Review Date: 12/2/2000
Released by: Elite Entertainment
Release date: September 23, 1998
MSRP: $29.95 (OOP)
Region 0, NTSC
Widescreen 1.85:1 | 16x9: No
Jenny Hills (Camille Keaton
), a young, attractive writer from New York City, is planning on a nice, quiet summer at a rented cabin upstate. What Jenny doesnít know is that a few of the local men have another idea. As Jenny lies tanning on the river one day, she is abducted by four of the local males. The men - rednecks Johnny and Stanley (Eron Tabor and Anthony Nichols
), gas station attendant Andy (Gunter Kleeman
), and retarded grocery delivery-boy Matthew (Richard Pace
) - take her into the woods and rape her twice before she manages to get away. However, it isnít over. Bleeding and in a daze, Jenny stumbles home only to find her attackers are there waiting for her. She is raped again, and left unconscious lying on the floor. As they flee, her attackers suddenly realize that sheíll probably call the police, and so they send Matthew back to finish her off. However, Matthew canít bring himself to kill her, so he simply coats his knife with blood from one of her cuts.
Really big mistake, guys. Jenny decides that, instead of going to the police, she is going to take matters into her own hands. Driving to a nearby church, she prays for forgiveness for what she is about to do, before picking up a gun, a knife, a noose, a hatchet, and proceeding to...well, you pretty much get the idea, I think.
I Spit on Your Grave
is without a doubt one of the most repulsive films I have ever seen. Aside from the basic setup, there is no plot, and the characters exist simply to be slaughtered and brutalized. Critics have commented that the film is exploitive of women, and although that is true, the critics missed the point - it is exploitive of both sexes. Jenny, who is supposedly emblematic of an empowered woman, proves herself to be little more than a murderous sadist, while the men are depicted as evil, uneducated and cruel.
Director Meir Zarchi shows surprising competence in his direction of I Spit on Your Grave
, especially during the killings. Zarchi is no fool when it comes to setup, but the script (which he wrote) simply doesnít work well, and fails to arouse the sympathy the audience would need to justify Jennyís bloody trail of revenge. When all is said an done, I Spit on Your Grave
, like another rape-revenge film that clearly inspired it to some degree (Last House on the Left
), is simply a bad, repulsive movie, and one that does not deserve the cult status it has gotten.
Elite has given I Spit on Your Grave a beautiful widescreen presentation, supervised by Zarchi and letterboxed at about 1.85:1. Unfortunately it is not enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Colors appear quite natural throughout the film, although at times flesh tones seem slightly pale, and occasionally oversaturation is evident (the most glaring examples of this are the scenes in Jenny's living room, which has a red carpet and some red furniture). Grain is kept at a bare minimum, even in night scenes, although the print does have a few problems with occasional speckling, scratches and blemishes. However, these are all pretty minor and do not detract from the film in any way. This is certainly the best I Spit on Your Grave has looked on a home video format, and it could now easily pass for a newer and more expensive production. I am going to give the image a B, although 16x9 enhancement would have easily pushed this to a B+ or even an A.
The film audio track is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. This is a very good job, the audio track is pretty much clear of any hiss, background noise or distortion. There are times during the film where dialogue can be difficult to hear, although these seem to be a fault in the original sound recording. Regrettably, Elite does not provide any subtitles to help with this. Some of the dialogue also appears to have been re-dubbed during post-production. There are no other language tracks included.
All that is included on this disc is a theatrical trailer. Itís full-frame and doesnít look anywhere near as good as the feature, but it is a fun look at exploitation movie marketing.
Elite has done a pretty good job with this release, with a very nice transfer and sound cleanup. I Spit on Your Grave
is a bad movie, although if you have seen it before and happened to like it, then you certainly couldnít go wrong with this release. If however you have never seen it before, then you should definitely rent the movie first and know what youíre getting into before you purchase.
Movie - D
Image Quality - B
Sound - B
Supplements - C
- Running Time - 1 hour 40 minutes
- 1 Disc
- 20 Chapter Stops
- Dolby Digital 5.1