What the Friday: I Spit On Your Grave is an Important Piece of Cinema

This review is for the 1978 movie, not the 2010 remake. I may do that one later, but sometimes the new version doesn’t hold a candle to the original.

I Spit On Your Grave is like no other movie made before or since. It is also known as Day of the Woman, and it’s either brilliant or horrifying, but nobody who has seen it doesn’t have a strong reaction to it. Roger Ebert said it was “a vile bag of garbage”.

The plot is basic, even minimal. A writer moves to a cabin in the woods and is raped and beaten by a group of local men, it’s a gift to their mentally challenged friend. The writer is left for dead, but isn’t. She proceeds to kill the hell out of her attackers in incredibly brutal ways.

It’s not just a violent movie, it goes beyond that. The level of violence, especially since much of it is sexual violence, is too much for a huge portion of the audience. It’s part of why the film gets so much hate… but make no mistake, this movie isn’t a John Woo movie with violence as a beautiful ballet. The violence is close, dirty, horrifying.

It’s hard to say that it’s a good movie, but it’s a powerful movie. It might be the most honest film about rape and vengeance ever made. If you have the stomach for it I recommend giving it a try – but be sure you have the stomach for it.

Traverse Davies is a writer and journalist based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. You can read more of his work at http://dreamtime.logic11.com

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