must have been spying while she skinny-dipped. This could be trouble.
9:39 p.m. – thugs go night fishing, exchange semi-amusing banter around campfire
9:41 p.m. – protagonist haltingly works on her prose while wearing a bikini in hammock. She is in no danger of ever landing anything on any top-ten bestsellers list. Thugs show up in speedboat to harass her. She goes inside.
9:45 p.m. – for the record, I am really getting shitfaced now. Popcorn running low. May have to make mac and cheese.
9:48 p.m. – girl sunbathing in canoe on lake. Assholes in speedboat show up again. This doesn’t look good. Side note: these guys seem to have an inexhaustible supply of hollers, whoops, and catcalls.
9:51 p.m. – girl forced ashore, chased into woods, and brutally raped. Damn, this is hard to watch. I need to drink some more.
9:56 p.m. – after the rape, the girl wanders lost in the woods, naked. Okay, I just witnessed some repugnant fucked-up shit – but for the record, this girl has got a FINE body.
10:00 p.m. - oh shit, these pricks caught up to her for round two. Even for a sleazy exploitation flick, this is pretty fucking brutal. One of the worst depictions of rape on film I’ve ever seen.
10:01 p.m. - am officially out of poccorn, but still have half a bottle of booze. Thank God, I’m gonna need it.
10:08 p.m.– After being savaged and left for dead, girl crawls back to her cabin and tries to call for help. Phone kicked out of her hand by the rapists, who have been waiting for her. Round three commences. FUCK, enough already! God I am looking forward to her laying waste to these motherfuckers. Where’s Sam Jackson when you need him? “And you will know my name is the LORD, when I lay my vengeance upon thee.”
10:14 p.m.– to add insult to injury, they mock her manuscript, then tear it up. Oh, you bastards have gone too far! Never fuck with someone’s writing like that!
10:23 p.m.– Goober is sent back into the house to kill her. He can’t go through with it, and instead smears some of her blood on the knife as “proof”. The thugs go on their merry way, thinking she’s dead. Girl crawls to the tub and showers herself off while crying in the fetal postion. As much time as she spends naked in this thing, there is nothing sexy about it. Except for maybe the skinny dipping part.
10:27 p.m. – she doesn’t call the cops. Instead, she tapes the pieces of her manuscript back together. A clumsy metaphor, but an effective one.
10:31 p.m. – Gets the gun out of the dresser drawer, then goes to church to pray for forgiveness for her near-future sins. Oh yeah, this is what we’ve been waiting for. Payback time. “Bless me, Father, for I am about to go fuck some rapist shit up!”
11:0? p.m. – Detailed plot synopsis suspended so as to not give away spoilers. Needless to say, she exacts her revenge with a variety of methodologies that often involve her getting naked again and seducing her attackers, right before she gives them a nasty and well deserved surprise.
So what are we to make of this much-reviled cult classic. Is it exploitation for pure exploitation’s sake? Would a woman recently and savagely raped really be so willing to get naked again and seduce her assailants, just to indulge in a bit of mindfuckery before bloodily dispatching them? Probably not, but who knows? Yes, the film is highly exploitative in places, but there also seems to be a bit of an edge to it that is highly personal. The numerous rape scenes are graphic, but do not seem designed to show the act of rape in any light other than one of pure contemptibility. The fact that it doesn’t pull any punches during these scenes is cause for praise rather than scorn, because I doubt anyone will find any genuine titillation factor in them. Camilla Keaton is not a great actress, but her tears, screams, and horrified expressions are chillingly effective, and she gives us a highly sympathetic character. We feel outraged by what she’s been put through, and we want her to go out and put a hurtin’ on these assholes. I’m just guessing, but it almost feels like a statement piece aimed at the B-movie crowd. While it delivers up the requisite amounts of violence and nudity to satisfy the requirements of the genre, it also has an edgy and decidedly anti-rape sentiment that makes me wonder if the filmmaker didn’t have a personal agenda of vicariously avenging the rape of a loved one through his film. Note to self: must check out the new edition, not only for Joe Bob’s comments, but for the filmmaker’s own insights.
??:?? p.m./a.m. – in for a penny, in for a pound. Put in the disc of the so-called “Sequel” I Spit On Your Corpse, I Piss On Your Grave . Am appalled on too many levels to fully document here. Separate review to follow.
5:?? a.m. – wake up with splitting headache, faint nausea, and a sudden need to visit the loo. Crawl back to bed several minutes later, having successfully avoided a crack-of-dawn personal screening of Mad Max: Beyond Chunderdome
12:?? p.m. – crawl out of bed with a slight hangover but none the worse for wear. Pour the last of Ron Caballero’s imported screwtop rotgut down the drain with silent vows of “never again”. Fuck you, Ron.I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is not a great movie by any film school playbook, but its no holds barred approach to the themes of rape and revenge make it worth your while - if you’ve got a strong stomach. Whether it’s pure exploitation or a violent and blood-stained feminist manifesto, I leave for you to judge. All I can guarantee is that you won’t be bored either way.
link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1133&reviewer=258
originally posted: 04/05/03 11:02:21
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