I'm starting to catch one of the biggest downfalls of the 60/60 formula that I'm picking up on a lot. It usually happens around the end of the month, and it's where I find myself saying or thinking "Had I seen this movie at a different time..." or "Had I not just seen 5 other movies just like it..." and things like that. And now it makes me feel even worse, because it makes me feel jaded or desensitized. But after all the messed up stuff I've seen in the last few weeks, it really is like "Oh... a movie with rape. Again." Followed soon by "Oh... absurd violence. Again." And there's still one after this!
I Spit On Your Grave tells the story of a young woman named Jennifer (Camille Keaton) who rents a summer house to write her first novel. But then four guys including Johnny (Eron Tabor), Stanley (Anthony Nichols), Andy (Gunter Kleemann), and the mentally handicapped Matthew (Richard Pace), get together and rape and assault her. They leave her for dead, but she recuperates and plots revenge. Then, one by one, she hunts them down and takes care of them.
To be fair, I literally almost saw this same movie about 2 weeks ago in Irreversible. A 20-minute (or so) rape scene that causes intense violence in retribution to follow. Granted, with Irreversible, the violence happens before the rape since the movie happens in reverse chronological order. But you still get the idea. But on the whole, this movie just kinda... bored me. It takes way too long to get going. The first 25 minutes is all set up to characters that won't have any kind of development and you don't really care for (except maybe Matthew, which made me wonder what Woody Allen was doing in a 70s horror/exploitation flick... probably a funnier joke if you've seen the movie). Then they drag the rape out way too long. And the thing is--it's not even 20 minutes of rape. It's like, 1 minute of rape and over-the-top acting, then 5 minutes of nothing mixed with some running away. Rinse and repeat... 3 times. After that is another long 20-25-minute segment where literally almost nothing happens. She's recuperating and the guys get paranoid about what they've done.
It's not really until the last 20 or 25 minutes that the revenge happens. And even then, with the exception of maybe the bathtub scene, it's all rather dull and unexciting if you're looking at it from a horror movie aspect. I was more disturbed and thrilled by Freaks, which was made 46 years before this. But, again, it could just be due to placement on this list. There've been many a person scarred by this movie, apparently. But, to me, it really wasn't all that shocking.
On a technical aspect, everything is pretty unrealistic. I've seen more realistic sex from Tommy Wiseau (and we know how he likes his bellybuttons... and that could also be considered rape because, honestly... would you have consensual sex with Tommy Wiseau? But now I'm getting off topic...). One of the rapes in particular was just so ridiculous it completely threw me out of the movie. It was more like he was having a seizure--or maybe he had too much herbal essence shampoo--who knows? Not to mention all the guys would lay down and get off completely flaccid. As for the revenge violence, once we finally get to that point, the bathtub scene (again) is probably the only intense moment... even though with the angle of her arm mixed with what we last saw and what we see right after, it seems she's holding the blade straight instead of sideways, which makes absolutely no sense.
Is it a good movie? Not really. Even viewing it as an exploitation flick, I was bored. Is it worth watching for any sort of historical value to cinema? Nope. I mean, the film isn't God awful. I didn't hate it or anything. I was just bored by it. Maybe it was too hyped up as one of the most messed up movies ever. Maybe it was just viewed at the wrong time. Either way, it was just... there.