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I Spit On Your Grave (1978)


Nastiness Rating:

Directed by: Meir Zarchi
Written by: Meir Zarchi

When you’re a small-time director and have a rape fetish AND a revenge fetish, what do you do? Well, make a rape/revenge movie, of course!

Meir Zarchi (who has hardly any other films to his credit except for a movie with an equally great title, Don’t Mess With My Sister) dressed his rape/revenge fantasies up in I Spit On Your Grave, a movie that pretends to be feminist while just exploiting everything that feminists really stand for. (Something I like to call “femsploitation.”)

Jennifer (Camille Keaton from Raw Force and the giallo classic What Have They Done To Solange?) is a writer on sabbatical in a small backwoods town. Unfortunately, she finds the three most rape-obsessed men in town and their retarded friend, Matthew. They, of course, violently rape her, even talking Matthew into doing it. Then, when they decide that they can’t leave her alive, they send Matthew back to kill her. Matthew! Who’s dumber here?

She, of course, comes back for revenge. Painful, bloody, sexy revenge.

Wait…sexy? Yep. She seduces three of them into thinking that she actually LIKED the rape and that she wants more! Remember what I said about this being femsploitation? Need more evidence? Within 6 minutes of the beginning of the movie, Jennifer is buck-ass naked.

Now, I’m not complaining. She’s a 70’s beautiful woman. But if you’re going for real feminism, you probably shouldn’t lovingly exploit every part of her body. Just a thought.

And then, when the woman is holding a gun on the rapist and he starts to tell her how it was all her fault for being so sexy, don’t have her start to believe it!

It’s a pretty awful movie, but entertaining in a really sadistic and creepy sort of way. These three guys are pretty much dumber than a bag of rocks. They have a conversation about whether or not women shit. Jesus. Really? Then, when they’re actually raping Jennifer, one of them appears to never have had sex before. And I’m not talking about Matthew. I’m talking about the guy who does more screaming and head-bobbing than actual thrusting.

Just as a kinda crappy 70s violence flick it’s not bad. I wouldn’t say that it does everything that it says that it’s trying to do. But, even though they said that they were feminist, 70s flicks weren’t known for being so. Not even if they pretended to be.

LOW POINT: “That’s so sweet it’s painful.” And then the bleeding from the crotch and the screaming.