If one is brutally honest the horror genre has some truly controversial films within its ranks, some lasting decades in their repulsive imagery and others more recent strangely clamoring for that infamous glory. Just the mere thinking of the subject, has one associating other words “disturbing” and “offensive” most could think of a few that fit the category in no particular order The Last House on the Left , The Human Centipede , Martyrs , Cannibal Holocaust , and A Serbian Film . However, whichever film you ultimately choose is just that your choice, many others feel uncomfortable and that’s the job of directors of cinema, especially in this genre, pushing that envelope. It fits into my motto “The Extreme Makes a Last Impression”, therefore this movie strives to recapture the glorified offensive nature of Meir Zarchi’s 1978 film entitled Day of the Woman and with a released date in 1980 as I Spit On Your Grave. The movie spawned an unofficial sequel Savage Vengeance  and then 2010 it lead to a remake and spun two more films, before unleashing this creation as a direct sequel; which languished in production for nearly 5-years and finished in 2015, without a release and unable to secure distribution, that was until 2019 with Zarchi establishing Déjà Vu (LLC). That same year his firm released his son, Terry’s documentary called Growing Up with I Spit on Your Grave. This film, also falls into the grouping of rape/revenge movies filter with such titles of Ms. 45  , but then these movies took an interesting turn with first Teeth  and then from the perspective of both a female director and writer Natalie Leiite and Leah McKendrick, respectively with their phenomenally well-done M.F.A. .
The story starts in nearly 35-years later (it’s a guesstimate] the original rape victim, Jennifer Hills (Camille Keaton (What Have You Done to Solange? )), is now a successful author and support counselor for other women who have been sexually assaulted and/or beaten. She’s the mother of a beautiful woman who is a top model, Christy (Jamie Bernadette (Dead by Dawn )), who seems to have dealt with her personal issues. She somehow recovered from the severe trauma that she suffered and turned the painful memories into a positive for herself. However, upon leaving a very nice lunch, mother and daughter, are abducted by Kevin (Jonathan Peacy) and Scotty (Jeremy Ferdman) returning them to an isolated countryside town where Jen’s gang rape had occurred. Soon one understands the reason for this horrible action, they meet the boss Kevin and Scotty; an eagerly vicious sinister Becky (Maria Olsen (Krampus Origins )) who seeks vengeance for the murder of Johnny, Stanley, Matthew, and Andy. I shall avoid going too deep into the plot for simple reason it plays out very similar to the original version, except Christy suffers through the torment, rape, anger, every brutalization imaginable, though she is very unpredictable, who’s background of her character, channels her revenge into a powerful rage. There’s a few twists most of the actors hit their marks Keaton’s ability to have viewers reconnect with her character and Bernadette nails her role, of course Olsen makes sure the audiences despise her immensely and some squirrelly moments range from exaggerated acting to a looming question why Becky and her family of sickos wait so long to seek out retribution.
I believe most horror fans will agree that only a handful movies in our beloved genre should clock in over 2-hours, this film shouldn’t, its 2-hours and 28-minutes while its predecessor was just an hour and forty-one minutes, hence it bogged down far too many times, and definitely required another pass through editing room. This attributes to much of the downfall, some scenes run far too long, I understand one wants to punch in as much offensive material, but is all really necessary since it inflates the runtime, no, just tell the story in a straight line. In addition, there’s nothing left for the audience to figure out, everything is shown, action versus reaction, one can understand from visuals the motivation for revenge, foreshadowing or telegraphing is not needed for the scene, discovering the shock is for their entertainment.
First, clearly this is not for everyone, likely a small portion of the horror crowd, the movie embraces the exploitation genre, and from there the rape and revenge subgenre. Zarchi delivers some uncomfortable moments, that echoed from his classic movie from 1978; with odd characters and works to build some tension. The average rating for the movie is ranked at 2.3 with 46% giving it one-star rating; however is that due to quality of the filmmaker skills, length, or perhaps a backlash to the storyline content from the view of the modern audience, as the original film maintains a 5.7 rating with only 6.9% submitting a 1-star . Simply before embarking on whether to watch this movie, check your stomach and clear your mind, it’s a hellish ride just as was the original.
Vengeance- The Name is Woman
The Only Direct Sequel to the 1978 Movie That Forever Changed the Face of Cinema!
IMDb Rating: 2.3/10
Baron’s Rating: 4.0/10
I Spit on Your Grave (1978)