I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE
With Sarah Butler, Chad Lindberg, Daniel Franzese, Rodney Eastman, Jeff Branson, Andrew Howard
Written by Stuart Morse (based on Meir Zarchi’s screenplay)
I'm in two minds about this remake of Meir Zarchi's gritty late-'70s cult flick. Rape atrocity has become too much of a horror staple recently (especially with low budget indie movies, as we've also experienced with submissions to our HorrorFest film festival) – its a kind of visceral terror anyone can identify with (which only takes actors as opposed to costly make-up FX or even a good story, and in many ways is a cheap exploitation device). This kind of real life horror is a prevalent issue (especially in South Africa), and harder to swallow than a supernatural or fantasy linked horror movie. Sure, we know these things happen, but do we really want to be subjected to it on a regular basis? The Accused this certainly isn't.
Wes Craven's Last House On The Left (remade here in South Africa and which I covered for Fangoria Magazine) was very much in the vein of the the original I Spit On Your Grave, with some very intense scenes for its time. In this Spit remake the basic premise of a writer staying at an isolated cabin to finish her book, get attacked and brutalized, then exacting systematic revenge, is in tact. But in a modernized context some character adjustments, devices and deaths are adapted. The filmmakers didn't hold back on the visceral elements and will shock many. The perpetrators are depicted in varied vile scum levels, which does help in having the audience root to have the victim exact her (creative and bloody) vengeance (very little room left for sympathy). A worry is always how this could be “legal porn” to unstable people who may fantasize about rape, but it also speaks to our inherent blood lust for street justice, and how we can go from regular citizens to a lust for deadly revenge.
Speaking to our inner vengeance and bargaining on the audience to be satisfied by the perpetrators getting more than their just desserts, this was successful enough to spawn a sequel.
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished