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The Bottom Shelf #22

07.14.2005

After getting admittedly somewhat mainstream in recent weeks, The Bottom Shelf returns to what it knows this week, cult schlock galore.

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1977)
Directed by Meir Zarchi
Starring Camille Keaton & Eron Tabor

-- click here to buy this DVD at Amazon.com --
-- click here to rent this movie at NetFlix.com --

I suppose I should start this one off with somewhat of a disclaimer, seeing as itís probably one of the most disturbing films you will ever see, should you access it. I know that may make people want to go watch even more, but believe me you need a strong stomach for this flick. That said, if you can somehow watch from a 3rd person perspective and not get effected, you should get a nice taste of the low-budget, indie horror genre at itís finest. The film opens with our heroine, Jennifer (Keaton, who plays the role flawlessly) acting all nice and friendly with three rednecks and a delivery boy at a gas station, everything is going dandy. However, the situation soon changes as we watch the poor girl endure a graphic rape scene that lasts an excess of 30 minutes. Think CLOCKWORK ORANGE times ten. You can tell itís made very explicit on purpose though, because the director really wants us to feel what our protagonist is going through. Left is terrible condition, Jennifer somehow makes it home and survives, re-gathering enough strength and utter hatred for these individuals to carry quite an entertaining, ass-kicking second half of the movie.

Along the lines of KILL BILL, the film puts a female lead in a terrible situation that she survives, and the rest of the plot deals with her seeking out and personally hunting down every individual involved in the attack. Jenny is one badass killer too, I wonít give away any of the death sequences but some of the kills are up there with the biggest horror movies ever. Also, in terms of a cult film this is up there with the best, and for good reason. Its devoted audience doesnít stray away from the excessive violence and sex, instead embraces it for the type of vintage 70ís shock cinema it really is. However, be advised this isnít like EVIL DEAD or ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, where one viewing and youíre onboard. You can either stomach it, or you canít. Go rent it and decide for yourself, either way itís damn entertaining.

Favorite Scene:

When the ringleader of the rape meets his end in a bathtub, you canít help but enjoy it.

Favorite Quote:

ďI hate your guts.Ē

Trivia Tidbit:

Roger Ebert has sometimes called this film the worst movie ever made, but heyÖheís loved from pretty damn awful stuff too.

See If You Liked:

MONSTER, KILL BILL, LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, BAISE-MOI

*Note* The movie is sometimes labeled as I HATE YOUR GUTS, DAY OF THE WOMAN, and THE RAPE AND REVENGE OF JENNIFER HILL.

THE SWITCHBLADE SISTERS (1975)
Directed by Jack Hill
Starring Joanne Nail, Robbie Lee & Kittie Bruce

-- click here to buy this DVD at Amazon.com --
-- click here to rent this movie at NetFlix.com --

Iíll admit it, Iím a sucker for exploitation films especially the work of Jack Hill, which Iíve only recently begun to really appreciate. So it was no surprise a viewing of THE SWITCHBLADE SISTERS immediately got me hooked, especially considering itís widely regarded as one of his crowning works. The already amusing storyline is even funnier when considering it was apparently based on Othello. Robbie Lee plays Deb Lace, leader of a violent femme gang named The Daggers that run a local highschool and solicit drugs and sex to the kids. Enter Maggie (Nail) a new student who refuses to back down to the Daggers and ultimately ends up in jail with Deb for fighting. When Maggie helps out Deb in jail they immediately form a bond, which causes certain members of the gang to construct an Iago-style web of deceit and lies out of their own jealousy. Why we didnít watch this in English class, I donít know.

Similar to some of the other 70ís exploitation films reviewed in this column, SWITCHBLADE SISTERS relies heavily on style over substance, and it pays off. Hill combines all sorts of elements to create an empowering female flick loaded with pop culture references and comic book cinematography. All the men in the movie are portrayed as weak or corrupt, and society is generally regarded as deviant and morally astray. Yet the gang of females control everything, and it amounts for one awesome drive-in movie.

Favorite Scene:

There are several really memorable scenes, itís a mater of preference. Mine involves a beating in an elevator.

Favorite Quote:

(After a cop says ďlet me give you some adviceĒ). ďNo, let me give you some advice, cop. You can beat us, chain us, lock us up. But we're gonna be back, understand? And when we do, cop, you better keep your ass off our turf, or we'll BLOW IT OFF! Ya dig? We're Jezebels, cop - remember that name. We'll be back!Ē

Trivia Tidbit:

Quentin Tarantino sponsored a re-release of the film in 1996 complete with his own audio track. Whether or not you can listen to QT for an hour and a half is a matter of preference.

See If You Liked:

THE WARRIORS, BIG DOLL HOUSE, SHE-DEVILS ON WHEELS

I just noticed these two would make one weird female empowerment marathon, so guys, donít watch these with your girlfriendsÖespecially not I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE!

PREVIOUSLY:

Eraserhead / Skidoo
Assassins / 187
The Straight Story / Gummo
Like Water for Chocolate / Slam
Falling Down / The Last Horror Movie
Spanish Prisoner / Near Dark
Bottle Rocket / The Long Goodbye
Swimming Pool / Session 9
Jules and Jim / Bully
The Apple / Troll 2
The Sweet Hereafter / Exotica
Happiness / In the Mood for Love
Blue Velvet / Living in Oblivion
They Live / Phantom of the Paradise
Summer School / Sleepaway Camp
George Washington / Tape
Say Anything / Battle Royale
Black Sunday / 29th Street
Blood Simple / Raising Arizona
Freaks / Hard Eight
Harold and Maude / Coffy

Source: JoBlo.com

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