Cover via Amazon
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE-United States-101 Mins. 1978
Directed by Meir Zachi
Written by Meir Zachi
Camille Keaton as Jennifer
Eron Tabor as Johnny
Richard Pace as Matthew Lucas
Anthony Nichols as Stanley
Gunter Kleemann as Andy
A lot of things happened in 1978. Egypt made peace with Israel. Karl Wallenda of the Flying Wallendas fell to his death from a tightrope suspended between the two towers of the Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Bruce Springsteen released what many consider to be his greatest album in Darkness on the Edge of Town. 1978 was also the year that one of the most controversial motion pictures of all time was released. The subject of the film was rape and revenge and it was called I Spit On Your Grave.
As a human male I can very quickly tell you that I do not know the first thing about rape. I cannot tell you what it is like to rape someone and I surely cannot tell you what it is like to be raped. I will never, ever tell a rape victim that I understand because I don’t. Rape is one of the most heinous crimes any one male or female could ever commit.
This blog is first and foremost a blog in which I watch and review horror films. I am supposed to be objective in my views and rate a film and its performers on the strength or weaknesses of their performances and the point that the film is trying to get across. I must therefore apologize to my readers because concerning I Spit On Your Grave that is something I cannot do. When I bought the DVD at FYE the store clerk told me two things. One, that it was the film that The Last House on the Left wanted to be when it grew up; and two that it was a life changing film. I silently disagreed with him on the first point and in the same way agreed with him on the second.
A woman from the city takes a sabbatical to the country to take refuge in a cabin for the summer. She is there to write a novel and likely chose the place for the peace and quiet. She stops for gas and encounters three men. The first mistake she makes is telling them exactly where she is staying for the summer. Later she meets Matthew, the mentally slower friend of the three original men. She makes her second mistake by telling him that she is living all alone. I understand that there are many women who feel that something like rape will never happen to them. The woman in this film is obviously one of those women.
The four men come at her like sharks as she lies relaxing in her boat. They circle her, finally moving in for the kill. On separate occasions they take turns raping, beating and sodomizing her. They take away every safe place. The lake, the woods, the cabin; there is nowhere that she can go for refuge. Finally, the men (a loosely used term) send the half-wit Matthew to kill her so that she can’t point them out. Matthew leaves her alive and it is a mistake that they will all regret.
As I said before, my job as a horror film reviewer and blogger is to objectively review and rate the films that I watch. I can’t do that in this case. All the time that I was watching this film I was hoping that these men would meet a slow and painful end. I have never felt that way about a film and I guarantee that it will be a long time before I feel that way again. When I finished watching the film I felt like I needed a shower. That’s not saying that this is a bad film. I believe that the sole purpose of this film is to manipulate the viewer into cheering for this woman. Even the tagline says that she has chopped, crippled and mutilated four men beyond recognition and that no jury in the world would ever convict her. I for one can’t say I’d blame them if they didn’t.
The 1978 version of I Spit on Your Grave is disturbing, in your face and a masterful film. Anyone viewing it will not be able to get it out of their minds for quite some time. I know I won’t.