One of the most notorious exploitation films of the 70’s, banned under the ‘video nasty’ umbrella of hysteria, and yes, in this soulless sea of rehashed Hollywood trash and more money being thrown at the remake than anything remotely resembling originality, this cult classic was way overdue for the glitter stick treatment, so she can be another pretty, dead eyed celluloid corpse littering the road to the bank.
For those of you not familiar with the 1978 original ,aka Day of the Woman, the plot follows a young writer who goes to a remote mountain cabin to work on her latest novel. Well, inspiration comes a knocking in the form of a posse of locals looking to get their rape on with the townie, leaving her for dead after some pretty horrendous scenes that most people watch though their fingers. Unfortunately for our redneck sex offenders, Jennifer isn’t the sort to let them get away with almost murdering her, picks off the group of bastardos one by one, and not in a ‘bullet in the head, it’s over mercifully quick’ way either. She gets her revenge in a way that will satisfy the most bloodthirsty of gore fans.
So, the remake .. Was it actually any good?
In short … No, it really wasn’t.
If the original is savage, shocking and unforgiving, then the remake is fluffy, puerile and twee. It’s watered down, Horror-Lite (half the taste, and minus the entertainment), and is in my opinion an insult to the original in every way.
The character of Jennifer is idiotic beyond words. Prancing around the remote woodland in a sports bra and hot pants on her own, neglecting to lock doors, kissing plumbers for fixing the toilet, and generally doing her bit to annoy sane and sensible (sober) women everywhere.
Oh and interestingly after the rape, we discover that she is in fact the She Hulk or perhaps the spawn of Popeye, as this tiny little girl manages to actually carry the men back to her cabin single handed (maybe the scene where she got bitten by a radioactive spider was left on the cutting room floor), which makes me wonder why she couldn’t just pick up the rapists and snap their puny spines when they tried to attack her in the first place ..
There’s also a half arsed story about the sheriff and his daughter, that doesn’t really go anywhere and I see no reason for, but that’s the thing about this one – It’s logic Jim, but not as we know it.
I Spit On Your Grave isn’t a pleasant film, it’s sleazy, gritty and real enough for major discomfort, and this version seems to have sacrificed all that it was for better production values. While many view the original as a feminist masterpiece, about redemption as much as revenge, others view it as misogynistic and barbaric (I actually think it’s all of these things), but this is nothing more than Saw without that funny little puppet thing.
If you liked other recent remakes such as The Hills Have Eyes and The Last House on the Left then this will surely be a fast favourite, but if like me, you would happily stand all involved in those films against a wall and let a hail of bullets explain your distaste, then please, avoid like the bubonic plague