Arrow in the Head

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I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
 
   
 Directed by: Meir Zarchi
 Starring: Camille Keaton/Jennifer Hill
Eron Tabor/Johnny
Richard Pace/Matthew
Anthony Nichols/Stanley
 
RATING

PLOT-CRUNCH:


Jennifer (Hill) leaves New York for a house in the country so she can be by herself and write her first novel. Her work is interrupted when she gets brutally raped by four backwoods morons. Armed with her sexuality, a knife and a gun she goes out and seeks revenge.

  

THE LOWDOWN:


Smarter than it seems this film is not at all the exploitation fare I was expecting. It actually plays a lot like an art film with buckets of blood. Think a refined version of "Last House On The Left".

It’s all in the approach the director takes. I have to applaud the man for not using a score. The only music you’ll hear in this film comes from the film. (a guy playing harmonica, her listening to music and a church organ when she goes there). He uses the music brilliantly, punctuating the scenes they accompany.

This is by no means a pleasant film to watch. Jennifer (Keaton) is a classy, beautiful, intelligent, sensitive woman and seeing her get raped for 40 minutes (I’m not kidding) was very taxing on me. The men in the movie are mainly caricatures, except for one: Johnny (Tabor). He’s given more time to flesh out and drives the message home: Men can do ugly things and feel no remorse afterwards. This guy is unbelievable, he seems so normal but yet he’s a freaking animal.

The film lightly touches the whole " when a woman shows off her body does it mean she’s asking for it" thang but it cuts it short when Jennifer snips this dudes penis off. Instead another message is delivered: Men are brutal in they’re violence, women are methodical

Having Jennifer use her sexuality to lure the men into her deadly traps took me by surprise and was an interesting way to approach the "revenge" scenario. It worked for me. The film is not perfect. The last two murders feel like throwaways and the last frame of the film is far from satisfying. You would think after all the time the film takes to move along it would also take the time to end properly. A quiet ending would have been appreciated.

But overall, this film is a rare bird: half arty drama, half gore flick and all powerful. I won’t spit on this one…
 
    

ACTING:


Camille Keaton (Jennifer Hill) is captivating. Her beauty is breathtaking and her moments of stillness touched me. Eron Tabor (Johnny) plays his charismatic part well, I felt kind of ashamed of liking him. A 70’s revenge flick is not complete without the half-wit, Richard Pace (Matthew) convinced me he was a dumb arse. Anthony Nichols (Stanley) and Gunter Kleemann (Andy) have "disposable" written on they’re dicks and they do it well.
 

GORE:


Lots of blood. The rape scene is pretty violent and the murders got the red stuff going. The worst is a man getting is dick cut off…ouch!
   

T & A:


It's there but far from pleasant. Camille Keaton shows all but I couldn’t enjoy it. The rapists also show they’re shares of hairy asses and limp dicks
   

DIRECTING:


Simplistic and effective. The flick moves at its own pace and the style is very subtle. The director manages to communicate emotion with some of his shots and his knack for stillness appealed to me.
   

SOUNDTRACK:


No score but when music does surface, you feel it. The absence of music makes the film feel more intimate.
   

BOTTOM LINE:


Not a fun time crowd pleaser but a solid revenge drama that hits where it hurts. I mean rape happens all the time in the world and this film made me think about it afterwards. Rape is an ugly thing and so is this movie. I cheered when she got payback on those bastards. Watch this one alone with a beer, a smoke and the lights turned off. The world can be a depressing place.
 

BULL'S EYE:


The film is also called "Day Of The Woman".

Camille Keaton is Buster Keaton's niece.

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The Way The Arrow Points...

   
 I’d BUTCHER my family to see this again
 HANG me but I dug it a lot
 An ok way to KILL two hours
 Just sling an ARROW in my head and let me die in peace

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