According to Jeff Branson, a total of 7 edits were submitted to the MPAA in order to obtain a Restricted (R) rating. Fearing that the drastic cuts necessary to release with an R-rating would dilute the intended impact of the film, the producers decided to release the original cut theatrically without an MPAA rating.
In the final shooting script, Jennifer was intended to arrive at the cabin with her dog and it was to be featured heavily during the introduction of the film. The dog was written out of the script last minute because hiring a trained dog for the intended shooting schedule would put the movie over budget. According to the director Steven R. Monroe, "The dog would have made more money than anybody on the movie."
According to director Steven R. Monroe, the studio submitted an uncut version of the film to the MPAA to see if by chance they would get an R rating. The MPAA came back and said "look, you've got an NC-17 movie, but we don't recommend that you cut it down because we feel like it's really impactful." They then decided against editing the film and released it as Unrated so it could play in more theaters.
Sarah Butler had reservations about taking the role, as she herself chooses not to watch horror movies because she finds them disturbing. Her agent eventually talked her into it, stating that Sarah would be insane not to play someone so "scary and bad ass".
After Matthew successfully fixes the water pipes in Jennifer's bathroom at the beginning of the film, Jennifer embraces him with a hug and kiss, saying, "You saved me from having to bathe in the lake!" Soon after her brutal assault by Matthew and his friends, bathing in the lake is exactly what she ends up doing.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Sarah Butler accidentally chipped Jeff Branson's tooth filming the torture scene where she is forcing him to perform fellatio on a magnum. Actual unloaded firearms were used throughout the movie rather than prop replicas due to budgetary constraints.