Editor’s Note: Spoiler Alert
Looking for high art? You’re barking up the wrong tree. Those of you familiar with Meir Zarchi’s original ’78 I Spit On Your Grave will be the most prepared for Steven Monroe’s rape-revenge redo that hits theaters this October from Anchor Bay Films. Last night the film had it’s world premiere at this month’s 3-week-long FanTasia Film Festival where the audience gasped, screamed, and cheered as they watched Sarah Butler drop the axe on her assailants as the lovely “Jennifer”.
In the 2010 I Spit, young and athletic Jennifer moves to a secluded cabin in the south to get some peace and quiet as she writes her latest novel. She has a short run-in with the local boys at the gas pump, who are immediately insulted and threatened (their manhood) by her strong, arrogant “city” attitude. Nobody says “no” to Johnny (Jeff Branson). The pack decides to teach her a lesson that results in the 30-minute long rape sequence overseen by the town’s sheriff (Andrew Howard). Jennifer narrowly escapes, only to return and exact her revenge.
I Spit can be broken into three acts: cliché bullcrap/rape/good ol’ ultraviolence. By the end of the first third I had nearly pulled out all of my hair. From the stereotypical “driving to a secluded cabin to write a novel” (why would she go by herself?) to the trite, overly sexual, and socially inept pack of Southerners (you know, the “boss”, the “retard”, the “fat guy,” and the “pushover/pussy”), I Spit is a tiring regurgitation of every single backwoods slasher predecessor.
The rape sequence, while not as brutal or intense as the original’s, is still quite a chore. From start to finish it’s extremely uncomfortable, violent, lude and grotesque. It definitely makes you weep for mankind. They make her suck on the end of a pistol, call her their show horse (and make her show them her teeth), and take their turns raping and beating her. It feels like there’s no end in sight, yet she manages to escape (barely).
That’s all fine and dandy, at least until Jennifer returns for revenge. At this point I Spit becomes a gore film that rivals most. If anything, the first two acts are completely inconsequential other than to really make you hate the Sheriff and his crew of mischievous assclowns so when Jennifer whoops their f*cking asses you’ll stand up and scream.
I Spit On Your Grave is an intensely brutal film carrying some of the best gore I’ve seen the past few years. While there’s nothing fancy, smart or original here, this is the type of movie you watch purely for the kill scenes, and to high five your friend next to you. “Holy sh*t! Did you see that sh*t?!” Yah, and I wanna hit rewind!
I’ll keep it vague so you can enjoy the bits of brain matter that’ll splash across your screen, I Spit is a splatter slasher that asks nothing more than a few minutes of your attentiveness (attention span can be checked at the door). As far as remakes go, at least this one is straight-up entertaining.