Judge Patrick Bromley has crossed the threshold of acceptable horror.
This time, revenge knows no borders.
I generally try to be nice when reviewing movies. It's a lesson I learned early on, after I got a few snarky, ain't-I-clever negative reviews out of my system. Those may be fun to write, but they're way more about the writer than they are about the movie. So with the knowledge that making a movie is hard work and that most people don't set out to make a bad movie, I've tried to temper my negativity when reacting to something. Even if I don't like it or think any of it works—and that happens all the time—I'll still find something positive to say, or at least honestly report my reactions rather than dressing them up with a lot of mean-spirited savagery. I'm trying my best to be a grown-up.
But then I see I Spit on Your Grave 2, the sequel to the 2010 remake of Meir Zarchi's 1978 exploitation landmark, and all of my grown-up tendencies go right out the window. I don't want to be nice to this movie. I don't want to temper my negativity. This movie is garbage, made by f-ing a-holes.
Here is what can generously be referred to as "the plot." Jamie Dallender (Hollyoaks) plays a pretty American model who goes to a photo shoot to have some new photos taken for her portfolio. She gets to the studio, where the photographers tell her take off her clothes. Then they beat her up, rape, and torture her. She eventually escapes and goes for help. The woman who promises to help actually brings her right back to her captors, who proceed to rape her, beat her and sadistically torture her some more.
This goes on for at least an hour. Scene after scene.
She escapes again, after being left for dead, and discovers she is in Bulgaria. She then goes to see a priest, who tries to nurse her back to health. Later, she proceeds to take revenge on the men who raped, tortured, and beat her in increasingly sadistic ways, including slashing one guy up with a knife, rubbing literal shit in the wounds, and cutting off another guy's genitals in real time. This is a movie.
I Spit on Your Grave 2 is not a sequel to the remake or the original film. It shares nothing in common except the outline of the plot, presenting another woman who is once again horribly raped for two thirds of the running time and then exacts violent revenge on her attackers in the last third. It's called I Spit on Your Grave 2 just so we know what to expect from an I Spit on Your Grave movie.
That's right. Rape is a brand now.
I wouldn't defend the original 1978 I Spit on Your Grave as "art," but there is at the very least a political context to that film that makes it worthy of examination and discussion, sleazy and exploitative as it may be. This sequel-to-the-remake exists because there appears to be an audience for watching a woman get raped, pissed on, zapped with a electric cattle prod, chained up, beat, and raped again for an hour before cutting off some dicks in the name of "justice." I'm able to stomach a lot. I try not to pass judgment on what other people like. But if you read this review and still want to see this movie, you need to turn yourself in to the authorities now.
This is not a movie about the victimization of women. This is a movie that victimizes women. This is not a movie about men's capability for ugliness. This is movie that is only ugly. Making it even more reprehensible is that it's all competently made—handsomely photographed, slickly edited, and well-acted by the cast, who deserve either the highest reward or the lowest punishment for their participation. These are all people who are capable of much much better, and yet chose to spend their time and resources creating hateful hateful trash.
Well, hey…there's a silver lining: Anchor Bay has seen to it that I Spit On Your Grave 2 looks very good on Blu-ray. The 2.40:1/1080p transfer is rock solid, with deep blacks and plenty of detail in the washed-out digital photography. It's great-looking ugliness. The TrueHD 5.1 lossless audio is equally accomplished, delivering dialogue clearly, showcasing lots of uncomfortable low end noise, and never skimping on any of the screaming or torture noise. If you want your constant rape and bloody brutality to look and sound as good as possible, you'll be well-served by I Spit on Your Grave 2 (Blu-ray).
The only bonus feature is a couple of deleted scenes. A standard definition DVD copy of the movie is also included, so you'll have two discs to throw into the garbage.
Again, these are not the reactions of someone who is squeamish. I'm not moralizing on what should or should not be made into a movie. But I Spit on Your Grave 2 is further proof of the great Roger Ebert's maxim that "movies are not about what they are about, but about how they are about it." Movies have to take responsibility for the images they contain. If a movie is going to show endless rape and torture in graphic detail, it has to take some ownership of what that means. Here's a movie that wants only to pass it off as entertainment. That is monstrous.
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