Friday, October 24, 2008

HORROR EPICS: I Spit On Your Grave

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1977)
One of the most notorious out of all the horror movies reviewed this month, and definitely the most unpleasant. I think the Brits would label this a “video nasty,” and with good reason. A woman from New York rents a cabin out in the woods intending on finishing the book she’s writing, but some of the local boys have plans of their own. They descend upon the cabin, and what follows is probably the longest rape scene ever on film. Unlike most movies that almost seem to depict rape as a typical sex act, the twenty-five minutes in which these subhumans repeatedly stalk and assault this woman is a truly sickening display. But they don’t kill her, which proves to be their undoing. After cleansing her conscience with the Lord, the girl finishes her novel and sees to it that each and every one of those guys pays the price. In the most talked-about scene, she lures the main instigator back to her cabin under the guise of giving him a bath, and then castrates him. Of course you don’t actually see any penis removal, but the sound effect ensures that you feel it. Unflinchingly graphic without fancy camera work or state-of-the-art special effects involved. I Spit on Your Grave had to have been one of the most hated movies of all time when it was originally released. Some of the greatest bad reviews I’ve ever read were written about this movie. But the critics got it wrong all those years ago. This movie doesn’t celebrate misogyny. You hate the rapists for what they’ve done, and your sympathy remains with the victim for the rest of the film regardless of what brutal methods she employs for payback. If anything, I Spit on Your Grave destroys misogyny and has a place as the ultimate feminist revenge movie. Wimps cheer on Thelma & Louise as those two drive off a cliff to their deaths. Radicals root for I Spit on Your Grave as Jennifer rides her outboard off to wherever she sees fit, having gotten away with extracting her revenge. Also known as Day of the Woman.

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