Original Vs. Remake: I Spit On Your Grave

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

Of course, everyone cheerfully agreed with the outcome of our last holiday Original Vs. Remake where 1974’s classic Black Christmas easily took out its infamous remake. I was glad to see that while the vast majority knew that the original would win, many still didn’t mind giving some cheesy props to the crazy gory, yet still strangely fun, remake.

For today’s O vs. R we are getting far away from the warm and fuzziness of the holiday season and getting back to the hardcore horror of our beloved genre. And it doesn’t get any less warm and fuzzy than I Spit On Your Grave. I wonder how many of you actually know that a remake was made of the controversial 1978 classic back in 2010. I also wonder how many would believe that the remake was actually very well done! This battle should be very interesting!

Jennifer, a pretty, young writer rents a house in the countryside for spending time working on her next story. After coming across a couple of chauvinistic country bumpkins, she unknowingly becomes a target and is subjected to a horrific ordeal of physical and sexual abuse. HOWEVER, instead of simply rolling up to die or phoning the authorities, Jennifer takes swift, violent vengeance into her own hands!
Not a great deal differs from the original in terms of basic plot. Jennifer rents a house in the woods to write her novel. She is overrun by the jerky yokels of the town who violently defile her. They believe she killed herself and move on. However, she is still alive and plots a vicious bout of revenge. There are a few differences here and there, but nothing too outlandish.
This was a low budget film with a grindhouse style pedigree, so there weren’t any big time actors involved. However, that does not take anything away from the performances. The film is definitely tough to sit through because of the subject matter and that is a huge credit to the acting. Especially Camille Keaton who delivers a star-making role as the wronged heroine.
The casting for the remake is fantastic. Everyone plays their roles perfectly and what could have been a joke of a remake, turns out to be just as harrowing as its original. Big shout out to Sarah Butler who has to be on the cusp of breaking out as a major star. Her balance of vulnerability and vengeance is pitch perfect.
Special Effects
When this film takes a turn to the bloody, it is offered up in fine practical fashion. There aren’t really any grand pyrotechnics, but when Jennifer cuts into her aggressors, the results certainly are real enough to make one gasp.
The remake nicely ups the ante in the creative kills department. Hence, this allows for plenty of wonderful modern invention in terms of gory effects. Jennifer has some damn dastardly plans in store for the bastards that hurt her and she really carries out her mighty vengeance in morbidly sick fashion.
Like I said, this film is tough to sit through and that is due mostly to the horrific, drawn-out attack and defiling of Jennifer. It is just damn hard to watch. Then, you become almost equally appalled by the manner with which she enacts her vengeance, though it is hard not to cheer as it’s unfolding.
Again, the remake does a great job of staying on par with the original in terms of intensity. The attack on Jennifer is not as ridiculously drawn out, but does take a very harsh toll. And her acts of vengeance are even more intense and will certainly take the initial viewer by shocking surprise.
Hot Chicks
Camille Keaton is an absolute beauty. Gorgeous face, stunning body, and sexy voice. She is definitely the epitome of a desirable scream queen, which makes it all the more hard to watch when she is being brutalized. Yes, she offers tons of nudity, but it is not in a nicely viewable context. Still, she is damn hot.
Sarah Butler is also a modern day goddess of genre cinema with a face and body that matches Miss Keaton’s pound for pound. And even though this film was made during modern times, she too does not shy away from the nudity factor, although again, it is not in a pleasant context.
Clearly, director Meir Zarchi was out to make a very hardcore statement. I’m sure he accomplished this because I can’t sit through this film again. Once was enough and it’s all still burned into my mind. That is definitely a strong statement to bestow upon a filmmaker. Unless you’re counting rewatchability.
Steven R. Monroe is no hack director for sure. He takes the time to develop characters and situations and still manages to create a harsh sense of dread and delivers an I Spit On Your Grave remake better than it had any right to be. Although, the revenge “traps” do fall a bit into Saw territory, I still give this remake high enough praise.
I Spit On Your Grave (1978)
Now that may have been the closest race we’ve ever had here at O vs. R. I just had a feeling that it was going to turn out that way. Even though both films are well made and intense, I honestly couldn’t bring myself to watch either more than once. I’m very curious to hear your thoughts on this one. How do you feel about the controversial original? Did you happen to catch the remake? Fire them bullets below! And if you have any flicks you’d like to see in this column, give me a shout at [email protected].

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