This week on the B movie docket is I Spit On Your Grave (2010 remake).
B movies are the glue stuck in between all the other genres, oftentimes refusing to conform to any particular genre presets. Some but not all of the hallmarks of a B movie include scripts that read like they were written by a room full of eighth-graders, poor visual effects, cringe-inducing dialogue, low budget production design, and zany plot contrivances. You’re aware of the hallmarks, right? B movies often reek of amateur flair. Thought you were about to watch a great white shark hunted in dramatic fashion like only Steven Spielberg can deliver? Nope, this is Sharknado.
Why do we love B movies? I think B movies are comforting. You know what you’re about to watch is bad. If you’re fortunate it may be so bad that it’s good. You’ll often scratch your head trying to work out the plot. Out of the many good films you’ve seen, I bet you can talk with more vigor about the worst ones you’ve seen. They’re unforgettable. There’s something comforting about that I think. Besides they’ve been around just as long as the movie industry.
Believe it or not, chances are there’s a B movie for you. So I compiled a list of 50 B movies you must see before you die. No decade is off-limits. No rating is too taboo. For the next 49 weeks, I will introduce and recommend a B movie for your viewing pleasure. Yes, these are exciting times indeed my fanatical friends.
WEEK 17 – I Spit On Your Grave
This week’s film is one that holds a special place in my heart. You see, years ago, I worked retail at a clothing store in a mall. It was then during one late night shift stocking shelves for Mchunu House of Styles. Yes, that night one of my colleagues and homeboy, PJ, started telling me about a film so bat&*** crazy in how hardcore it was, that I was committed to seeing that movie. The movie he was talking about was 1978’s I Spit On Your Grave.
I mention that because storytelling is probably as old as mankind. It’s likely been around since folks could gather around a campfire. There was no Netflix and drive-ins. Nope, there was just the imagination, the dark, and a fire. So that night in the store, though he may not have known it, PJ sparked my interest in B movies. Over the years those flames have continued to mold my interests in trashy flicks. Though I have yet to see the original I Spit On Your Grave yet. I am very keen to. Because that night my friend painted an ultra-violent revenge tinted picture for me.
I was recently able to watch the 2010 remake to I Spit On Your Grave, but the remake suited me just fine for now. Was it what I expected? Yes. It is oh so delightfully violent, and feminist. In fact, I am sure that once my daughter is a few years older I will introduce her to the film via a list of must-see heroine action movies. I mean if we have a John Wayne, why they should have a Joann Washington or something.
So, I saw the remake for I Spit On Your Grave. Did it match the intensity of the vivid images of blood-splattered revenge painted so eloquently with words by my buddy PJ? For me, it did. See, I have seen revenge films. I could rattle a few of my favorites off the top of my head. There’s Unforgiven, Man on Fire, John Wick part 1, Kill Bill 1 & 2, and Django Unchained.
I will not lie; the acting is cringy at some points. But I believe it’s deliberate just so the viewer can understand just how off-putting locals can be. When I say locals, I mean the sorts of odd folks that have lived in one area for generations. In fact, so much so that they look like they might reside in a waterside town from the HP Lovecraft mythos. You have seen them or felt them watching you right? They are those odd-looking people with aquatic qualities. And I swear they must retreat back into the sea at night. I am not exaggerating either. Why haven’t you ever looked up the term “SMIB” in the urban dictionary?
I Spit On Your Grave is chock full of them. Thankfully, this is the sort of revenge flick that ends with our heroine turning those sickos to paste.
The synopsis is as old as time. Jennifer (Sarah Butler), a writer, rents an isolated cabin in the country so she can work on her latest novel. The peace and quiet are soon shattered by a gang of local thugs who rape and torture her, then leave her for dead. But she returns for vengeance, trapping the men one by one. Jennifer inflicts pain on her attackers with a ferocity that surpasses her own ordeal.
Rape is horrible. It is despicable. No means no. Having to watch Jennifer get raped is messed up. However, the filmmakers are setting us up to munch on popcorn as we watch Jennifer get her revenge. And boy does she. I don’t want to spoil the revenge scenes. But let’s just say they will bring a new term to the meaning of calling “shotgun.” The way these local ass clowns are depicted by the writers suits this revenge tale perfectly. These are the sorts of people that deserve to be revenged upon.
Is I Spit On Your Grave a great movie? No. Is it a great revenge movie? It’s certainly is not better than Django Unchained or Unforgiven. But I don’t think it’s trying to be either. It is what it is. A bloody B movie about rape and revenge. And it has a kick-ass heroine.
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