FEATURING NEW UNCUT MATERIAL PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN IN THE UK.
Originally titled Day of the Woman I SPIT ON YOU GRAVE has gained a reputation as an extremely graphic and violent film, as well as the most talked about film in cinema history! It tells the story of Jennifer Hills (Camille Keaton) a magazine writer from New York who retires to a secluded cabin in the woods to write her first novel. There she is brutally assaulted, raped and left for dead by four country boys. BUT JENNIFER IS ALIVE. Emotionally destroyed, she finds herself choreographing a horrific revenge scheme to inflict punishment on her four assailants in methods that defy the imagination.
Banned by censors and bashed by critics, the legacy of I Spit on Your Grave goes on as the most disturbing film ever created. Yet it has become a cult classic of epic proportion!
However, Jennifer soon recovers from her ordeal sufficiently enough to enact some very painful revenge on each of her four attackers, one by one...
Banned in the UK until 2001, it was only finally granted an 18 certificate in that year when the BBFC ordered just over seven minutes of cuts to the rape scenes. When this newer version was resubmitted to the BBFC in 2003 with some of the previously cut footage reframed to put Jennifer off the bottom of the screen, they passed all except just 41 seconds of cuts, making this the most complete version we have ever had in the UK. While it's still shocking, the reframed footage is noticeably blurrier and the wrongness of the screen layout is very obvious. Also, not being able to see the victim has undoubtedly muted the effect, making her vengeful attacks later seem over-the-top compared to what it might have been had the censored footage been left in its original uncut form, but I guess on this occasion the BBFC's hands are tied and that we should think ourselves lucky that we got the film officially released at all.
Many have accused it of glorifying rape, which is not the case at all. If anything, it shows just how horrific it really is, and how damaging it is, physically and emotionally, to the victim. Meir Zarchi, the Italian director, handled a very difficult subject matter here, and it was even based on a real event.
Other complaints that even the uncut version wouldn't cure is that the acting is a bit hammy sometimes, with dialogue sometimes sounding like it's being barked down a hollow tube, and some of the gore isn't quite the right shade of red, but given the time it was made it's not miles away from the correct colour, and the bathroom scene is still a ghastly sight.
If you like shocks and scares, you'll certainly get some in I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, possibly one of the most complained-about and controversial movies in cinema history!
At issue are not Jennifer's specific acts of revenge, including the infamous bathroom scene, but rather the series of brutal rapes that precede them. I do not want to meet anyone who is not disturbed by these rape scenes and I think it is fairly obvious that Zarchi intended to make audiences uncomfortable. In retrospect you have to wonder about all those movies with rape scenes that do NOT upset the audience. But Zarchi certainly pours it on thick, absolutely assuring that things go beyond the tolerance level of anyone who watches this film. So the bottom line is that this film will upset you and it is therefore effective at doing exactly what it wants to do, which is supposed to be a good thing, right? I have always considered this an "X" rated movie although I would not consider it pornographic in the traditional sense. But it is a very disturbing film and I do not think I would want my kids to see it until after they graduate college (if ever). Anyone renting this film for cheap thrills is in for a shock.
As I now understand it, this 1978 film was originally released as "Day of the Woman," but that rather innocuous title was replaced by the well known "I Spit on Your Grave," although the film was also screened as "I Hate Your Guts" and "The Rape and Revenge of Jennifer Hill." All of this is interesting since it seems the producers were trying to pass off this film with both higher and lover levels of pretention. Beyond being letterboxed, this DVD offers nothing than the cheesy original theatrical trailer. But this is one film where you would certainly like to have to hear what the director has to say.
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