Written & Directed by Meir Zarchi
Starring: Camille Keaton, Eron Tabor, Richard Pace
An aspiring writer is repeatedly gang-raped, humiliated, and left for dead by four men whom she systematically hunts down to seek revenge.
Holy God. Many viewers might mistake this for a garden variety exploitation film based on the long periods of nudity and sexual content, but that would be an easy way out. This is a film about four misogynistic country bumpkins, including one that might be mentally handicapped, and their brutal gang rape of a defenseless woman. Hopeful writer, Jennifer Hills (Camille) leaves New York City for the relative peacefulness of a lake house in Connecticut. It’s there she starts work on her first novel. Her plans are soon leveled when four locals savagely rape, sodomize, and beat her. Not killing her proves to be their worst action of all.
Jennifer slowly heals, plotting her revenge as each bruise fades. As much as this is a rape film, this is ultimately a revenge movie. The calculated vengeance Jennifer reaps is among the best comeuppance moments in cinema. As much as you want the rapists to pay their pound of flesh, you can’t help but cringe when Jennifer extracts that flesh. This film does carry a message beneath its bloody bathwater, one of the rapists give his new attacker a speech about how she walked her sexy legs past him repeatedly, how she laid out in the sun wearing her bikini – blame the victim mentality, I would say these guys are Republicans, but probably not in Connecticut, am I right?
All in all, I Spit on Your Grave is a classic film the vein of The Last House on the Left, and will leave many attempted viewers in shock. If you can appreciate the message, the acting, directing, and technical merit of the film, then you’re one of the lucky few that can get past the vile savagery and repugnant male thinking that makes this so hard to watch. If you like gritty horror, then consider this required viewing.