I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
(Day of the Woman)
Directed By: Meir Zarchi
Starring: Camille Keaton, Eron Tabor, Richard Pace, Anthony Nichols, Gunter Kleemanns
Subgenre: Exploitation, Revenge
Synopsis: Author Jennifer Hills retreats to the country for some peace and quiet while she writes her novel. What she finds is the unwanted attention of the locals when a group of four men abduct and repeatedly rape her.
Thoughts: The horror genre has countless subgenres, but the revenge film is often one of the more difficult ones for me to watch and review. Often times, they are not entertaining, per say, but when done well, they tell a poignant story and evoke emotions that are difficult to summarize. I Spit on Your Grave is not a “fun” movie by any means. It can be difficult to sit through some of the scenes, but I think it is an important movie in the horror genre.
The production values are pretty low, even compared to other similar movies, and the acting can be a bit amateurish at times, with one major exception. I thought that Camille Keaton was fantastic in a very harrowing role. What she went through on the screen could not have been easy to depict as an actress, not to mention her completely changing direction when it came time for her revenge.
It is interesting to hear the various opinions of this movie, as some critics refer to it as garbage not fit for viewing and some see it as an extremely strong statement about Women’s rights. I guess I am somewhere in between. I don’t see this as a revelation in film making, but it has its place in the genre. Be warned before watching this though, the rape scene, or scenes, are pretty drawn out, and the revenge that Jennifer enacts is pretty damn cringe worthy as well.