Saturday, March 26, 2011

Review by Peter Hall of

Steven R. Monroe’s remake of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is one of the most pathetic films I have ever seen.  I am aware that is going to sound like exaggeration or a kind of knee-jerk reaction; I assure you it is neither.  It’s a completely worthless enterprise that offers nothing to the world other than the crushing realization that it exists.

There’s no surprise there, of course.  It’s a completely mercenary project; a remake of a movie that not many people loved 30+ years ago, but that’s “worth” remaking solely because it has a recognizable title.  It’s directed by a man whose career is the very definition of director-for-hire (hell, even Monroe’s ICE TWISTERS for Syfy is better than this abysmal piece of shit), it’s written by a first time screenwriter, produced by a first time production company, and it stars a handful of actors vaguely recognizable from small roles on TV shows.  And I’m not one to hate on “for hire” projects – everyone’s gotta eat- it’s just that the financial motivations are painfully transparent here.

No one cared about exerting any thought toward actually improving on the original, or giving the movie a reason to, well, exist at all.  They saw an opportunity to capitalize on a name and took it.  Nevermind bothering to attempt to make it anything unique, that would just complicate their genius formula of “Rape + Rape + 4xMurders = horror”.
If you’ve seen or know anything about the original, you already know what I SPIT YOUR GRAVE is about.  If not, it’s pretty simple: spend 20 minutes objectifying a very alluring woman, Jennifer (Sarah Butler), and then have her get viciously and repeatedly raped by a bunch of rednecks for no reason whatsoever for about 40 or so minutes.  

Once she’s successfully been put on a sexual pedestal and then savaged, it’s time to show the rednecks’ boring lives (hah, it’s hilarious that the rapist sheriff has a church going family) before spending about 30 minutes having Jennifer miraculously return from her watery grave completely unscathed and kill her rapists by placing them all in traps that were rejected from the SAW franchise for being completely braindead.  Sounds inspired, doesn’t it?

Normally if I hate a movie, I can at least understand why other people would like it, but I struggle and strain to hypothesize what value can be discerned from I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE.  Not only is there nothing to like about it, there’s not even anything to professionally respect about it.  There are competent fundamentals possibly worth acknowledging – the actors are in frame, the cameraman pressed record, no one is holding a script – but there’s not a thing to applaud about it.  It’s a vile, soulless movie with no purpose, no context, no function, no meaning, no morals, no notions of how to tell a story, no characters of any depth, no redeeming qualities whatsoever.  The only thing memorable about it is that the entire God damn thing is a steaming box of shit.