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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