Anchor Bay // 2010 // 108 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // February 4th, 2011
Welcome to your worst nightmare, figuratively and literally.
1978's I Spit On Your Grave was banned in multiple countries and is considered one of the most violent and offensive movies ever made. Thirty plus years later and now we get a remake from Anchor Bay, 2010's I Spit On Your Grave.
Cue sound of hand being slapped on my forehead...now.
Jennifer Hills (Sara Butler, TV's Fly Bird Horror) is going into the woods to pursue her passion of writing. Along the way she runs into a bunch of backwoods hicks (Daniel Franzesie, Chad Lindberg, Jeff Branson and Rodney Eastman) who decide to break into Jennifer's rental home, terrify her, then chase her outside where they beat and rape her until Jennifer is able to escape into a nearby river and disappear. The young men and the sadistic local sheriff (Andrew Howard, Below) try to cover their tracks but don't get far when Jennifer returns to settle the score and spit on their grave (even though, technically speaking, there is no spitting nor graves anywhere to be found in this movie).
There will be major spoilers ahead (you've been warned).
I Spit On Your Grave is a morally bankrupt experience that is an unpleasant, disgusting, vile, and ultimately unwatchable affair. And this is coming from someone who actually likes horror movies. I turned away often and did not envy any of the actors involved. Why these people would want to participate in a film like this is beyond me. Actress Sarah Butler is defiled and raped in every way imaginable. Dirty and face down in the mud, men take her one by one and sexually castrate her, then leave her to wander away stark naked and covered in earth. And we, the audience, are privy to every single moment.
Once this rather uncomfortable scene ends, the tables are turned and the men who raped and tortured her now find themselves on the receiving end of Sarah's wrath with fishhooks through their eyelids, teeth ripped out, genitals snipped off and a shotgun rammed up the anal cavity of the group's ringleader. Did I just spoil the movie for you? If so, you need to take a long hard look at what kind of surprises you enjoy witnessing in your life.
To quote reviewer Roger Ebert, "I hated, hated, hated this movie." It takes everything that is wrong with the modern day horror movie and amplifies it -- torture scenes are executed without context (well, there is some context, but it's dubious as to what it means). None of these characters are sympathetic or likable; even the female victim turns out to be a cruel, emotionless shark whose final desires in life are to inflict pain on her captors. Do they deserve it? Sure. But two wrongs don't make a right and the methodical nature of Jennifer's Saw-esque torture devices make her just as bad as her table turned victims.
The only reason for this movie to exist is to A) show a woman being tortured and raped, and B) display five men as they are tortured and killed in gut-wrenching ways. Even worse is the script's irresponsible treatment of a clearly handicapped young man who is abused by his 'friends' and is forced to rape Jennifer, then killed off as if he was to blame for the cruelty shown to him (he's not). As someone who worked in the special education field I found this to be in pathetically bad taste.
Rarely do I bare witness to a movie without a single redeeming factor. Steven R. Monroe's I Spit On Your Grave -- I mention the director so we know who to blame -- is the exception to that rule. If you want to try to pull some life affirming lesson from this puddle of cinematic urine, feel free. I see nothing to recommend here, unless you enjoy watching the human spirit trampled on like a scurrying cockroach. Like the 1978 original (itself a terrible, putrid mess), 2010's remake of I Spit On Your Grave has no reason to exist except to amplify human suffering and sadness. Isn't there enough of that on this planet as it is?
I Spit On Your Grave is presented in 1080p 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Anchor Bay has gone to great lengths so that the viewer can see all these mortifying images in crystal clear close up. The picture looks great, but so what if the content is as enticing a two week old rotting meat?
The sound mix is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround in English. The speakers are engaged often, sometimes with the piano tinkling soundtrack and quite often with the screams of actors who've just realized they're flushing their careers down the toilet. Also included are English and Spanish subtitles.
The extra features on this disc include an audio commentary by director Steven R. Monroe (he spends a lot of time on the MPAA and their attempts at getting an R-rating, which seemed about as likely as butt cheeks excusing themselves from the room to fly a rocket ship to Mars), a short promotional feature titled "The Revenge of Jennifer Hills: Remaking a Cult Icon," a little over ten minutes worth of deleted scenes, a radio spot, some trailers and a digital copy to take with you to grandma's house.
Anchor Bay's work on the video and audio portions of this disc are to be commended, but that is where my praise begins and ends. I Spit On Your Grave manages to be offensive, revolting and alienating on almost every level. If your loftiest career goal in life is to become a serial murderer, by all means plunk down your hard earned cash for this instructional disc. As you surely noticed, I hated everything about this movie and cannot stress how cruddy it is.
I could have taken a few days to digest and ruminate on I Spit On Your Grave, but in all honesty I don't want this movie lingering in my mind one more second. This little turd is guilty of being a tasteless waste of celluloid.
Review content copyright © 2011 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
* 2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* TrueHD 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 108 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Unrated
* Deleted Scenes
* Radio Spot
* Digital Copy