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Review: ‘I Spit On Your Grave’ Has Made Waves By Being Extremely Graphic

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Review: 'I Spit On Your Grave' Has Made Waves by Being Extremely Graphic

“The people who made this film should really be ashamed of themselves, and so should the people who booked it and the people who went to see it–it’s really an inhuman, sick film” – Roger Ebert.

I Spit On Your Grave is so cruel and raw that you can’t help but to feel vindicated by the time you reach the end. Released in 1978 and directed by Meir Zarchi, this film has made waves by being extremely graphic and is arguably the most popular rape and revenge film on the market. It is considered highly controversial and has an ongoing argument over whether or not it is a feminist film, made to empower women, or misogynistic, glorifying rape and violence against women.

Jennifer Hills (Camille Keaton) is an author from Manhattan who takes time away in the woods of Connecticut to focus writing on her next story. Jennifer catches the eye of a local group of guys. Interest is heightened when one of the guys, a mentally challenged fellow named Matthew, delivers groceries to Jennifer and tells the guys that he saw her breasts. This quickly escalates to the guys deciding to hunt down Jennifer and use her to allow Matthew to lose his virginity. When he turns down the offer, the guys take advantage of what they already have and rape Jennifer in almost every way imaginable. They plan to have Matthew kill her and he pretends to do so. After they leave, Jennifer gathers herself and starts her journey to revenge but not before she stops at the local church to ask for forgiveness. The rest of the film plays out by showing Jennifer getting her revenge.

Camille Keaton I Spit On Your Grave

Let me tell you, revenge has never been so sweet. This is an extremely hard film to watch. However, it would not be as iconic without all of the tough parts. The payoff for what we see Jennifer endure is worth every moment of sitting through the horror. This movie has been a hot button topic for many years in the film community. As previously mentioned, it is often the center of debate but I do feel like understanding the reason behind the film puts an arguments to rest.

Zarchi got the inspiration for I Spit On Your grave after helping a woman who was attacked. He found her naked and bleeding crawling out of bushes at a park. Zarchi picked up the woman and escorted her to the local police station as he felt that it was most important to get the police out looking for the perpetrator and then getting the woman proper medical treatment. Zarchi quickly learned that the police were no help to the woman. Zarchi says the officer was more concerned with the woman answering formalities than he was of the actual crime despite the fact that the woman’s jaw was broken and she could barely speak. Zarchi received a letter from the woman’s father and was offered a reward, but he declined.

With that said, it does not stop this film but being highly controversial. While it does depict extremely graphic violence, I believe this is a very important film to watch. It moves you. It hurts you. It makes you angry. And you will never be more satisfied when you hear Jennifer Hills tell one of her attackers to “Suck it, bitch”. In that regard, doesn’t that make Zarchi successful in doing what he set out to do? I would think so.

I Spit On Your Grave 1978 Boat

I Spit On Your Grave has a remake and several sequels. This includes a 2019 direct sequel titled I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu. In the 2019 sequel, we see Camille Keaton reprise her role as Jennifer Hills and depicts Jennifer 40 years after the original takes place. If you’re a fan of the original, this direct sequel seems tempting, but I would avoid it at all cost. It does not have even close to the same payoff and they do a huge disservice to the original. As far as the remake and the subsequent two sequels to those, I will be doing a more extensive review on, but I do recommend them.

The Jennifer Hills character has become a hero to many women that have felt victimized in their lives. Personally, I love that women that are put through such extremes have somebody that they feel they can look up to. I feel having this character in film is very liberating and important. The times of victimhood are over. We have now entered the Day of the Woman.

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