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I Spit On Your Grave (4K Review)

3 min read

Kaleidoscope

What sort of person actually enjoys watching video nasties? Well, apparently, all sorts.

Seemingly normal, functioning, well balanced people, sitting themselves down to watch old movies. But these aren't just any old movies, these are nasty movies. Gore, rape, sex, violence, nudity and exploitation. Often wrapped up with a low budget bow. A genre where a ban is a mark of honour; these are not movies to watch with your Grandma. Even if a lot of the cast are grandparents themselves these days.

An air of notoriety surrounds them, and a sense of nervousness builds when you sit down to finally expose yourself to something that has been labelled for generations as some of the most shocking cinema of all time.

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Of course, when you do finally come to watching them, they tend to be quite tame. And is generally no different. There is plenty of nudity, rape, and violence. But you see little detail of any of it, thanks to the low budget. However, it is easy to see why this in particular has a longevity that compliments few others.

Jennifer (Camille Keaton), a writer developing her first novel, travels to a remote house next to a river to work. From the opening scenes as an audience you are aware of her vulnerabilities. She stops at a petrol station where there are three men, one staff member and his two friends. She skinny dips in the river. She receives a delivery from the local supermarket and is perhaps “too friendly” to the young disabled man who brings her groceries. Worst of all, she is alone. As a viewer you recognise all of these as signs that she may be seen as “inviting” an attack. Though of course, realistically she is just existing while female.

The four local men she has met join together to torment her. Initially shouting and being a nuisance outside her cabin, and then escalating to surrounding and kidnapping her as she relaxes in a canoe.

The four men rape Jennifer. And leave her for dead.

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The assault and rape take up a large amount of the runtime. It's not for the faint hearted and feels relentless despite there being periodic breaks in the worst moments of violence. Thankfully, they fail to finish Jennifer off, and once she has healed, she begins to plot her own violent revenge.

Her revenge is incredibly satisfying to watch, although it does rely entirely on some very poor choices from her “victims”. The gore is minimal, but she doles out justice with no hesitation and with total determination. It's empowering to watch, especially after the events of the first act.

This new set includes an enormous collection of features across three discs. Central to those is the documentary Growing Up With I Spit, created by director Meir Zarchi's son, Terry Zarchi, himself having a small part in the film as one of the rapist's son. It examines Meir's upbringing, the inspiration behind the film and their relationships as a family.

I Spit On Your Grave is a fascinating piece of cinema. Often dismissed as exploitative shlock, that undermines the empowering and confronting nature of the narrative. The male attackers seem to have little understanding of what they did wrong, and that is the true message of it. As such, it is well ahead of its time.

Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment presents I Spit on Your Grave on 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray from 26th September

Premium boxset with four art cards

DISC ONE: I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (4K UHD)
Audio Commentary with Camille Keaton, moderated by Art Ettinger of Ultra Violent Magazine (NEW)
Audio Commentaries with Director Meir Zarchi and Critic Joe Bob Briggs

DISC TWO: I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (BLU-RAY)
Introduction by Camille Keaton (NEW)
Interview with Film Historian Chris Poggiali (NEW)
The Values of Vengeance: Meir Zarchi Remembers I Spit on Your Grave
Jennifer's Journey: The Locations of I Spit on Your Grave (NEW TO UK)
Day of the Woman Alternate Opening Title
Theatrical Trailers
TV Spots
Radio Spots
Rare Photos from Set
Stills Gallery

DISC THREE: GROWING UP WITH I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (BLU-RAY)
Deleted Scenes
Terry Zarchi's 8mm Film Starring Camille Keaton
Home Movie: Camille & Meir's Wedding (NEW TO UK)
Trailer