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I Spit On Your Grave | Millennium Edition | review | dvd | Lollipop

I Spit On Your Grave

The Millennium Edition (Elite)
by John Bikowski

Elite Entertainment has bravely and proudly presented the long-awaited DVD release of one of our nation's most vile films: I Spit on Your Grave. This millennium special edition includes the uncut film as well as a smorgasbord of extras. I remember trying to watch this film on video back in the days of living with my parents. I had to keep jumping up to stop the VCR because my remote was missing and if anyone caught me watching... well, I'd've preferred to be caught with flat-out porn. I still recall feeling that I'd been dipped in an outhouse tank as the story unfolded. I still sort of feel the same pangs of sleazoid horror now, but they're dulled by my jaded sense of humor. I'd never say that I "like" this film, but it's fascinating viewing because of its sheer audacity. The basic idea would appeal to many: Some idiots do something really wrong to you and then you get to torture and kill them one by one. Appealing? Well, this film handles the details in such a raunchy way that you'll feel ashamed to really look for appeal.

As for those sordid details, Camille Keaton plays Jennifer Hills, a writer from the big city who rents a waterfront cottage in Connecticut. She intends to seclude herself in order to write a novel. One odd touch is the lack of soundtrack music. As she moves throughout her day, everything is so quiet you feel as if you're a voyeur peeking at her from behind the curtains. She befriends a mentally-challenged delivery boy named Matthew who asks to be her friend. He heads off content on his bicycle complete with spoke-slapping cards. Unfortunately, Matthew does have a few other "friends": three degenerate types who hang out at the local gas station. They decide that to ease their boredom, they'll pay Ms. Hills a visit. As Jennifer is sunning in her canoe, two of the morons seize her dock rope and pull her downstream with their powerboat. She tries to defend herself with a swinging oar, but she runs smack into the mini-gang leader played by Eron Tabor. The next twenty minutes are relentless filmmaking. Jennifer is stripped and held down in order for feeble-minded Matthew to get laid. He doesn't seem to want to do it that way (go figure) so the other three take turns showing Matthew what he's missing. These scenes are brutal and full of beatings, blood, sodomy, full frontal nudity, and screaming orgasms. How any of these actors could look themselves in the mirror afterwards, I'm not sure. During her ordeal, Jennifer manages to crawl back to her cottage in a most pathetic, agonizing fashion. There she is savaged again and is finally reduced to a heap of barely-breathing flesh stretched out on her living room floor. Poor quivering Matthew is given the order to enter the house and stab Jennifer in the heart so she can't tell the police. Matthew decides to let her be, but he rubs the knife in blood and tells his pals that he killed her. Jennifer survives, crawls to the shower, and waits for her wounds to heal. She then decides to exact her calculated revenge... but not before going to church to ask for pre-forgiveness.

Methodically, she lures each rapist to his doom. She begins by placing an order for groceries to be delivered by Matthew. He decides to go to the cottage but he brings a butcher knife, just in case. Jennifer surprises him in the woods and Matthew chases her to the river. As he is about to attack her, she begins to undress and then drops to her knees to seductively undress Matthew. At this point, he drops the knife and goes for the sex instead. In mid-pump, a noose is thrown around his neck and Jennifer jumps up to strangle him by pulling the rope around a tree. Next on her list is Johnny, the leader. Jennifer pulls into the gas station and convinces him to join her in the car. Once they arrive at the cottage, she pulls out a gun and orders him to strip. The smooth-talker seemingly charms her and gets her into the bathtub for a little massage. He is so clueless that he doesn't even panic when she explains how she killed Matthew. Instead, Johnny keeps thanking her for the pleasure her hands are giving him on his unit below the suds. He doesn't even see her reach out of the tub, pick up a butcher knife, and plunge it below the bubbles. She then violently castrates him as he says, "Ahhh... that's so sweet, it's painful." Then all he can do is scream as a geyser of blood erupts from his crotch. I dare any guy to watch this scene without doubling over. Jennifer then locks him in the bathroom to slowly bleed to death. With two morons to go, she waits for them to come to her. Sure enough, they grab an axe and come in their powerboat for the attack. One of them sneaks through the woods while the other remains in the boat. Unfortunately for them, Jennifer sneaks up on them and topples the guy from the boat into the water. It seems that he sucks at swimming and there is a toss-up between drowning and being hit by the boat. His buddy swims out to save him, but winds up getting the axe in the back. The last doggy-paddling rapist clamors for safety at the back of the boat just in time to be vivisected by the propeller blade. As the final two victims bloodily sink in the river, Jennifer speeds off with a slight smile and her hand firmly gripping the phallic gearshift.

The special features for this notorious film include audio commentary by the director Meir Zarchi, theatrical trailers and TV spots, a still photo gallery, reviews (including Siskel and Ebert's condemnation of the film), foreign and domestic art, and various filmographies. Not surprisingly, three of the rapists have this film listed as their one and only. My favorite extra is the humorous and insightful audio commentary track provided by none other than Joe Bob Briggs. Funny stuff that nicely complements this bleak and disturbing film. As Joe Bob would say, "Check it out!"

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