For the best of the Horror/Cult/Exploitation film experience
I Spit On Your Grave (1978) (Blu-ray)
Whatís left to say about the 1978 version of ďI Spit On Your GraveĒ that hasnít been said a million times over? Itís one of the most powerful and influential exploitation films ever created and has a rabid fan base. Itís lead actress Camille Keatonís best performance of her career and was the role that made her into a cult icon. It remains director Meir Zarchiís claim to fame and is his most recognized work to date. Itís still never been released uncut in the UK to this day and was one of the infamous ďvideo nastiesĒ in the 1980s. Itís been criticized and praised by feminists abroad and is one of the most debated and talked about films since itís release. In most cases when this is how you talk about a film itís safe to say that the film doesnít live up to the hype, but thatís not the case with this film. This movie is a virtual sucker punch that film fans have ranted and raved about for decades and rightfully so. It really is that good, even to the point where world famous film critic Roger Ebert wrote about how sickened he was by it....showing sometimes that fans are smarter than the people that critique these very films. See Ebert found it to be mysoginistic trash, but failed to see the feminine viewpoint of a woman getting her revenge. Either way itís one of the most interesting genre films of the modern era and deserves the praise and respect it achieves.
ďI Spit On Your GraveĒ features writer Jennifer Hills heading out to the country for the summer to write her first novel. Only she runs into a pack of perverted rednecks that are looking for more than mere conversation. They want to help their mentally challenged friend Matthew lose his virginity and see Jennifer is the perfect woman to help with the task, regardless of what her opinion is of these actions. This leads to a scene that holds itís own against the most vile and disgusting rape scenes of all time, of course setting up their eventual comeuppance.
Although Camille Keaton has been critically acclaimed for her role as Jennifer Hills but itís hard to gauge her importance to this film. Not only is she the perfect looking woman for the role, but she was also experienced, and brought everything needed to the role. Sheís incredibly sympathetic and always has the right energy for what was asked of her. Itís an incredibly meaty role and not too many actresses could handle this type of material, but Camille really knocks it out of the park.
Of course when it comes to the group of threatening rednecks we have unknown actors for the most part who do exactly what is expected of them. Theyíre mean and nasty when called upon but manage to turn into confused children by itís climax. Originally all of them are so turned on by the attack on Jennifer they arenít thinking of consequences in the least. But once the act occurs it seems like they are all regretful and thinking that they all have something coming to them (which of course, they are right). But this is the perfect type of genre film when showing female empowerment, especially because just about ANY audience would be cheering the character of Jennifer Hills toward her revenge.
The new Anchor Bay Entertainment Blu-ray disc really impressed me. When it comes to films of this type I have to say that Iím apprehensive to the treatment that itíll get. But Anchor Bay really does a nice job here as the film looks outstanding in HD. Itís as clear as Iíve ever seen it but it has the grain that the movies fans have come to appreciate. There is also audio commentary with director Meir Zarchi and the famous Joe Bob Briggs commentary is included as well. There is also a nice feature included thatís basically a interview with Zarchi talking about everything from making, distributing the film, even down to his marriage to star Camille Keaton. You also get plenty of radio spots, trailers, a poster and still gallery, and you can even watch the film with itís alternative title of ďDay of the WomanĒ.
Overall this is one of the most important films in the history of exploitation and genre films, itís one of those movies that most us NEED to have in their movie collections. This is no exception as the movie looks great on Blu-ray and will be something that fans will want to experience for themselves. This one is completely worth a purchase, even if you have the earlier releases.
Rating - ***Ĺ
Blu-ray Rating - ***