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I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (REMAKE)
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Reviewed by: Mike Catalano

Directed by: Steven R. Monroe

Starring:
Sarah Butler
Chad Lindberg
Rodney Eastman

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
By now, you should all know the story: A pretty, vacationing city-woman is brutally assaulted by a bunch of jerk-off hicks at and around a cabin in the woods and left for dead. Unlucky for those slack-jawed yokels, said city-woman survived and developed a malicious taste for sick revenge.
Is it good movie?
I'm not sure if anyone really asked for a remake to I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. Its subject matter in no way fits in with the type of cinema that gets released these days. Yet, if someone had to remake it, how could they not tackle the extremely controversial tones without insulting the original and its fans? This really seems like a no-win situation, which may have worked to director, Steven R. Monroe's advantage.

Yes, even though I SPIT didn't need a remake, it sure as hell got a high quality one. Honestly, if I had my way, I'd like to strap the makers of all those shit PG-13 PROM NIGHT and STEPFATHER remakes into a chair and force them to watch this in order to learn how to do a remake right. There is absolutely no fear on the screen in terms of pushing boundaries. Yes, many instances in this flick will be extremely hard to view for those that are squeamish. The brutality and the gore are fierce and it takes a really talented cast and crew to pull it off.

The cast of I SPIT definitely deserves kudos for their brave willingness to dig down deep in order evoke the strongest of emotions. I have to start out with Sarah Butler who was relatively unknown before this. That notoriety thing should change real soon. Her raw performance here sure as hell ain't glamorous, but it's damn near impossible not to captivated by it. The entire film has to rest on her character's shoulders and if she didn't deliver, the entire project would be a wash. A lesser actress may have felt this pressure and crumbled, but Ms. Butler excels with ease.

The 5-pack of hick rapists were also adeptly portrayed, though I think some of the writing had a little hand in it. This may sound weird, but I detected a whole lot of accurate, "stupid hick" dialogue that did a good job of conveying how uneducated or depraved these bastards were. You definitely will hate all of them (maybe one not quite so much). I don't want to reveal too much about them because the script by Stuart Morse truly takes some aspects into some interesting new directions. I SPIT does precisely what I like in a remake: it keeps the core concept in tact, but is able to infuse some fresh blood that makes the proceedings feel very current. I wasn't a huge fan of the original I SPIT; thought the raping business went on far too long and the general feel of the flick was kind of hokey (even though that is how Grindhouse-style movies are done). I only say this because the remake is such a well-crafted update.

Lastly, let's discuss the third-act revenge storyline. Ms. Butler certainly enacts her vengeance in the most wild and disgusting of ways. If I wasn't cheering for her the whole time, I would have been tempted to look away. Make no mistake, each hick receives a fitting and creative comeuppance and if you can check just a hint of plausibility at the door, you'll relish her work. My only complaint would be the transition that occurs when Butler's character goes from meek victim to Lady Vengeance. We never get to really see her evolve, nor how she seemed to cheat death. I just would have appreciated a little extra exposition in order to give her subsequent actions more of a punch. Please, don't get me wrong, the revenge still works effectively.

Video / Audio
Video Widescreen 2.35:1

Audio English dolby digital.

The Extras
An audio commentary from director, Steven R. Monroe, and producer Lisa Hansen.

An pretty cool Behind the Scenes featurette with the cast and crew.

A couple Deleted Scenes that were probably trimmed for time.

A radio spot.

The film's trailer.

Last Call
A rare horror remake that honors and improves upon the original. Obviously, this material is not for everyone, but if you're a fan of the horrific revenge sub-genre, then you shouldn't pass this one up. Save for the slightly muddled transition in the lead's shift to bad-ass darkness, there's some gritty, masterful work on display.

ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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