I Spit on Your Corpse
Review Date: March 23, 2001
Released by: Troma
Release date: February 27, 2001
Region 0, NTSC
Full Frame 1.33:1
begins on a lonely road somewhere in northern Mexico. A prison truck stops and several armed guards escort a small group of female convicts out and instruct them to start cleaning up the road. As the women get to work, a fight breaks out between two of them, and the guards are so occupied watching it that they don't notice when one prisoner sneaks up and bashes one of them over the head with a shovel. The woman takes off through the desert with several other guards chasing her. The escapee manages to reach a car parked on an adjacent road where another woman is waiting for her. She shoots one of the pursuing guards and they drive off.
The escaped prisoner is Sandra Tate (Georgina Spelvin
), a notorious mob hitwoman. The woman that cracked her out is Erica (Rosalind Miles
), a top level enforcer for Moreno (Kent Taylor
), a California mobster who specializes in prostitution rings. Moreno arranged for Sandra to escape because he wants to add some more muscle to his organization. In fact, he already has a job picked out for her - Vincent Halloran (Hugh Warden
) is a state prosecutor on Moreno's payroll, as well as a frequent visitor at Moreno's brothel. The guy has been causing a little trouble lately, and the mobster wants him taken care of discreetly.
Sandra learns that Halloran has a heart condition, so she sets up a very simple operation. A few days later, when Halloran pays a visit to Donna (Susan McIver
), his favorite call-girl, she and Erica give the girl a pill to slip into his drink. They tell her that it's just a sedative so they can take some pictures of him in compromising positions, but the pill is actually poison to induce a heart attack. Donna slips it into his drink, and he dies. Sandra and Erica come in and take the body away, and warn Donna not to tell anybody about what she saw. Naturally, Donna panics and arranges for a friend to have her hide out at the home of a south-of-the-border relative.
When Moreno finds out that Donna split, he sends Sandra and Erica to kill her. They manage to catch up with her out on a rural desert highway and try to run her off the road, but instead they end up crashing their own car and being stranded. Donna manages to make it to a rural gas station, but there her car is stolen by a delusional woman (Tallie Chochrane
) desperate to get to Phoenix. Sandra and Erica steal a car too, beating up a few men in the process, and continue the chase, but when they catch up to Donna's car, they realize that it's not their target who's driving it. They run the woman off the road and find out what happened at the gas station, then they kill her.
Meanwhile, Donna has gotten a ride from H.R. (Bob Livingston
), a loony old man who promises to take her into town where she can get some help, but instead he drives her to his homestead out in the desert, where he offers her as a "gift" to his mentally retarded son Ben (Addison Randall
). Ben tries to have sex with her, but can't figure out what to do. Donna steals H.R.'s truck and escapes, but she runs out of gas. Fortunately, she is picked up by Chuck (Preston Pierce
), a researcher who takes her to his camp out in the desert. But unfortunately for the two of them, Sandra and Erica are still in pursuit, and getting more desperate by the hour to find their prey!
I Spit on Your Corpse
, also known as Girls for Rent
, is a pure exploitation movie, cranked out in a hurry by cult icons Al Adamson and Sam Sherman to capitalize on the success of Women for Sale
, a foreign film their company had distributed. All of the elements are present - nudity and softcore sex, violence, lots of action, bizarre and quirky characters, chases, gunfights, and a general atmosphere of sleaze. Considering all these things, it's surprising to learn that the movie is actually fairly competent. Unlike some of Adamson's other movies, this film is not a patchwork job compiled from many years worth of footage. The story is simple and straightforward, and although there are some plot problems, there are no gaping holes in logic or wild twists that will have you scratching your head and wondering "What was the point of THAT?".
The movie's two lead actresses, Susan McIver as Donna and Georgina Spelvin as Sandra, both give decent performances, although neither actress is without problems. McIver is very cute and appealing, even though the script doesn't give her a whole lot to do besides run for her life or occasionally get naked. Donna is a character that the audience can identify with and will root for. If there's one major problem with McIver's performance, it's that Donna seems too innocent and too naive for the character of a prostitute. Sometimes she seems more like a prom queen than anything else. On the other hand, Georgina Spelvin, who had rocked the adult film world a few years earlier with The Devil in Ms. Jones
, is far from innocent, and her cruel, bitchy performance is perfectly suited for her part as a psychotic killer. Spelvin was chosen for the role only because someone suggested adding a porn star to the cast so distributors would have another angle to exploit, but she's clearly relishing the part, even if she does seem a bit uncomfortable at times (Her on-set comment to Sam Sherman: "This is too hard. I'm going back to making f*** films"). Still, both of them are more than adequate to carry the movie.
Although it's not the best film from the Adamson/Sherman team, and not often seen or discussed nowadays, I Spit on Your Corpse
is a good, fun, low-budget exploitation film that will hopefully get it's share of attention now that it's been released on DVD. If you're a fan of cult movies, or just of Al Adamson films in particular, this is a movie that belongs in your collection just as much as his better-known efforts.
I Spit on Your Corpse
is presented in full-frame 1.33:1, which appears to be the correct aspect ratio. The quality here is very good, considering it's age and production values. The exterior scenes, which were filmed in some truly beautiful desert areas of southern California, look great, with a good level of detail and a nicely saturated color scheme, as well as a surprising absence of grain. Only when the film moves indoors or shifts to nighttime photography does the quality suffer. The film's interior scenes have a dank look to them, while night scenes are overly dark. Fortunately, most of the movie is comprised of daytime exteriors, which means the problem isn't nearly as bad as it could have been.
The sound is in Dolby 2-channel Mono. Aside from some very brief crackling early in the film, and a little muffling of the dialogue here and there, the soundtrack is free of distortion. The music here plays a big part in helping keep the movie exciting, and the disc does not disappoint here, reproducing score with about as much range as you could expect from a 25-year old Mono track.
Like the other Al Adamson movies released by Troma, this disc contains a running commentary by producer Sam Sherman. He talks mostly about the background of the film, such as the origin of the script, the movies that inspired it, and the background on the performers. He also talks about the difficulties he and Adamson experienced on the movie, such as a near-revolt from the actresses, blistering desert locations, of having to re-write the ending, as well as frivolous lawsuits filed by both Rosalind Miles and Preston Pierce after production was over. He's very interesting and fun to listen, although there are some uncomfortable quiet spots in the track when he intentionally stops talking during several of the sex and action sequences.
Also included is a trailer and a TV spot, both under the Girls for Rent
title, a still gallery with a number of behind-the-scenes photos, Producing Schlock
, a short 8-minute Sam Sherman interview/documentary that can also be found on the other Troma discs, and trailers for the other Adamson movies that they've released.
It's good to see another one of these obscure, low-budget movies on DVD. I was very impressed by the quality of this disc, especially after the less-than-stellar Blood of Ghastly Horror
release. Let's hope that Troma will release more of Al Adamson's movies (if anybody from Troma is reading this, I'd love to see a release of Horror of the Blood Monsters
) and that they'll do as good a job on them as they've done on this title.
Movie - B+
Image Quality - B
Sound - B+
Supplements - B
- Running Time - 1 hour 31 minutes
- Rated R
- 1 Disc
- 9 Chapter Stops
- Dolby Digital Mono 2.0
- Commentary by producer Sam Sherman
- Trailer/TV spot
- Still gallery
- "Producing Schlock" documentary
- Other Al Adamson trailers