"I Spit on Your Grave" - The 1978 Original is Still Shocking!

I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
AKA “Day of the Woman”

This notorious exploitation flick from the late 70’s is a rip roaring feminist revenge film with extra girl power to spare.  Directed by Meir Zarchi and starring Camille Keaton (granddaughter of Buster) this movie delights in mercilessly brutalizing its characters and the viewers. 

It tells the story of Jennifer Hills, an independent New York City woman who rents a vacation home out in the country to write her first novel.  Upon arriving in “Hicksville”, USA she is greeted by three lowlife locals and a retarded man who delivers her groceries.  The men decide to play with their new friend, and it would be safe to say that they don’t play very nice.  Over about a 20-25 minute period Jennifer is harassed, repeatedly raped, and left for dead.  That would be putting it mildly as the brutality has a documentary like feel with nothing held back.  Keaton gives a courageous performance that required a lot from her.  The physical and mental strain of this role is enormous.  After her ordeal she limps and crawls back to her cabin only to find the men waiting for her and is subjected to one final desecration.  After she heals her physical injuries she starts to plot her revenge.  It’s like she is reborn as a woman on a mission and possibly a little crazy.  She calmly and coolly plots and carries out her revenge on the four men who attacked her.

The four perpetrators are your stereotypical country folk just about on par with those of “Deliverance”.  They seem to have no moral center or conscious for that matter.  While the only one that holds back is Michael, the retarded guy, but he finally gives in and takes a turn.  Jennifer uses her body and sexuality to get her revenge on the guys who actually go along with it.  The men in this movie are dumber than the trees in the forest and are portrayed as savage beasts only interested in fulfilling their basic human desires.  Jennifer might have had a sort of mental break from reality as she kills the four guys in such an icy cold manner it’s quite disturbing.  This movie has been serving up controversy for over 30 years and is still shocking today.  A remake was released in 2010, but this is a film that could never regain its original brilliance.  Just like every other remade and “rebooted” horror movie, it just can’t compare to the original and it is only around to cash in on the original.