Unforgiving. Uncompromising. Unmerciful. Unrated.
The original version was reviled, condemned, and banned around the world for its on-screen depictions of depravity and violence. Now experience the acclaimed remake that dares to go even further: Jennifer Hills (a fearless performance by Sarah Butler) is a big-city novelist who rents an isolated country cabin to write her new book. But when she is brutally raped by a group of sadistic rednecks, Jennifer has plans for more than mere revenge. One-by-one she will find them. She will inflict horrific acts of agonizing torment upon them. And no jury in America would ever convict her. Jeff Branson (All My Children
), Daniel Franzese (Bully
), Rodney Eastman (A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 & 4
), Chad Lindberg (The Fast and The Furious
) and Tracey Walter (The Silence of The Lambs
) co-star in this graphic, shocking and undeniably disturbing new take on one of the most controversial films of all time.
The 1978 edition of I Spit on Your Grave
has been hailed as a milestone of film terror and inspiration to the "Fangoria" generation. It's also been vilified, denounced, and figuratively spat upon not only for its hatefully misogynist premise, but also for the laughable ineptitude of its technical (under)achievements. In fact, the bloody disgusting and offensive points it scores are pretty much off the charts. That's either a positive or the nastiest kind of negative, depending on the viewer's taste for bad moviemaking and a philosophically repulsive center. This remake from 2010 remains mostly true to the black soul of the original, but bumps up the style into the most exquisite places of cinematography, art direction, production design, and even acting. The story follows Jennifer (Sarah Butler), a top-model-beautiful writer, as she ventures into a Deliverance
-esque backwater where she plans to complete her next novel. Initially it's nothing but bucolic cabin views and picturesque bog-and-bayou territory in which she pokes at her laptop, drinks wine and smokes a little weed, and lounges around in sweats, a bikini, or sometimes nothing at all. But those boneheaded rednecks at the gas station who she embarrassed with her city-chick sass start chewing over ways to give her the comeuppance she deserves for being an uppity know-it-all bitch. With support from their local sheriff, who's an evil-hearted good ol' boy too, they set out to terrorize her in every way possible, which means repeated sexual humiliation to the nth degree. But since payback is also a bitch, she seemingly rises from the dead to come back and kill 'em all in the most gruesome ways and with cleverly creative and sexually debasing skill. So in essence we have a movie that satisfies the urge for violent retribution in both men and women, makes the gore hounds squeal with delight, and stands as another perfect target for people to deplore the degradation of women in popular culture. As for those technical highlights, there was clearly a reasonable budget to make I Spit on Your Grave
based on the producers' reasonable expectation that it had a built-in audience, especially for the home video market. The disc's special features include a few deleted scenes (even for this "unrated" version), commentary from the director and producer, and the featurette The Revenge of Jennifer Hills: Remaking a Cult Icon
, in which the stars talk about what "an honor as an actor" it was to be part of the project, and the "privilege that we got to go so deeply dark." Honor and privilege or embarrassment and outrage? Between those extremes there's something for everyone in I Spit on Your Grave
. --Ted Fry