Saturday, October 9, 2010

Spit On Their Graves Too

*But I suggest mostly if you're a fan of the original 1978 version or someone who can handle watching scenes of vicious brutalization inflicted on a woman. The most horrendous acts in movies usually don't disturb me but I was so disgusted during some parts to the point of tears. Like the original, the remake is not for most.

The remake of the classic 1978 rape/revenge horror film is a classic in itself. The updated version is even more frightening because one of her attackers is a cop who is married with a child and a pregnant wife!  After Jennifer Hills suffers the same unfortunate fate as the original Jennifer, she fights back just as hard (maybe even harder) with her revenge. And boy, is her revenge oh so sweet! If you thought Jennifer '78 was brutal, you ain't seen nothing yet until you see what Jennifer '10 serves up!

I Spit On Your Grave is probably the most horrific horror film for both sexes.
For women, being raped is the biggest fear.
For men, being castrated and sodomized has to be.
All three and more happen in the rape/revenge/horror I Spit On Your Grave, remake of Meir Zarchi's (who is also one of the executive producers of I Spit 2010) original 1978 shocking infamous film.
The story is simple: A young woman is brutalized gang raped and exacts revenge on her attackers.
Watching the first half of the story play out is the very difficult part.
As a woman especially, it was very hard to watch Jennifer be taunted by her attackers and eventually raped.
I was so appalled I found myself crying at how inhumanely she is treated (especially when she is hit in the head with a bat and lighted matches are tossed at her) because she is a woman, but enraged at other times, wanting to jump into the movie and kill all the "men" myself.
The original version which is one of my favorite films, had some of the same effects on me, but not as strongly as the remake did.
I in fact, thought the remake wouldn't come close to the original but it did and then some.
There are many key elements from the original that are kept in the remake but also with new characters and storylines to add something different.
In I Spit 2010 The lengthy rape from the original is much shorter (good for the audience but then maybe not so much for the movie as a whole. The long rape scenes were what made the original so raw). Jennifer is shown being raped twice in the remake but in the original, she is shown raped by all four men.
But the psychological games Jennifer is put through by her attackers in the newer version make up for the shortened rape scenes.
Before Jennifer is raped, she is taunted cruelly from name calling (among other obvious names, starting with letters "B", "W" and "C") she is called a "show horse" and made to neigh) to being forced to give fake fellatio to objects (including a loaded gun!).
I went from disgusted and angry but finally to satisfied as Jennifer's vengeance comes into play towards the end of I Spit.
Did her revenge top the original Jennifer's?
Yes, because some of the ways she traps her attackers is straight out of a Saw movie (fish hooks into the eyes and the face into a bathtub full of lye for a taste). But the complications of her traps make you wonder is this really possible?
But then no, because a the original version Jennifer's tools were the blade and rope and she got the job done well enough.
I didn't expect the new Jennifer to kill with something as simple as a knife or gun. There had to be new, edgy spin on her killings for today's audience.
Even though the movie is Unrated (in other words, anything goes in respect to sex and violence), I think it could have been Rated R. The original I Spit is more brutal in respects to Jennifer's rape and how she kills her rapists.
Did the castration scene from the new version out top the original version's scene?
Definitely, because in one clean swipe with gigantic shears, Jennifer castrates Johnny. Then, she shoves what's left of his penis down his throat.
I don't think I ever cheered and clapped so loudly!
Some similarities of both films start with the overall plot. Jennifer is raped and kills her rapists. No if's and's or but's. Significant scenes similar in both movies are: after Jennifer is raped in the woods, the staggering walk when she's naked, bloodied and dirty, also before she's raped in the woods, she hears Andy playing his harmonica as he waits for her with the rest of the gang. The first scene is heartbreaking while the second  is creepy.
The main difference in the remake, is that there's a new rapist. Instead of the original four, Johnny, Matthew, Stanley and Andy, there is now Sheriff, who is called just that because he is just that, a cop. His addition is great but scary because when Jennifer runs into him she thinks he will help her. Instead he harms her. His character is the the most terrifying from the gang because he should be Jennifer's safe haven but he's not. The beginning scene where Jennifer first meets some of her attackers is different in both the original and remake. In the remake, Jennifer spills gas on Johnny by mistake, embarrassing him in front of his friends, which doesn't happen in the original I Spit. The ending is also very different. In the original, Jennifer is about to take an axe to one of her attackers while in the remake, after she finishes killing both Matthew and the sheriff, she stares into nothing with no emotion as the screen fades.
I love both endings but favor the remake's more.
You can only wonder what Jennifer is thinking. Guilt? Satisfaction? Nothing?
Newcomer, Sarah Butler plays Jennifer Hills in this new version as fearlessly and as wonderfully as Camille Keaton did in the original version.
The actors who played Jennifer's attackers Johnny (Jeff Branson) Matthew (Chad Lindberg), Stanley (Daniel Franzese), Andy (Rodney Eastman) and Sheriff (Andrew Howard) are just as brave. It couldn't be easy to say and do the things that they did, even though it's all just acting. Their acting scarily good. They portray their characters as violently and heartless as they are written.
The script to film is bold and daring, from Meir Zarchi's 1978 one to Jeffrey Reddick (writer) and Steven R. Monroe's (director). 
I Spit On Your Grave obviously isn't one of the most pleasant films to watch but I think in many ways, it's a film that needed to be made. It may seem like a movie drenched in violence for no reason but it has a purpose. Zarchi wrote the script after he encountered a woman who had been beaten and raped. When he took her to the police, basically nothing useful was done in helping her. Zarchi was disturbed by the whole situation and took to writing. Perhaps I Spit On Your Grave was in someway his gift of revenge to the young woman on her attacker.  
The audience for this film was expected (at least to my showing of it). Besides two other women (one with her partner and and surprisingly an old woman) besides myself, the auditorium was packed with men. I hope most weren't there to see a naked Jennifer Hills (I'm sure some were though) and definitely not the rape scenes (famed critic Roger Ebert writes in his review of the original I Spit that some men in the audience cheered as Jennifer was being raped!). But from the reactions of cheers and claps when Jennifer is exacting her revenge, most wanted to see how she takes her revenge out on her attackers.
There were no real walk outs as far as I saw (although a guy next to me left at the start of the film. Maybe he was in the wrong auditorium.). 
On a whole, I am very satisfied with I Spit On Your Grave's remake and I'm glad it was remade and is just as good as the original.
If you think you can stomach the film, join Jennifer Hills to spit on the graves of Johnny, Matthew, Stanley, Andy and Sheriff!

 *For those who are curious about the film's details but don't want to watch it, here's the:

*PLOT in Detail: 

A young woman named Jennifer Hills (Sarah Butler) is a writer from the city who retreats to the countryside for peace and quiet to write her next novel.
Instead of peace and quiet she encounters five psychos: Johnny, Matthew, Stanley and Andy and a sheriff, known as just that, Sheriff.
These creeps (with the exception of Matthew and the sheriff who enters the picture later on) take notice of pretty Jennifer looking for gas and directions at the gas station they work at. They seem harmless enough at first with their small talk and light flirting but seeing the original I Spit, you know that's not the case at all. When the leader Johnny (Jeff Branson), offers to remove the gas pump from her car and Jennifer politely declines, Johnny doesn't take no for an answer and as they both try to remove it, gas spills out onto Johnny. His gang laughs at him, embarrassing him even further. And even though Jennifer is apologizes sincerely, Johnny glares at her with a look that insinuates she did it on purpose.
Jennifer gladly takes off to the cabin and starts working on her book to lounging about and relaxing.
Little does she know, she is filmed in her underwear one night by Stanley (Daniel Franzese), the videographer of the sick gang.
He later shows his buddies the footage and as they gawk, they say "a girl like that" is hard to get. Stanley and Andy say that not even Johnny can get to her, then they laugh the gas station incident. Johnny enraged, proclaims that he can, anytime he wants. Matthew (Chad Lindberg) the mildly retarded virgin hand-man of the group adds fuel to the flames by saying that Jennifer kissed him (he came to fix her pipes one day and after he fixed them, she was so happy she kissed him and hugged him). They rest of the gang takes it the wrong way that Jennifer is easy even though Matthew says that she isn't that type of girl.
On the fateful night of part one of Jennifer's horrific ordeal, after smoking a blunt, she falls asleep on her couch, only to be woken up by suspicious noises. 
Of course it's Johnny, Matthew, Stanley and Andy.
Stanley sickeningly films the whole thing.
Jennifer is taunted for the longest time being called a whore and bitch the entire time. Lighted matches are thrown at her and she is hit in the head with a bat  and forced to give mock fellatio to a loaded gun.
She begs for them to stop and even fights back at times--- by saying "No" and slapping some of them but it only makes them angrier.
Before the four can do anything more to her she manages to break away. She runs out and into the nearby woods, running into what looks like the arms of safety, a sheriff (Andrew Howard). She tells him she was assaulted but he doesn't seem too concerned. The sheriff takes her back to her cabin which is now empty. He sees empty wine bottles and marijuana butts with her lipstick on it and looks at her skeptically that she's telling the truth.
Jennifer pleads she's telling the truth but the sheriff tells her to get against the wall to search her. As he does, he feels her up.
A smirking Johnny walks into the cabin soon after with the rest of the gang.
Jennifer is taunted more, this time by the sheriff who calls her a "show horse" makes her neigh, forces her to strip and dance, while violin harmonica playing Andy (Rodney Eastman) makes her give fake fellatio this time to a liquor bottle.
Then she's stripped of her pants, held down and raped by Matthew (who is forced himself to rape Jennifer).
She is sodomized by the sheriff next.
When it's over she manages to escape again, running back into the woods.
Johnny forces her to give him fellatio and she is raped again by Stanley and Andy (not shown but implicated).
After she comes to after blacking out, Jennifer stands up on wobbly legs, naked, bruised and bleeding and struggles to get away from five. They laugh and taunt her more, following behind her.
Jennifer stops at a bridge and before the sheriff draws his shotgun to shoot her, Jennifer looks at the five men, almost with a victorious look then dives off the bridge.
The five look for her body but don't find it.
Jennifer goes missing on screen for a good portion of about twenty minutes where the focus goes sole on the five.
The sheriff's pregnant wife and young daughter (who calls him as Matthew is raping Jennifer and he picks up and converses with her!) come into play for a bit all the while Jennifer is off screen somewhere recuperating and planning her revenge on her attackers.
When Jennifer does return on screen, she is appears stronger and definitely more sinister. even ghost-like as she pops up at different times to some of the gang, the disappears.
But she's very real when she takes her revenge on the first of the gang, Matthew. Back in her cabin, Matthew feeling guilty, revisits. He sees Jennifer there and he starts to apologize. Jennifer pretends to accept his apology and lures him to a couch and tells him to rest his head on her lap. When he does, she wraps a noose around his neck and pulls with superhuman strength, telling him, "Sorry isn't good enough."
She moves onto her next victims, Stanley and Andy.
Stanley steps on a bear-looking trap she set and when he is caught, Jennifer ties him to a tree. She takes out a video camera taunting him by now videotaping him. She hooks his eyes with fish hooks, wrapping them around the tree, telling him, "Don't blink." 
She retreats to a shed nearby where she has Andy tied faced down over a bathtub of water. She pushes his head down into the water, telling him to "Suck it b***ch!" as he told her when he forced her mouth onto the bottle.
She then goes back to Stanley, and when he cries out for her to stop, she adds fish guts into his bleeding wide open eyes. After she leaves to finish up with Andy, crows come and start pecking at Stanley's eyes, eventually to his eyes.
With Andy again, Jennifer adds poisonous lye into the bathtub then unties some of the ropes of him, causing his balance to be off. He falls back and forth into the lye water, burning his face off into a bloody pulp.
Johnny is on her list next. She has him tied up naked with a gag in his mouth. She pulls out his teeth one by one and tells him, "No teeth," like he told her before he made her give him fellatio. The finale comes when she takes some of the biggest shears in the world and cuts off his penis. Then stuffs it in his mouth!
The sheriff Jennifer saves for last. She visits his family first, pretending to be his daughter's new teacher. She calls him from his daughter's cell phone telling him it's "Hills, Jennifer Hills," to the sheriff's shock.
She lures him somewhere secluded then knocks him out. He wakes up on a table with a riffle penetrating him from behind and Matthew sitting unconscious in front of him--- the two of them somehow joined to each other with strings.
Jennifer rams the gun repeatedly into the sheriff saying that since he's "an ass man" (what he told her before he sodomized her) and what if what he did to her was done to his daughter. The sheriff begs for his life and pleads his daughter is innocent.
Jennifer replies, "I was too."
When she stops, the sheriff truly unrepentant, laughs cursing at her. 
Jennifer wakes up Matthew and leaves the cabin.
Before the gun goes off, the sheriff screams to Jennifer she is a piece of meat and "I'll rape you in hell!"
As the film ends, Jennifer sits outside in eerie silence, looking blankly into nowhere for the longest few seconds, before the screen fades to black.


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