The original I Spit On Your Grave a.k.a. Day of the Woman (1978), is a classic rape/revenge exploitation film. What made it so disturbing was not only the prolonged gang-rape scene, but also how the characters all seemed so real. It had that dirty, gritty quality to it that immediately can make one feel a bit disgusted/guilty for watching. I never understood why in the world a remake of it would one day be released – but lo and behold, they did it.
This one pretty much sticks to the same premise as the original, with a writer from the city staying alone at a remote cabin deep in the woods. She meets a few miscreant, hicks along the way, and things get nasty.
Sarah Butler surprised me with this performance. I never thought the lead actress in the remake would be able to match the sheer raw emotion displayed by Camille Keaton in the original, but overall, I think she more than pulled it off. The rape scene(s) were disturbing here, too, but from what I can recall, the original film’s were even more unsettling and prolonged…it seemed like it would never end.
The real problem I had with this was with the rest of the cast – with the exception of the sheriff, who I think had a good, convincing performance. The other guys were really not very convincing in their roles of mentally disturbed, perverted young hillbillies. These guys were more annoying than terrifying. The rape scene itself was effective largely in part to the convincing performance of Sarah Butler, not them.
Ultimately when the revenge aspect of the plot unfolds, we are treated to a satisfying display for the most part. The castration sequence almost matched up to the original film’s, except for the fact that the guy in the original was far better in his performance during his penis loss. The highlight, of course, is the dirt bag Sheriff’s demise…funny, also.
This film looks great and was very well shot. Good job by the director by making the best of what I would assume was a very limited budget. I find myself surprised to say this, but I do plan on watching I Spit On Your Grave 2 very soon, and will post my thoughts here shortly thereafter.