I Spit on Your Grave (1978) Poster

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Gafke31 December 2005
I tried to watch this film once before and made it up to the second rape scene before leaving the room, believing I was seriously about to throw up. I finally forced myself to watch it all the way through recently, and I'm glad I did.

Jennifer Hill is a young, hip, free-spirited woman of the 70s, who leaves her home in New York City for a long vacation in Connecticut, where she plans to write her first novel. Jennifer soon attracts the attention of four lowlife scumbags as she sunbathes in her bikini. The semi-evolved thugs kidnap Jennifer, drag her into the woods, rape her, beat her, sodomize her, beat her some more, follow her home, rape her again, kick her when she's down, make fun of her manuscript, rip it to shreds, rape her with a bottle, beat her up one last time and leave her, bleeding and unconscious on the floor of her vacation home. Damn. They send the retarded Matthew back into the house with a knife and instructions to kill her, but Matthew can't bring himself to do it. He tells the guys that he has killed her, and they stupidly believe him and leave. But Jennifer is alive, and as she heals from her hideous wounds and recovers her strength, she plots revenge against her rapists.

Roger Ebert called this the worst film ever made and feminists damned it to hell for all eternity, but you know what? I'm a woman and I liked it. Jennifer is no weak, whimpering, helpless little victim. She tries her best to fight back. When threats and violence fail to work in her favor, she uses the only other weapon she has: sex. The men are all stereotypical slobs, disgusting pigs who are clearly already emasculated and use Jennifer as an outlet for their frustration and rage. The rapes have nothing to do with sex and are portrayed most realistically - they are ugly, brutal, violent, nasty and completely devoid of eroticism. The sodomy scene was the one scene that horrified me the most, as Jennifer emits the most bloodcurdling scream of pain ever heard. It is very difficult not to flinch from that sound. Jennifer's revenge is every bit as bloody and painful, and nowhere is it more sadistic than in the infamous "bloodbath" scene. These guys all get what's coming to them, and Jennifer makes sure that the punishment fits the crime, turning the men into the helpless, pleading victims and feeding their own sadism right back to them.

Okay, so not all of the plot points make sense, and not everyone is going to agree with Jennifer's decision to kill the men, but it's still a powerful film. It's told primarily from Jennifer's point of view but it never takes sides. It simply tells the story and lets you decide - is Jennifer an insane psycho-killer who ought to go to jail for her crimes, or is she an angel of vengeance delivering poetic justice?

Scaredy cats like me might prefer to watch this film with the audio commentary by Joe Bob Briggs turned on. Joe Bob provides a lot of interesting information about the making of this film, and also supplies some much needed comic relief throughout.
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Widely misunderstood.
Moshing Hoods15 January 2002
Of all the films that were implicated in the absurd and sickening tabloid-fueled "video nasties" witch-hunt in the UK, some were demonised more than others. I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE joins a select few as being one of THE films cited for causing the most problems at the time. Certainly, the title and advertising campaign (in classic exploitation fashion) was garish and contentious, but unlike some other films that suffered the same fate (such as SS EXPERIMENT CAMP), Zarchi's film is extremely powerful and disturbing... not to mention widely misinterpreted.

I've read a large number of reviews of this film. A worryingly high percentage of them accuse this movie of somehow advocating rape, and being sexist and demeaning. That is the last thought that crosses my mind whilst watching this. The whole "rape/revenge" genre is one that is fraught with moral contradictions. In essence, films of this type ARE exploiting the subject of rape (and sadly, often presenting it in a sexually ambiguous way) but does this mean that they are not able to condemn the subject matter, or offer a powerful criticism of the behaviour of many men towards women? The same school of argument is used against critical film-making like CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST- can a film truly condemn what it exploits? I believe so, and I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is a triumphant example of this, putting forward more powerful a message about violence of rape and the attitudes of some men towards it than any other movie I care to mention. However, it goes even deeper than this in this particular case. Zarchi doesn't praise the rapists- nor does he condemn them. Similarly he offers no moral judgment on the revenge that is carried out by the female protagonist. I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE offers a truly subjective message in that it presents gritty reality and leaves the viewer to make up their mind on the matter.

Much is made of the fact that the rape scenes last for around forty minutes. It seems that a lot of critics think that by proxy, long scenes of violence equal pure exploitation. In this case, this is far from the truth. The scenes are horrific, grueling and ugly. There is no kind of glorification of rape here. The scenes are shot practically real-time which brings home the gritty and sickening nature of what is being displayed. Furthermore, a lot of the scenes are shot from the victim's perspective. The revolting sight of sweating, grunting men is absolutely anti-sexual and anti-erotic, which is of course EXACTLY what it should be in this context! Rape has little to do with sex, and a great deal more to do with violence and power. This is expressed superbly in the sequences in this film. Sanitising the scenes that are supposedly "exploitative" would trivialise the very serious issues at hand.

The men presented in I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE are nothing to emulate. Nothing is even said about the backgrounds of their characters- they are totally faceless within the context of the film (other than one long shot later on which shows one of the men with his family- merely proving him to be a liar and cheat as well as a rapist). The point here is that they don't even NEED character building- they represent the threat and actuality of sexual violence that women face every day. The final and most telling twist is that these men are then so gullible and arrogant that they could be seduced and murdered by the person they had attacked. If Ebert and all his sniveling comrades are really right about this film "promoting sexual violence", they must see something appealing in the behaviour of these men.

Despite what you might read elsewhere, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is a tightly constructed and well crafted piece of film-making containing some powerfully symbolic imagery. Scenes such as Keaton sitting broken and alone in her house after her attacks or her swimming costume limply floating in the river are extremely effective. There is also practically no music in the entire film. The viewer can almost feel the sense of isolation at every stage of the story- initially it is liberating but it quickly becomes frightening as events unfold. The simple cinematography reflects the isolated feel of the locations that frame this film.

Many horror films can be fairly accused of being misogynistic. I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE takes these concepts of misogyny and totally turns them around. This film is EMPOWERING, and whilst it does have the cynical production of an exploitation feature, Zarchi took this and created a powerful, bitter and dynamic story with many issues being explored therein. It's great. Check it out if you haven't already, and if you've watched it before with the wrong approach to it, I demand you have another look. This is one of the pinnacles of the genre but sadly it is (in)famous for all the wrong reasons.
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A neglected cult classic worthy of an larger audience.
Captain_Couth19 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978) is one of the most notorious pictures ever released during the seventies. Along with LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and Thriller: A cruel picture, it's one of the greatest revenge flicks of that era. A feminist writer goes out to the country so she could have some peace and quiet whilst working on her first novel. Instead she runs into a group of male locals who decide to have some fun with her. Unlike many other movies of this ilk, I.S.O.Y.G. is not like other"exploitation films". There is nothing sexual or provocative in this picture. The director wanted to show what it's like to be raped and the after effects of such a traumatizing event. He went through great lengths in research and from his own personnel experience. I found it to be a very different film than all of the others that deal with the same subject matter. The film-making (for a first time director) was very well done and for the most part the acting was up to par. I am proud to admit that I have this film as part of my collection. Don't believe the hype. This is a good movie.

Highly recommended.

P.S. The subject matter is real graphic, but rape is not enjoyable. The director did an excellent job of portraying the true horror of it instead of hollywoodizing this dirty, degrading act.
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An extreme exploitation flick that works out surprising well.
Boba_Fett113823 September 2008
Lets just forget the title "Day of the Woman", the alternate title for which this movie is much better known for; "I Spit on Your Grave" is a far better one and part of the reason why this has become a sort of a cult-classic over the years. It's a pretty repulsive and extreme movie in which a young woman gets gang-raped. The second part of the movie focuses on the woman, taking revenge on her rapists, Charlie Bronson style, that on its own right is also pretty extreme as well.

This movie features the longest rape scene out of movie history? I don't know but the entire first halve of the movie is basically about the woman getting raped by 4 different guys, multiple times, in various violent ways. It just never stops and just when you think its over it starts all over again for her. That is what mostly makes the rape within this movie shocking and disturbing. It's something pretty extreme for a movie to feature, even for an '70's exploitation flick.

Also the way the woman takes revenge upon her rapists is pretty extreme and mostly original as well. The movie its story basically features too extremes; rape and killing. It's combination might not be unique but the way it is being handled within this movie is. On top of it all, it works out well within the movie, much to my own surprise. I mean, the main story for this movie sounds pretty ludicrous but because of the two extremes within the movie, the movie balances out well. I especially liked the way the second halve of the movie worked out, in which the woman starts her revenge. I can't of course with a straight face claim that this is a brilliant movie or anything like that, it's far too amateur like made for that but it basically is great as an '70's exploitation flick, that is worthy of its cult status.

For yes, it's an obvious very cheap made movie, with poor production values. The sound sounds pretty messed up at times and the acting is just plain poor for 80% of the time. Especially Camille Keaton is no great natural acting talent and is the reason why she isn't active in the business anymore and has never broken through. She was married to the movie its director/writer/producer/editor Meir Zarchi at the time, which probably was the only reason why she got cast in the movie. Appearantly she also is the grand-niece of the brilliant Buster Keaton and I must say that she looks a bit like him.

A great movie for what it is.


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The horror of rape is graphically depicted.
mag62us8 April 2002
This is not a fun film. This is not an easy film to watch. But this is certainly not a film without merit. The first half of this film takes the audience through a terrible descent into a hell most of us can only imagine. The horror of rape. And this film treats this subject with a frightening realism. No fancy lighting. No mood music hanging in the background. Simply, the horror of rape. The horror of having one's life violated in the most unspeakably vile manner imaginable. That is the purpose of this film. This film does not want to entertain. It wants to repulse. And it succeeds! This film is as sickening as the rape it depicts. Why make a film like this? One might jump to the conclusion that the film was aimed at the prurient interests of perverts who enjoy viewing the degradation and violation of women. But that is an unfair conclusion. This is a film with a purpose. A message. And this film seems to be carefully designed to send that message loud and clear to every viewer: RAPE IS A TRULY HORRIBLE CRIME! Horrible beyond what most of us could ever imagine.
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Not the piece of trash that it's reputation suggests it to be
The_Void10 June 2005
I Spit on Your Grave is a film that will never be accepted as a serious piece of film-making. This is thanks in part to the gratuitous rape and murder scenes, which don't exactly hold back the shocks; and it's also due to the time in which it was made. These days, as proved by the likes of 'Irreversible', films tackling rape in a shocking and disgusting way are more readily accepted, and even gain a strong reaction from many critics. This film was unfortunately (albeit for good reason) caught up in the 'video nasty debate' in the early eighties, and as such it's reputation has been diminished to such an extent that the likes of Roger Ebert have labelled it 'the worst film ever made' (even though The Blair Witch Project is the worst film ever made) and it's reaction in general tends to be of the bad variety. For some reason, we have found ourselves in a world where it's more than acceptable to give praise to 'A class' rape themed dramas such as Irreversible, but woe betide thee who labels this as a good film. Well, woe betides me then.

For a 'video nasty', I Spit on Your Grave has surprisingly good production values. While the acting often lets it down, the cinematography and even the script are more than decent and this helps the film in it's bid to get the praise it deserves. The story, which follows a New York writer who moves to a backwater part of the USA to work on her new novel, shortly before being horribly raped and beaten, is just a plot device for the more important elements of the plot. The main theme on display seems to be a comment on the male sexual ego and the way that women can have power over them. The film plays out like a revenge thriller, with the protagonist getting her own back on the men who raped her. This disrupts the main argument against this film; namely, that it's misogynistic, as much of the violence in the movie is actually directed against men. Of course, the rape scenes are the main crux of the film; but most of the gore comes later. Don't get me wrong, this is hardly an uplifting feminist drama; but it's not the worst film ever made either. Content caution though; it gets a bit extreme. A certain scene in a bathroom takes the prize for being one of the sickest sequences ever to grace the silver screen.
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A pearl in this maligned genre
fertilecelluloid31 December 2003
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is a straightforward rape/revenge drama with the tone of a documentary.

The coverage is plain, there is no music, there are no "stars", there are no concessions to a mainstream audience.

The exploitation film audience may be served, although the rape sequences are neither dynamic nor stylish.

Camille Keaton (Buster's granddaughter), a writer, drives to the country to stay at her house on the river. Local losers stalk her and rape her and rape her again.

The rest of the film details the victim's bloody revenge.

Labeled rubbish by the ignorant, this is very restrained exploitation that is often perversely effective and confronting.

The rape sequences are nasty and ugly, not enhanced by camera moves, rich sound effects or lurid angles.

On the other hand, the revenge sequences are more cinematically manipulative and poorly executed.

An intriguing document of merit.
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Don't dismiss because of title.
chrysalis_writter3 September 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I Spit On Your Grave has the worst title in history next to Attack of the Clones! This is not the campy, horror, gore fest you expect, it's an angrier, nastier take on deliverance.

A you writer goes to a secluded cabin for the summer to write her first novel.

Three local twenty-something's and the town idiot snatch her in the woods, take turns rapping and tormenting her, and in an obviously moronic move, put the dumb guy in charge of killing her. Well, he just can't do it and when she recovers she gets even.

What's working here is that there's a true emotional bond between the character and the audience. She's harassed a bit at first, then when a couple of the guys try for her attention and she turns her back they decided she's a tease and just needs to be getting some to come around. One by one they take her, let her go, then surround her again. The rapes are brutal, but honest, clumsy, messy, bloody affairs, her situation is tragic and hopeless and her revenge more than justified.

She has a gun, she could waste her time and ours being Chuck Bronson and just shooting them, but instead she plays them. She draws them back, seduces them, then Hangs, Castrates, Axes and out-board motor's them. The tag line says there's five men, they can't count, there's only four.

There's a genuine film under all the gore and fact that our protagonist spends nearly 80% of the film completely naked. However her emotions are as exposed as her body, her transformation from normality, to victim, through recovery and finally as executioner.
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Ultimate rape and revenge flick
Dr. Gore23 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers

"I Spit on your Grave" is the greatest rape and revenge flick ever made. It is brutal, powerful, sleazy and exploitative. It is also quite effective and will probably leave scars on you. Obviously, it's a must see.

A female writer goes out into the woods to get some work done. Four locals start checking her out and decide they want more. Now, at this point you are expecting a rape scene. You know its coming. So the locals take her in the grass and have their way with her. It's not a very graphic rape. I was expecting to be shocked but I wasn't. It was at this point that the movie really began. As the writer walks away, she is pounced on and raped a second time. This scene was brutal. There is no music or editing done on the rape scene. It is shot as if you are really there watching it happen. She is pinned down on a rock and screams for her life. Does the movie want you to enjoy what you're seeing or would it rather have you be disgusted at the sexual violence? I don't know. I would imagine it wants it both ways. Horror fans will probably love the thrill of being shocked while others will be repulsed.

What really takes "I Spit on your Grave" over the top is the next rape scene. Yes, she's raped a third time. She crawls back to her house and is violated again. Now we know that these men are cretins and deserve everything they've got coming to them. The rest of the movie has the writer dishing out bloody death to the lecherous men. She knows the power her body has over them and decides to use it so that she can spit on their graves.

I found this movie to be a brutal gut punch. The rape scenes were tough to watch. "I Spit on your Grave" is not just some cheap horror flick. It is undeniably shocking and well made. For horror fans looking for something to really hurt them, "I Spit on your Grave" will do it.
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Deadly Revenge
claudio_carvalho4 January 2009
In summertime, the aspirant New Yorker writer Jennifer Hills (Camille Keaton) rents a lakeside cottage in the woods of the peaceful Park Hell Lane, Connecticut, to write her first novel during the vacation. A couple of days later, she is successively and brutally gang raped by three local bigoted rednecks and one retarded delivery boy from the supermarket. The humiliated and abused Jennifer does not report the sexual assault to the police and a couple of weeks later, she is physically recovered and has just plotted revenge against the rapists.

"Day of the Woman" is extremely realistic and violent; therefore the simple and scary story is absolutely credible. The unknown Camille Keaton has an amazing performance, especially in the impressive long sequence when she is repeatedly beaten and raped. However, this gore movie is only recommended for very specific audiences and prohibited to sensitive persons due to the savagery of most of the scenes. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "A Vingança de Jennifer" ("The Revenge of Jennifer")
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That's it?
baumer13 November 2000
Warning: Spoilers
I first got wind of this film when I was about 16 years old and I bought a book about horror films. It told you about what they considered were some of the best films out there, some of the sickest and some of the worst. I Spit..... made the list of one of the sickest and one of the worst. But this film was nowhere to be found in suburban Ontario. As it was in most places, it was banned. It's funny, Last House On The Left was still available in London Ontario at the neighbourhood Blockbuster and I Spit.... was banned. To me, Last House is a much more disturbing film but it was still there. It doesn't make any sense. But that's how things are these days. So it has taken me almost twelve years to track this film down but I did. I had to order it off of the Internet, but I finally found some guy in Northern California that would sell it to me for almost $30.00 Canadian. Quite a hefty price for a film like this one, but when curiosity gets the best of you, nothing can stop the wheels of determination from running their course.

So, was all the fuss warranted? I don't think so. Not only is this film really not all that sleazy, it really isn't much of a horror film and it is not as horrific as people will have you believe. Where all the controversy comes from is that the woman gets raped six ways till Sunday in the film by some local idiots, one of them who happens to be somewhat retarded. So people get up in arms about it and say how bad it is and how determental towards woman's rights and the woman's movement and so on. When really what should have happened is, if people really wanted this film to be ostracized from the annals of film history, they should have just left it alone. I can guarantee you that if there wasn't such a push to ban this film, then no one would really give a damn about it. After all, it really is a poorly made film. In all seriousness, anyone with a video camera could have made this. It's really just soft core porn and then it transgresses into a sloppy revenge piece. There is no suspense, no drama, no shocks. What we have here is a woman that gets raped for a half an hour and then recovers enough so that she can extract revenge on her rapists. There is one scene that everyone talks about as being hard to stomach and that is the castration scene. But there is nothing to it. Just like there is nothing to any of the other killings. You don't see anything, all you get is a prosaic take on what is happening to the rapists. By the time this happens in the film, you are at least cogitating her revenge for her. You are thinking of all the things that she could do to the perverts and then she actually does some of them but you get no satisfaction in the action. You have to think and imagine what is happening. Now I can enjoy a film like Blair Witch and Texas Chainsaw Massacre and even Halloween where you have to use your imagination to some extent. But those films were at least scary, this one isn't.

I Spit On Your Grave is an over-hyped film given it's reputation by stuffy, repressed, squalid people that are just looking for a reason to hate something like this. I don't think this film is good but that does not mean that I think it should be banned. People should be able to make up their own minds and decide whether or not they want to watch it. After all, it is only a movie.

Deal with it.

6 out of 10
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A terrible film on many levels *SPOILERS*
Daedo11 July 2002
Warning: Spoilers
I Spit On Your Grave was one of those movies in the ilk of 'Cannibal Holocaust' and 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' which was banned in the UK by the BBFC for many years. Like these films, it has now received a commercial release, albeit after several cuts were made to cut down on the extreme violence portrayed within. And if this is what the film was like after cuts, I shudder to think what it was like before.

The film is about a female writer who decides to take a trip to the countryside to get away from bustling New York and work peacefully on her new novel. This is shattered however, when a bunch of local hicks ritually abuse and rape her. Instead of calling the police, she decides to take matters into her own hands, and uses her body to lure the men to their deaths.

Whilst this may seem like a fair enough plot for a film, the director did not get his priorities straight. The rape scene in this (the cut version) was over 30 minutes long and still featured the repeated beating and abuse of the writer. Whilst he may have wanted to establish how shocking the attack was, it did not have to been drawn out for nearly half of the film. Because of this, several other key elements are lost.

None of the characters have any depth to them, as all the men are just random Hicksville inhabitants who have as much depth as a petri dish and as much intelligence as a sponge. The one exception to this however, is Jonny, the ringleader of the rapists. With Jonny we find out more about him and his family, as he is quickly established as an evil peice of work. He shows no remorse for the rape, he feels that she was asking for it by 'flaunting' her body in a bikini.

And thus we move onto the murders. It seems the director wanted to see Camille Keaton naked for as much of the film as possible as even after the rape she uses her body to murder the rapists. Jonny, the ringleader recieves the goriest, most horrible death when his penis is sliced off with a knife while he is in a bath. This was by far the high point of the film, as it shows him getting his just desserts. The other deaths merely pale in comparison, especially the last two which seem like throwaways because the director was running out of time. Also because of this the film ends abruptly with no real feeling of closure. It would have been nice to see the results of what happened after the deaths.

The film was long and drawn out at times since there was no music apart from within the film (Church organ, generic hick #324 playing harmonica). This makes scenes with such boring things as walking along a railway track REALLY boring as there was nothing to see other than Camille slowly walk closer to the camera. You never realise quite how much music adds to the mood of a movie until you actually view a film with a distinct lack of it.

The acting for the most part was mediocre at best, but usually dredged down arounf the terrible level. As mentioned earlier, the rapists, with the exception of Jonny were generic hicks and as such anyone could have played the role, acting experience or not. The standout performance by far was Camille Keaton who portayed greatly the role of an abused woman with inner anguish to release. As previously stated however, we get no real information as to what she does after the murders.

The film focuses far too much on the lead actress' body throughout the movie and not enough on establishing characters/proper conclusion. This film is not really suitable for anyone to watch in my opinion, as the rape scene is simply too long by far and makes the whole film worthless. Best to avoid. 2/10
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Fore Gore Movies's Fans only
diegogue18 May 2002
First at all, this movie is not for all the audiences, but the fans of Wes Craven's "Last House on the left", Sam Peckimpah's "Straw Dogs", or Jorge Grau's "Coto de Caza" can find a good piece of sexual horror in "Day of the woman".

The story is simple, Jennifer, a beautiful girl came from New York to a cabin in the Connecticut woods with the intention of writing a novel in the summer. Three rednecks and a delivery boy (a retarded) rape her and humiliate her in very horrible ways (about 40 minutes of . Then, she takes revenge in unexpected ways too. The atmosphere, the silence, and the loneliness of the character and the absolutely explicit scenes of the rape, and a great amount of blood are the elements for creating the tension and the sensation of anguish that makes this movie special. No music, a lot of violence, briefs dialogues and an evident low budget becomes this film in a controversial cult movie.
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Strengths and weaknesses, controversial for a reason
I am honestly kind of surprised by the lack of reviews in the 4-6 out of 10 range. To me, that's exactly the range this movie belongs in.

First of all, I'd heard of how controversial this film was since I was in high school (around the year 2000) but never quite had the urge to seek it out considering it was commonly described as being mostly just rape, I suppose. Finally, in 2019, I felt it was the right time - and, it lived up to it's legend, in the sense that the majority of the movie really was just one long, extended rape scene. 2/3 of the film basically revolves around that, I'd say. I definitely haven't seen that in any other movie, ever, which does give this film it's own identity. But, as one would assume, it's not pleasant. It's also not impressive in the sense of realism, or in any sort of artful manner. So, instead, you're just choosing to watch an hour of gritty, artless, trash film rape. Since this is the majority of the film, this is what loses it the most points. I seriously doubt I will ever watch it again.

I think the movie is a bit long for what it is. If it were hyper-realistic, the grueling pace would make more sense, but since the acting is schlocky, it would have made more sense to move things along quickly. I really think this film would have served a lot better as a 80-85 minute feature rather than a 100+ minute one. Those 15 minutes of cuts could make a world of difference.

The complete lack of soundtrack also gives the film a lot of it's own unique character. While a haunting score is generally one of my favorite elements of vintage horror, I ended up admiring this movie's complete lack of one. The sound of the motorboat coming really does become I Spit On Your Grave's "theme song", and it's pretty effective in that regard.

On the plus side, Camille Keaton really does bring a lot to the role. This was a very brave performance on her part and the shift from battered victim to sly vengeance seeker is actually believable and satisfying. Though the final act wasn't enough to redeem the movie much as a whole, I did find the acts of vengeance to be quite satisfying and memorable in comparison to a lot of forgettable horror deaths throughout history. I also enjoyed the cinematography for the most part - as often stated, it has a very real element of amateurism and also voyeurism to it, which adds a lot to the gritty surrealism of it. All the distant, out-on-the-water shots really did create quite a bit of an out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere ambiance.

This is a controversial cult classic for a reason. If you're a fan of gore, exploitation, or movies that push things as far as they can go, then yes you should absolutely see this. If not, don't even think about it!
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And what a day it is!!
Nightman8528 December 2005
One of the most controversial and notorious exploitation films ever made and it's certainly not hard to see why either!

Vacationing woman is savagely raped by four country boys and left for dead. Unfortunately for them, she isn't dead and she's not happy!

While uncut versions of this film may make it seem like some sort of snuff film, Day of the Woman a.k.a. I Spit on Your Grave is much better than mere trash. Meir Zarchi gives us a shocking, violent, yet captivating tale of human evil and just revenge. Even in the face of its nastiest scenes, Zarchi gives this film splendid yet simple direction. He wonderfully exposes the lush, raw setting of the woodsy filming locations, adding all the more to the realistic feel of the film. Zarchi also chooses to add no music to the film, only natural sound.

Camille Keaton is a silent force as the rape victim. She is beautiful and does a terrific turn in character. Eron Tabor is excellent as the leader of the dead-beat gang. Tabor has got to be one of the sleaziest villains anywhere. Richard Pace is great in his performance as a retarded young man. Gunter Kleemann is also memorable as another assailant.

Day of the Woman is a film only for the exploitation fans. It's stark power is disturbing in a way few films (even of this extreme genre) ever are! Not for the faint.

*** out of ****
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That's what I like in a woman - total submission.
lastliberal4 October 2007
This is a hard flick to watch. When it was shown in theaters, people walked out after seeing certain scenes. Rape and castration are not everyone's cup of tea.

Revenge flicks are hot right now with The Brave One and Death Sentence. Of course, there is the Death Wish series that defined the genre. I originally saw this film after it came out on VHS. I've seen it many times, but that is a long story. I decided to revisit it after not seeing it for 17 years.

The rape scenes are brutal, especially the one on the rock. The revenge scenes are also harsh, but satisfying in a vengeance sort of way.

Arkansas native Camille Keaton, who is a grand-niece of Buster Keaton, gives a stirring performance as the victim. She even won a Best Actress award at the Catalonian International Film Festival. The rest of the cast only have this one film in their resume.
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Your friends and neighbors.....
Boggman25 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Jenny (Camille Keaton) needs some R&R and some inspiration for her latest novel. So she decides to pack up, rent a nice little wilderness cabin and kill two birds with one stone. Things are going all too peacefully until the day those rowdy locals start harassing her. While sunbathing on a hammock outside and enjoying the silence, two of the local guys start cruising by her on their boat -- a hoot'n and a holler'n! Jenny could have waived hello, maybe even invited the gents in for a cup of coffee or somethin?? Instead, she decides to stick her nose up, and walk back inside. Big MISTAKE! Especially when your a woman, all by your lonesome and very far out of your comfort zone!

A day or so later, while bikini clad once more and laying in her canoe, minding her own business- the fellows happen to cruise by once more. This time they decide to rope up Jenny's canoe and drag the poor girl to shore. Immediately, Jenny starts frieken, scream'n the whole cruise back and acting scared out of her wits once they hit the shore.

By this time the guys (joined by two of there dimwitted friends) are all fired up. Ya see...they have a "slow" one in the group (Mathew), who also happens to be a virgin that they desperately want to get laid. After some serious peer pressure and taunting of poor Mathew (Richard Pace) Jenny is raped by one of the guys. After the assault Jenny is allowed to walk home, albeit completely butt naked, beaten, and traumatized. After a long stroll through the forest, poor Jenny is attacked again.

Jenny finally makes it home, where her attackers follow and decide to have one last "go around". This time Mathew cant resist the pressure and takes a ride himself. The other guys chant and laugh, and one goes so far as to assault Jinny with a glass bottle before slapping her around a few more times. OUCH!

After the guys have all but drained themselves they leave. Stopping at the shoreline, it is decided that hey can't just let Jenny live. No, she must be killed. And who better to do it than Mathew, the village idiot. Mathew (against his will--if you can call it that) goes back to the house to finish the job. But he just can't do it, because deep down he's just another good hearted, lovable handicapped person. He leaves Jenny as is, and runs back to tell his homies that he took care of her.

Fast forward: Two weeks have gone by and no news of Jenny or her murder has surfaced. This starts to worry the guys, who are just waiting around for the story to break! Mathew continues to state he did kill her, but the boys decide eventually to hop back in the boat and cruise by Jenny's cabin again. During this time, Jenny has recovered, and has been using the last two weeks to get herself back together, and come up with a plan of action. Action of course means DEATH!

The boys realize Jenny is still alive after cruising by her cabin (she's on that damn hammock again) and are quite PO'd at Mathew for lying. They are not sure what to do.

But Jenny knows what she is going to do.....and sets her plan in motion. One by one she cajoles, tricks, and seduces them before making them pay the ultimate price for her violation.

All kidding aside, this reviewer enjoyed "I Spit On Your Grave". I can certainly see how it ruffled some feathers back in it's day. The rape scenes are pretty graphic (especially for it's time), and the brutality of the film is unquestionable. I like the fact that there is no music in the movie either, as it adds to the realism of the film. This is unarguably the ultimate "rape/ revenge" story... and although the revenge portion of it is somewhat "unbelievable" to say the least-- it is a nice ending to this little tale of victimization.

Those hicks definitely get what's coming to them.

Props to Camille Keaton, a very lovely woman who had some serious cajones' to take on such a role. While it's far from perfect, "I Spit On Your Grave" is a time honored classic in the tradition of revenge stories that has held up pretty darn good over the years.

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A Real Representation of Violence and Rape
vitalusty5 November 2002
The film is one of few that really bothers to shoot from the perspective of a victim. Most films will use the camera to manipulate rape into seemingly erotic and sexy.

Here, you see the pain, you see brutality and you see how dehumanizing it is. The performances are good and the story is non conservative; essentially two acts- action and reaction.

A woman who has been raped will often recreate a sexual scenario with the assailant afterwards to feel empowered. It does happen and it makes sense when you have spoken with and experienced such acts against you and your body. Those scenes are not sexy, are not clean and are disturbing.

For those who are critical- it is more for the social conscious intellectuals who appreciate Clockwork Orange and Natural Born Killers This film is for those who are willing to accept that violence is not entertaining.
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Day of the Woman?
christopherbelhumeur27 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The people who seem to like this movie try and tell us that it is alright to show the degradation this woman goes through because she gets revenge. They want to say that it empowers women because she kills them for what they did to her. While some very basic revenge movies do have the pay off that we are looking for when the victim kills the people who violated them, this movie does not empower anyone. This is sadistic violence followed by more sadistic violence. Any rape survivor will tell you that the way they feel empowered is not by killing their attackers, but by surviving and taking back their life. Even for a rape revenge movie, where we expect a violent revenge, this had our heroine going beyond revenge and acting as disgustingly as her attackers. So she is empowered because she has sex with the one guy that couldn't "finish" during the rape and hanging him right after he "finishes"? The rape goes out of it way to show her naked as much as possible, and to rape and sodomize her in as many ways possible. When we get to the revenge, she degrades herself by putting herself into sexual situations that wouldn't even be possible with THESE idiots. Rape is about power. No rapist is going to put himself in any of those situations, situations that are only presented here to try and titillate the audience. Some say that she has basically lost her mind at the end. How is losing your mind considered empowering. For her to do what she did, or if she has indeed lost her mind or morals, shows that the rapists have won.

I just want to make it clear that I like a good revenge movie. I don't mind violence in movies, even sexual violence. But there needs to be a reason for the violence. Irreversible showed how bad violence was whether it was the rape or the revenge. This is simply the worst kind of exploitation film that tries to justify itself by trying to attach some sort of statement.
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Day of the Woman
Scarecrow-8830 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
A calm, rational writer from the city comes to a little summer spot in a rural setting off the beaten path to relax and write her novel. What Jennifer(Camille Keaton, in a powerful performance that is both daring and courageous;few would be able to submit to such a difficult role)doesn't suspect is that a gas station owner she meets on her way to the summer place plans, along with two other country bumpkin pals, to provide their simple-minded, impressionable grocery biker, Matthew(Richard Pace)a good time at her expense. Over the course of 40 minutes, Jennifer will be subjected to the most vile cruelties man can dish out on a rape victim. She is so brutally victimized, Jennifer has become almost a hollow shell who can only find her way back to humanity and feeling by exacting revenge to each member who tormented her sexually and physically.

A full blooded rape/revenge film if there ever was one, this film asks a lot from any discernible viewer and will repulse most because it depicts man at his most audacious, purely evil level. The main three culprits who hold her down, gang raping her do so with glee not even thinking about what the victim is going through. It can make for a numbing experience that will push many to the brink of turning it off. It depicts her rape, though, not as something to have fun with..right the opposite. Director Meir Zarchi cares for Jennifer and shows this rape as sick and repellent..and, begs to question if this woman is exactly justified in seeking retribution for being dehumanized and abused. Through Keaton's performance we see the stripping away of what made her such a beautiful person. Being robbed of humanity in word is one thing , but seeing a dirt-caked, bloody, naked woman just wishing for the agony of primal man to end so that she can clean up & find something to bring closure to what has just happened through the heartbreaking portrayal of Keaton is another. Keaton gives everything over to this film, and as in other exploitationers, will be given her due at robbing them of what she has lost. It's "turning-the-tables" at it's most vicious level. The castration scene itself packs as much a wallop as her rapes.
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Effectively deals with a harsh subject, thus those who cannot deal with it claim it "trash", while it in fact is genious
john458819 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is one of the most effective films I have ever seen. The horror of rape shown in this film is strong enough to make a great deal of people sick and to inspire self righteous critics (Siskel and Ebert) crusade against the film. Director Meir Zarchi shows the viewer the story of Jennifer Hill (Camille Keaton), a strong woman from New York who entered the wilderness to write her first novel. Her experience in the country begins pleasantly with a little small talk with the locals and sun bathing by the river. However Jennifer's peaceful sabbatical is not to last. She is brutally raped by four local men, almost killed. She however recovers and takes her revenge, which includes the most satisfying castration scene imaginable.

The reason Zarchi succeeds with his film is primarily the raw manner in which it is presented. There is no external music; all sound comes from the action of the film. Also Zarchi chooses to show the rape scene (over twenty minutes) in real time. The viewer is forced to watch as Jennifer is violated and humiliated. It must however be noted that this is not some sort of twisted voyeuristic film, but instead has the purpose of showing how truly terrible rape is from the perspective of a victim. Zarchi felt it was important to make the viewer look at the ugliness of rape after he and a friend aided a young woman who had been raped in a New York City park.

Camille Keaton performs the role of Jennifer at a very high level. She is amazingly convincing in her humiliation, pain, and terror, and later her raging vengeance. During the second rape Keaton unleashes the most ghastly scream in motion picture history, even slaughtering the screams of Marilyn Burns in Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Also, the image of Jennifer walking back to her house from the woods should haunt any viewer, she is in shock and the person she was is gone. The performances of the local men who rape Jennifer (in fact the only men in the film) also are notable. Eron Tabor as the ringleader Johnny effects the viewer to feel vehement disgust towards him. He is a believable angry, misogynistic hick. Richard Pace, playing the retarded man Matthew, manages to be realistic and not offensive or cartoonish in his portrayal of a disabled man. It is also of interest to note that during Matthew's strangulation of Jennifer there was a near tragic accident on the set. Matthew is so credible when he dies of strangulation, because there was a malfunction and he almost was strangulated during the filming.

The film peaks as Jennifer castrates Johnny and sits in the basement listening to opera music while he is locked in the bathroom bleeding to death. After this the deaths of Stanley (Anthony Nichols) and Andy (Gunter Kleeman) only serve to drag the film down. One is stabbed in the back, and the special effect is so poor that the back looks more like orange peel. The other rests himself on the outboard motor of Jennifer's boat. She of course turns on the engine. However the film is quickly revived right before its end. Jennifer has a true look of dominance and triumph as she pilots the boat on the river away from the scene.
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Silly Camp
zippyflynn228 October 2006
I had heard that this was a controversial film, brutal, terrible, the worst film ever made, etc. Usually I stay away from slasher, violence for violence sake films and figured this was in that category, so I had no interest in it. Then I got a copy for free and thought, okay, let's see what this is all about. It was so laughable, reminding me of many of the pornos made back during that period (the 1970's). A simple, linear story with the details and dialog probably being "written" as they were shooting with their one (maybe two!) unsophisticated cameras. Not one talented individual in the bunch, direction, camera work, and the acting so badly over the top and ludicrous that you can't possibly take this movie even remotely seriously. It's a silly, campy film but you can tell that they were trying to sincerely do a real horror/revenge film, so I give them high marks for effort. It's the kind of shallow, vapid entertainment that the shallow, vapid high school boys used to enjoy over a few beers and bong hits in the drive-ins back when it was made. I could see how someone might list it as a guilty pleasure: it's rather mindless, primitive, and ridiculously clichéd enough to have the same guilty pleasure one would get from an off color joke. I found the movie so ho-hum that I realized the "controversy" was more absurd than the film itself. Were feminists really outraged by this moronic offering? Did Roger Ebert really call this "the worst film ever made"? (Wouldn't surprise me actually, he's recommended enough real dogs that I think he's become, or always has been, an out of touch ivory tower cinephile who overvalues his own opinions and the general b.s. of the movie world.) It's not realistic in the least bit, so how can you be offended? It's a little like watching "South Park" and thinking that the characters are evil children. They're cartoons, people, a parody, satire, even farce if you will, but hardly reality. I place this silly film in that same category. If what people are offended by are the IDEAS behind the film: brutal rape, wanton revenge then I think what they're really talking about is a desire to enforce their own brand of censorship. True, violence and rape are unpleasant and nothing I care to indulge as entertainment, nor do I watch so-called "normal" television shows that preach a much subtler form of barbaric brutality, often touted and socially accepted as wholesome entertainment, even comedy. But I do not believe they should be censored. Censoring does not stop people from thinking, believing and acting in any specific way. I don't enjoy watching these movies and shows, I don't particularly like them, I think they're a sad indicator of what brutes most people really are despite our facades of civilizations, but if I don't like them I TURN THEM OFF. Very simple. If you want to get angry, get angry at the real brutality that goes on a constant basis virtually everywhere in this hard world. But getting upset over this nonsense? Come on, get real.
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Hard to watch, but powerful
elisereid-296667 March 2020
This is not a film for those with weak stomachs, but for those who can stand it, they may be impressed. The rape scenes are not your typical, Hollywood rape scenes because the act is shown in all its unpleasant reality. Such scenes in films like A Clockwork Orange are even more disturbing to me because the rape is stylized and glamorized, and it's no wonder Alex D. Large is considered such a hero by some guys.

The men in I Spit on Your Grave are far from heroes, and that is the way it should be. It's sort of a contradiction because the ringleader of the rapists is an attractive, charismatic man who you *want* to like in the early, pre-rape scenes. But once he reveals his true colors, it's all over, and his final fate almost seems too good for him. This is a film that will test your ability to tell right from wrong.

It's telling that in the payback scenes, three of the four villains point fingers at the others in the group for being *truly* responsible for the rape of the heroine, which shows how gutless they really are. One of them even blames the girl, in a disturbing scene that plays differently in the post-MeToo world.

I first saw this film, like a lot of people, because I read Roger Ebert's review of it, which went into great detail about how vile he considered it. Since I like to watch critically-trashed movies, the most-hated movie by the world's greatest film critic was too much for me to pass up. As you can guess by this positive review, I disagree with him about the general content of the film, but I do agree with him on one point-he singled out the scene in the church where Jennifer asks forgiveness as being "grotesque and inappropriate". I do agree on this point, and the film would've been better without it. It awkwardly spells out material that the heroine's body language and actions elsewhere in the film display properly. Otherwise, this is a great, if gritty and hard-to-watch film.
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Very controversial in its day
preppy-318 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
A female writer (Camille Keaton) rents a cabin in the middle of the woods to relax and work on her new book. Four horrendous men (one mentally retarded) attack her, rape her repeatedly then leave her for dead. She recovers and extracts a very violent and bloody revenge on all four.

Some people think this is the most disgusting picture ever. The rapes are horrendous and go on forever (25 minutes!)...but it never really bothered me. I was always aware that I was watching a movie and the rapes were very obviously being staged. To make it worse the four guys can't act! It was impossible to take it seriously. Also the movie has a lousy script, HUGE gaps in logic (she never goes to the police???) and the director (who also wrote it) seems WAY too fond of badly focused shots from far away. On the plus side Keaton was great--she gives this picture a much better performance than it deserved. Also it was GREAT to see the guys get what's coming to them. They'll all sick psychotic monsters and deserve everything that happens to them.

This picture gained a lot of publicity when it was rereleased in 1980 and Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert tore into it. For its time it was pretty strong stuff but, compared to what we get today, it's easier to handle. It was attacked for being anti-female in some quarters--other people called it a misunderstood masterpiece. It's definitely not a masterpiece but I don't think it's anti-woman either. Actress Keaton and writer/director Meir Zarchi defended the picture saying the rape was vicious and brutal because that's what rape is! Also I always felt the movie was on the side of Keaton. The men are vicious, sadistic jerks and deserve to die. Their killings are just as vicious as the rapes they did--a castration in the tub is almost impossible to watch. Not a very good movie but it's gained a following and there was a remake in 2010 (which I never saw). If Siskel and Ebert had just shut their mouths about this it would have been forgotten.
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Any good intentions severely undermined
trryancy18 September 2005
In reading the reviews, I think it best to dispense with the plot summation. I feel compelled to comment due to how, time and time again, those driven to comment on this lurid, artless film keep missing a huge, glaring point- this film, when it gets down to it, is really more soft-core fetish porn than a film about righteous revenge. 'Day of the Woman' has got to be the cheapest, most cruelly hypocritical tagline ever.

The cover art on the video ought to be the first tip off- a woman, scantily clad in something torn and tight-fitting, scratched up and filthy, clutching a machete in her grubby, ravaged hand. But this woman has no face, not even a head, nor is there any man, her presumed rapist who's about to get it, present. The focal point in the picture is her mostly bare back, perky buns and taught thighs, not the woman herself, nor her experience, but her physical, sexual image. How now is that not extreme objectification, when the ravaged body, free from any personality, any human face, is blatantly eroticized- when THIS is the film's visual selling point? This is the absolute farthest thing from empowerment I can think of.

In the ensuing- and flimsy- story that follows- precious little time is spent on character development. All we are allowed to know about Jenny is that she is a New York writer who enjoys the great outdoors. Right away we get treated to a full-frontal and fully gratuitous nude scene, and it isn't very long afterward that the gang rape actually occurs. The rape itself is grueling, graphic, and painfully, unnecessarily long- it is this scene, not the killings, that are the climax of the film, indeed almost the whole point. After Jenny, left to die, manages to get it together, recuperate, and exact her revenge upon the scum that did this to her, it's all pretty dull from there on, actually. There is no effort on the director's part to build up any suspense, and the killings themselves are far less graphic and gory than the rapes, less detailed, and surprisingly occupy much less screen time than you expect. Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but Jenny delivers death with no relish, no triumph, no hesitation, or anguish- not one tenth of the emotional energy present during her violent gang-rapes, not even buy the guys getting whacked. Jenny could be knitting a sweater, for all the emotional expression in either her face or voice. Really, these were some of the most boring slayings I've ever seen in a horror film.

In the end, it's all about the rape, and you find yourself left with the feeling that this film is actually geared toward men who secretly find the visual image of rape kind of hot, and eases the guilt by letting the lady have her revenge, so they can pretend that's actually what they came for. It was what I, for one, came for, and was sorely disappointed. I can't think of one redeeming thing to say about this poorly acted, visually unappealing, lurid piece of celluloid. In fact, that probably IS the nicest thing I could have said about it.
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