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I Spit On Your Grave

Remake of the 1978 Horrow Film of the Same Name

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No Jury In The World Would Convict Her....?

  • Feb 19, 2011
The 1978 original film “I Spit On Your Grave” was a product of its generation. It was exploitive, bold, perhaps a little silly but it made its mark as the ultimate, infamous revenge/rape flick ever filmed. I thought that a remake would be unnecessary but to my surprise, I enjoyed this 2010 re-issue. The film’s tagline remains the same; “...No Jury Would Convict Her” but truth be told, Camille Keaton didn’t have tons of movies that have the label “torture porn” to inspire the original film. This remake’s kill scenes are much more sadistic, brutal, elaborate and immoral than in the 1978’s version. It sticks to the main premise, tweaks some areas and loses all nonsense and possibly improves on the original.

Jennifer Hills (Sarah Butler) is a young, beautiful novelist who decides to go to the quiet, isolated countryside to write the follow up to her first book. When she goes for gas, a bunch of rednecks, led by the crude, womanizing Johnny (Jeff Branson) cannot stand being turned down by a beautiful city girl and assumes that Jennifer is some sort of snob who looks down on their small town. The group begin to stalk her, harass her, humiliate her and finally they savagely rape her, one after the other, again and again until they have their fill. But before they can finish off Jennifer and get rid of the evidence, she falls off a bridge and disappears into the watery depths below. Weeks go by and the despicable group skulk the woods for any signs of her remains but nothing is found. Jennifer is alive and now payback is coming….

                           Sarah Butler and Jeff Branson in "I Spit on Your Grave."

                          Sarah Butler in "I Spit on Your Grave."

It is hard for me to state the reasons why I liked this remake and everyone knows that I don’t like remakes most of the time. After 2010’s “True Grit” seems like remakes or re-writes are finally earning what they are supposed to be; an expansion, improvement on an original film, making them more polished and fitting for a new generation. “I Spit On Your Grave” does improve on the original’s basic premise; yes, it misses some issues but for sure it made do with some major improvements.

The original was a product of exploitive grind house cinema (and no true cinema fan can say he's a cinema fan if he hasn't seen this movie), while this remake is more like a horror film. It feels more real and quite frankly disturbing in the way that it expresses the scenes of rape with emotional content rather than stooping to exploitive nudity and violence. I have to tell you, the original film was one of the few moments that I didn’t enjoy seeing a woman fully naked and I looked away at the sheer brutality of the rape scenes. 2010’s version is no less brutal but the rape scenes are shorter and arguably less exploitive, but no less effective in portraying the pure pain and humiliation of sexual assault.

In the original film, Jennifer (as played by Keaton) underwent a change of character as the viewer is taken to witness her evolution to a figure of violence. You see Jennifer become someone else in order to exact her revenge. Well, the remake it takes a different approach and it makes Jennifer more of an enigmatic figure of vengeance. Sarah Butler disappears for a time, no one knows where she went until she was ready to confront her torturers. Her moves does make sense as you finally figure out where she went and how she planned her revenge. Yes, we miss the parts that Jennifer abandons her ‘innocence’ and becomes a brutal figure and this makes this movie very different. I still haven’t decided which one made it better.


                       Jeff Branson in "I Spit on Your Grave."

                       Sarah Butler in "I Spit on Your Grave."

Also, in the original, Keaton seduced her victims into a false sense of security as she uses her sexuality to lure them in. This was the thing that I didn’t buy from the film, I know it was a commentary on the male’s stupidity and how it embodies feminine wiles, but realistically, I really don’t think rapists would expect sexual attention from someone they had brutally attacked. I thought this part of the original was silly and far-fetched though Keaton was convincing in her portrayal. This time, Sarah Butler goes for the jugular and while she does lure them in, the way she captures them is not through seduction but an act of violence executed with perfect timing. Jennifer was humiliated, battered and raped repeatedly, so this approach on her part made more sense.

Jennifer’s attackers also appear to be much more wantonly prone to acts of despicable behavior this time around. In the 1978 original, it seems like they looked like simple folks who happened to act upon their baser instincts, and while they humiliated Keaton‘s “Jennifer“, they talked about her rather than talking to her. This time around, Jennifer’s attackers are much evil and conniving from the get go. They insult her directly during the brutal attack while they shoot the assault with a camera; the violence they inflict is very disturbing and unflinching as they humiliate Jennifer to the max. It makes it easier for the viewer to root for this version’s Jennifer. It also helps when Sarah Butler looks like an intelligent, simple, normal girl next door; Butler is impressive as she vividly portrays the pain of the attacks, she shakes, she fights and even blacks out for a bit during the second assault. You could feel the physical torment this girl is going through, you see the raw pain in her eyes., which makes her more effective emotionally in the narrative. The direction by Steven Monroe was more invested in the psychological effects of such an attack while Meir Zarchi wanted a cruel, unrelenting motion picture in 1978.



                        Andrew Howard in "I Spit on Your Grave."

The original was more raw and perhaps even edgier. But this remake had the right things going for it and I truly liked what I saw as it improved, expanded and made the film feel more real. It corrects some of the silly missteps of the original and has enough iconic shots and dialogue to pay tribute to the original movie “Day of the Woman”. Hey, it also has its share of twists and gives a few surprises. The revenge part threatens to become a sort of a modern day slasher, but I don’t mind this at all since all the basic blueprint is intact. The original felt sleazy, rough and rather amateurish in some areas, but it was part of its charm; this remake feels much more cinematic and definitely had more dramatic 'punch'.

So is this remake a better film than the original? There is no easy yes or no answer to this one. They are films of their generation. I guarantee though that 2010’s “I Spit On Your Grave” is a worthy remake and makes something I thought unnecessary, necessary.

Recommended Timidly Because of the Material Portrayed; Not a Movie With Strong Replay Values
 [4 Out of 5 Stars]

Poster art for "I Spit on Your Grave" Poster art for "I Spit on Your Grave."

No Jury In The World Would Convict Her.... No Jury In The World Would Convict Her....

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February 20, 2011
Nice review. I liked this one, but I had a few problems, but the more I think of the movie the more I like it. Really my only complaint was Jennifer's revenge was a bit over the top, but very brutal so that worked well. I agree both being films of their generation so its hard to compare. I'd only rate the original higher due to the gritty look. Sarah Butler was amazing. Just as good as Camille Keaton, which I didn't expect
February 20, 2011
Yeah, I can agree. Her revenge almost felt like something from those "Saw" and "Hostel" movies. It verged a little too close into becoming a 'slasher' film IMHO; but it worked. I liked the original for what it was, but I think this remake has the superior cinematic feel.
February 19, 2011
Could not agree more, this was a really well done remake.
February 20, 2011
I hope you review it!
February 19, 2011
Agreed. This was one of the first DVDs of the new year I really, really liked. Even I was surprised at good this was and how much I appreciated a remake as it's been a long time since someone really did their homework. This one seems to be selling well too as there are no more dvd copies at my local Walmart. Great write-up Woopak. I'm glad you enjoyed this as much as me.
February 20, 2011
This one really surprised me and while I know I probably won't be watching this movie again for at least a year or more (it is hard to watch), I still have to admit it is a great film. Remakes can be great if done right. True Grit was great since it was a re-adaptation rather than remaking the 1969 movie. The original had a lot to improve on, while it was indeed a cult classic but granted it wasn't something I can watch over and over again. (I only saw it twice since I bought the dvd many years ago, too hard to watch)
February 21, 2011
I've watched it 2x since I purchased it but probably won't see it again for a long time unless a friend (which is doubtful) cares to see it. Then I might cave in and play it for them. ;-)
February 21, 2011
Yeah, I know. I got the Bluray, but now I am thinking that it may have been the same if I got the dvd since the colors were made to wash out. I am sure it'll be awhile for me to see this one again, unless, as you say, a friend of mine wants to see it. But you never know...
February 21, 2011
I can state for a fact that I won't be watching A Serbian Film anytime again soon. That one really hit me hard and knocked me flat. I could take this one again a bit easier I think.
February 21, 2011
I ordered A SERBIAN FILM from one of my contacts. I want to see what the hype is all about, yah sick-o LOL! Yeah, I probably can take this one repeatedly but it wasn't something entertaining, but more powerful.
February 22, 2011
Make sure you get the un-edited version if at all possible. There is a sanitized version floating around which leaves out all the good stuff. LOL I can't wait to see what you're take on this one is. It's pretty powerful so don't plan on watching repeatedly but I'm quite sure you'll find it worthy. ;-)
February 19, 2011
It's impressive to see how many folks are saying that this isn't a bad remake. I may have to see it now. By the way, didn't you use this review title before?
February 19, 2011
Um....I think Brian did use it for his review of the first film. It is an overused tagline, but in this movie, it seems to be more of a question considering the payback she dished out. I would have to say that the while the original was indeed a movie of its generation, this was the better cinematic experience. I really liked it.
February 19, 2011
Orlok, this is the one remake I highly recommend. That's saying something as usually I trash remakes left and right. Do yourself a favor and get this. It's not an easy watch by any stretch of the imagination but it's a powerful one.
February 19, 2011
Orlok, this is the one remake I highly recommend. That's saying something as usually I trash remakes left and right. Do yourself a favor and get this. It's not an easy watch by any stretch of the imagination but it's a powerful one.
February 20, 2011
I liked the way it became a powerful portrayal on the pain of being sexually assaulted and a cautionary tale for stupid men who think there's no consequences for such actions.
More I Spit On Your Grave reviews
review by . February 14, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
It's Date Night
I remember seeing the posters for this one when my buddy Chris and were hanging out in Cali for the Weekend of Horrors horror con. I can't say I was thrilled at first when I hard the news although I had known it was just a matter of time before some schmuck saw reason to remake yet another cult film fave. I still was hellbent for election on seeing this film and even had hoped that I'd be able to catch it in the theaters. No such luck. I had to wait for DVD like everyone else but at least …
Quick Tip by . January 04, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
I'm not the kind of person that is turned on by the posters for this movie but they ALL advertise falsely, I mean don't expect to see the poster chick in the movie ... It's the kind of bait and switch that leaves you cheering for the bad guys.
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About this movie


A remake of the controversial 1979 cult classic, I Spit on Your Grave retells the horrific tale of writer Jennifer Hills, who takes a retreat from the city to a charming cabin in the woods to start on her next book. But Jennifer’s presence in the small town attracts the attention of a few morally deprived locals who set out one night to teach this city girl a lesson.
They break into her cabin to scare her. However, what starts out as terrifying acts of humiliation and intimidation, quickly and uncontrollably escalates into a night of physical abuse and torturous assault. But before they can kill her, Jennifer sacrifices her broken and beaten body to a raging river that washes her away.
Poster art for "I Spit on Your Grave"

As time passes, the men slowly stop searching for her body and try to go back to life as usual. But that isn’t about to happen. Against all odds, Jennifer Hills survived her ordeal. Now, with hell bent vengeance, Jennifer’s sole purpose is to turn the tables on these animals and to inflict upon them every horrifying and torturous moment they carried out on her... only much, much worse.

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Director: Steven R . Monroe
Genre: Horror
Release Date: October 8, 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Stuart Morse, Meir Zarchi
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"It's Date Night"
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