Review Rating: 7.5
A remake of the classic 1978 film, wherein writer Jennifer Hills takes to a remote cabin in the woods to do some writing, is brutalized by four men and the town Sheriff, and comes back to exact the nastiest revenge possible on all of them!
Love it or hate it, the film practically demands strong reactions. The essential rawness of the film is present throughout, it all but mugs the eyeballs of the viewers. Jennifer Hills is nice enough, attractive certainly, and treats everyone she encounters in this out of the way hick town with at least a modicum of respect, hell she even exuberantly kisses (on the cheek mind you) the retarded boy who comes to fix her plumbing. The gas station jackholes who give her a hard time, surprise surprise, they turn out to be our four rapists, and they decide to rid the retarded boy of his virginity on that high-struttin city gal. Jennifer, she just wants to be left alone so she can write in peace and enjoy the scenery. But when that’s not enough and dead birds are “gifted” to her doorstep, uninvited bad guys are assaulting her in her living room with a video camera recording the whole thing, what would any smart girl do? She’d call the Sheriff. Except in this instance, the Sheriff, that enforcer of law with a pregnant wife and a daughter on the honor roll, he’s in on it. He’s actually the worst of it in Moxie’s opinion. But we’ll get to that.
So Jennifer is raped in the cabin by the retarded boy, who promptly goes and throws up afterwards. Which, given the raw and graphic nature of what the movie is portraying, struck me as a completely appropriate response to the whole situation. Jennifer tries to escape outside, and is subject to a graphic gang bang by everyone, including the rotten Sheriff, who adds major insult to massive injuries by announcing he’s an ass-man, and then proving it. Blearily somewhere afterward, Jennifer is allowed to rise and as she’s walking along to oblivion, the bad guys are discussing her inevitable death, only to lose her as she plummets off the bridge and disappears into the waters below. This is hardly the end, though, for now Jennifer is going to return and woe betide to her attackers.
The villain boys, they’ve been looking for Jennifer for some time now, dredging the lake every day, checking the river, torching the cabin and deconstructing her car. She’s nowhere to be found, not a hide nor hair of her, and that is one small inconsistency the movie has – those boys would know their woods a lot better than the city girl, even with her jogging trails, they probably should have found her. But nevermind that! Let Jennifer be a ghost on the wind, plotting terrible righteous vengeance that cometh soon. Nevermind the idea that she’s a relatively small girl and shouldn’t be able to slam these men around, tie them up, and exact these kinds of truly horrific revenge upon them. I chose to think of it as, her perfectly understandable vengeance and rage gave her the strength to accomplish these things.
First is the retarded boy, who was already being plagued with visions of her vengeful ghost. Or is it? Jennifer is still alive, and she is going to kill you all. Then it’s the moron who tried to drown her in a whole three inches of stagnant water out in the woods; he gets a faceful of a lye bath, literally under his own weight. The pudgy one who just had to record everything with a video camera, his eyelids get fishhooks and his eyes get taken by the ravens, while he’s still alive. Oh, I am enjoying the torture porn revenge now. Then the leader, more or less, the one who compared Jennifer to a prize horse and threatened removal of her teeth if she didn’t follow orders, well. A pair of pliers above and a pair of hedgeclippers below ensure that he will never do that to anyone ever again. Lastly is the Sheriff, an ass-man to the last, and believe me, it is his last anything. As the blood cloud settles over the woods and the camera pans back, Jennifer sits alone on a tree, and finally, she smiles.
It was very brave of Sarah Butler to take on the role of Jennifer Hills in this film, and I think she did a very fine job at it. This kind of role has to wear on an actress, I bet it did, but it looks like she used that. Jeff Branson is lead rapist Johnny Miller, he’s a soap opera star, can you believe it? Andrew Howard is the rotten Sheriff, I had already admired him as Bad Frank in Hatfields & McCoys. Rodney Eastman is Andy the drowned rapist, his role was fine for background, as long as it stayed that way. Daniel Franzese is the would-be filmmaker rapist Stanley. And Chad Lindberg of Supernatual fame is the retarded reluctant rapist Matthew. It helps to be a fan of the rather extra sick Horror movies, like the Saw films, or Takashi Miite’s Audition, to truly appreciate the raw brilliance of this movie. I am, and I did, so there nay-sayers. It’s a torture porn revenge Horror flick, get over it!
If you’ve got the stomach for it, I Spit On Your Grave (2010) can be seen on Amazon Prime Video!