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6/23/2013 5:39:33 PM
Like many fans of horror i feel that you read far too much into this film. Horror is not just about societal unease. Often it is about the mundane becoming horrific. Sometimes those two things are combined into one. Such a film would be "Deliverance" Another failing of horror is that it far too often has otherwise intelligent people behaving like idiots or becoming clichés. "I spit on your grave" is no different. It is a simple revenge scenario with a woman protagonist. In "Dirty Harry" Clint Eastwood guns down the paedophile in the end. That character is as creepy and scary as anything in a horror movie except that he is the real deal. Awful people really do exist and they can strike at any time. Is "Dirty Harry" about the "empowerment" of cops? NO! and neither is this movie a feminist manifesto. Unlike Dirty harry who kills the horror so that it can not kill again. The "hero" of "I Spit On Your Grave" becomes WORSE than her tormentors. Yes the men are vile, scum rapists but they are NOT killers. Unlike Dirty harry she is not a law man at the end of his Constitutional rope. She is Jane Q. Citizen and therefore just as subject to the law as anyone else. Harry Callahan lashes out and takes the law into his own hands because the corrupt system has let him down and he has no choice. Hills NEVER tries to work within the legal system As cathartic revenge film it is fine but it has NO GREATER MEANING! She Not only becomes a monster to hunt monsters she turns into a serial killer, the very worst of human monsters! Far from being redeemed by her bloodsport she becomes even more tarnished than her tormentors originally made her! If it were truly a feminist film she would have behaved in a more humane and sensitive manner than her tormentors. Perhaps not to the extent of turning the other cheek but certainly through using her considerable smarts and superior moral and legal position to put them in their place. it is puzzling that a journalist never tries the expedient of publicly shaming her oppressors or forcing the law to get involved through USE OF THE MEDIA! No its just they did me wrong and they MUST pay!. As much as you protest this movie is ALL about the male gaze. We are supposed to feel greater sympathy for the victim because she is white, employed, intelligent, and above all ATTRACTIVE! Imagine this movie if the protagonist was a rotund fat woman. The sympathy we have for her is tied up directly with her desirability. This movie would not have been made if the victim were unattractive or elderly, but elderly and the unattractive women get raped just as often as attractive ones do, Like so many fans of horror you look for subtexts that simply are NOT there.
7/3/2013 10:31:43 AM
Yep,it's exactly that!
6/13/2013 2:28:53 AM
Thanks for this - an intriguing concept, very well expressed. I'm sure still that I don't want to see this movie, but I'll no longer dismiss it as pure exploitation crap. I was fascinated by the title change and wonder now how much difference the title makes in the way that people think about the movie.
6/13/2013 7:14:31 AM
Absolutely, I wish it could have gotten the notoriety it has now under the title "Day of The Woman." And it really is the only rape revenge film I've seen where the revenge is totally unambiguous.
6/12/2013 5:09:30 PM
Count Jackula I have to admit, did you ever expect to get so many comments from such a topic? Breaking 100 comments on a single video is something that rarely ever happens, maybe because the movie is so poignant and personal, but also because it's so well done. And the Kali reference, I almost think that the movie was using the Sarasvati reference while around the water; beautiful, serene, and creative (let's not forget she was writing a story), before the Kali demon took over and only got peace of her Sarasvati portion when the male demons were disposed of. The Indian mythos was definitely prevalent in the telling of the story, and despite all of the haters of the movie, remains an important film to have social bearing.
6/12/2013 12:32:17 AM
I tend to agree with Nicholas Grey's comment about Johnny's death: he was the main instigator, and it somehow seems more fitting to have him die last, rather than Andy and Stanley. And at first, I didn't understand why Jennifer didn't simply shoot Johnny when she had the chance; however, death by castration and/or emasculation is arguably worse than simply being shot.I enjoyed both parts of this analysis. Misogyny and horror films have always been linked in some way (to me, anyway). This is not because women die (in horror fims, nearly everyone dies) but rather because of the context in which women die. They're usually partially or fully nude and getting a machete/hatchet/chainsaw/whatever through their skulls. The linking of sex and violence in horror films really creeps me out.
6/12/2013 8:53:49 AM
I think the order of the rapist's death is fine. It is the exact reverse order she encounters them in the rape scenes and mirrors the order that things were taken from her.The linking of of sex and violence in film can be bothersome. But if you look at their relationship to each other, you find, not a connection so much as a fulcrum. On one end, is Sex on the other Violence. As films are less able to explore sex, they need something to bring more people in, so they get more violent. Sexual repression is what connects them. Because as any pornographer can tell you, people hate to lose depictions of violence, but they WILL NOT DO WITHOUT depictions of sex. The movie American Grindhouse goes into this, and it's a fun and fascinating documentary. It's on Netflix right now, you should check it out.
6/12/2013 7:01:56 PM
I may see that; thanks for the recommendation.
6/11/2013 12:22:43 PM
My favorite was when you talked about I Spit on your Grave.
6/11/2013 12:28:16 PM
...in order to save Carrie, from the Ghoulies, while she's at Sleepaway Camp!
6/11/2013 6:16:02 PM
Meanwhile, the Poltergeist and the Gremlin had to survive the Amityville Horror, while Jason and Freddie, on Halloween were fighting a Hellraiser. What an easy to interact genre it is!
6/11/2013 7:00:41 PM
And to think they were brought together by some kind of Paranormal Entity!
6/12/2013 8:39:25 AM
This movie is the shiz.
6/12/2013 8:56:33 AM
Only if some White Noise, a fucking Ring, a random Eye, and Captivity is somehow involved. Oh and some Texas Chainsaw's since we need product placement.
6/10/2013 1:42:08 PM
I can't believe I'm saying this, but...the only good thing about the movie actually is the rape scene. Because it's treated like an actual real rape, is uncomfortable and jarring, and incredibly disturbing to sit through. It's FEELS like it's not meant to be exploitative, but to make you be disgusted as possible with what's happening. UNFORTUNATELY, everything kinda goes downhill from that first half because even through the rape scene things get...well...there's a really goofy shot of Matthew with his glasses on but the lenses are missing. So a moment that should look horrifying and disturbing as a mentally challenged man takes advantage of a helpless woman looks...GOOFY. You NEVER wanna go for that. At the very least he could have put the lenses back in. Now, the bit from the perspective of the victim is quite well done, but that bit with Matthew really takes away from the seriousness of it.And this moment SHOULD be serious and get to you. But back to the "goes downhill" thing. Ebert had issues with the film beyond the rape scene, which I too saw. There's hit-and-miss acting, really bad film stock, and AWFUL, sometimes incomprehensible sound mixing. I honestly don't want to not give a movie credit where credit is due, though. After all, the movie was inspired by something the director went through. According to a 1984 interview with Fangoria magazine, Zarchi explained what inspired him to make the movie. While driving past a local park with his daughter and a friend in 1974, they noticed a naked bleeding woman stumbling from the underbrush and stopped to help. As Zarchi explains it, “We took the girl to the police, because at the time we thought sure, the police, they have to catch the culprits, right? Now of course I realize we should’ve taken her to the hospital. We found out when we took her to the police just what the word bureaucracy means - how old are you? What’s your name? Why were you in the park? What time was it? Should we notify your mother? By this time she was close to falling apart, and I said to the policeman, “This girl is hysterical, she should be taken to a hospital.” He said no, no, we have to fill out these papers.” It was Zarchi’s frustration and anger over this experience which ultimately inspired him to make a film in which the victim circumvents the uncaring system and turns the tables on her attackers. Here's the problem.The dismissive treatment of the real life victim’s trauma goes a long way towards explaining why Zarchi has his main character pursue justice on her own, BUT! There’s no actual scene in the movie where the authorities treat Jennifer in such a fashion. Yes, there is in the sequel, I give it credit for that, but it makes up for that in sheer tastelessness by having Jennifer be a more thoroughly dislikable character and by having the film reach new lows that the first never got close to. The fact is, in the original movie, at no point after her assault does Jennifer ever try to contact the police, a doctor, the boy scouts, anyone. By leaving out such a scene, the movie denies Jennifer the motivation of being an abandoned, ignored victim who has no choice but to take matters of justice into her own hands. Now, ANOTHER possible rationale for Jennifer’s actions COULD have been self defense, as there is a single scene in which the men, having discovered Jennifer survived the assault, toss around the idea of going after her before she finally calls the authorities. But nothing comes of it and the guys just go home. Instead, the movie has Jennifer initiate all of the violence in the second half of the movie, effectively flubbing that potential angle as well.But writing off the movie’s faults as mere script problems is too simplistic. The director doesn't actually need such motivations. THAT point is driven home in the scene in which Jennifer stops by a church on her way back to kill her attackers. A number of people, the reviewer you pointed me to included, interpreted this to mean Jennifer's asking for forgiveness for what she's about to do. First of all, you have to ask for forgiveness AFTER. But the problem with that interpretation of the scene is that it goes against what the director wanted. Jennifer isn't asking for forgiveness, she's there to accept God’s blessing for the upcoming carnage. “The theme is biblical” Zarchi stated in the Fangoria interview, “an eye for an eye.”One problem with that, bucko. "Eye for an Eye" is actually a biblical argument for FAIR punishment. For example, before an “eye for an eye”, it was possible for a thief to find himself executed, his family sold into slavery, and his house burnt down. And that was on a good day. After the new law, the punishment had to be commensurate with the offense. As such, a thief would likely find himself paying restitution, facing a short indentured servitude, or, worst case, having his hand lobbed off. When Jesus came along and addressed the issue in Matthew 5, He emphasized the tradition of offering greater clemency towards offenders to reflect the mercy which God offers to all of mankind for its own transgressions. But even if we ignore Jesus and limit the film to the harshest of Old Testament standards, the only action taken by Jennifer which might conceivably pass the “eye for an eye” test is the one that, ironically, the majority of viewers find the most horrific, the castration of the lead attacker. So oddly enough, had the movie just been about a one-woman eunuch factory, it might have actually passed muster. But once Jennifer leaves the newly neutered man to bleed out in a locked bathroom, she oversteps the boundaries of an “eye for an eye” and enters into the realm of wrath. And as the Catechism is quick to point out, “To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit… If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin.”Actually, if the movie had ENDED with her sitting in the living room, playing the record as Johnny slowly dies in the bathtub, then it probably would have been a lot better. Then we get to the revenge bit. The thing that really annoys and disgusts me about the film is that the movie spends the entire first half trying to get it through the viewer's thick head that "OBJECTIFYING WOMEN IS WRONG. THIS IS NOT A THING. THIS IS A PERSON. SHE IS BEING VIOLATED, SHE IS BEING USED, AND YOU SHOULD THINK THESE MEN ARE POND SCUM FOR THINKING OF HER AS JUST SOMETHING TO BE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF."And what does it do in the second half? It robs her her of any even semi-legitimate moral reason for going as far as she does, a decision on the part of the filmmakers which, in effect, changes her from an individual seeking justice into a characterless symbol for a political statement. But worse than that, she GETS her revenge by making herself the very object that her attackers saw her as. You can't have it both ways. You can't spend the entire first half of the film trying to get across the idea that being seen as a thing as wrong and that taking advantage of someone in a sexual manner is wrong...and then have your character take advantage of herself in a sexual manner to get revenge! That's like having an anti-gun message in a story where you use guns to solve your problem! It just! Does! Not! Work! She makes herself up, teases and flashes the men, promises them sex to lure them close, she even allows one of them to START having sex with her. And the camera doesn’t spare the audience a few glimpses of her unclothed body while she is doing so. the movie went to great pains to ensure that there wasn’t the slightest bit of titillation during the rape scene. It ends up creating a paradox in which the narrative rails against the objectification of women while simultaneously encouraging the audience to do that very thing to the woman onscreen. In the end, the biggest problem with I Spit On Your Grave is that we see Jennifer treated like a thing, and her response to this is to become… a thing. And we're supposed to be glad that she took advantage of her sexuality to get revenge when taking advantage of her sexuality was something we were supposed to be DISGUSTED with just half an hour earlier. This movie wanted to have it both ways.
6/10/2013 11:37:33 PM
Is it the movie’s technical flaws that bother you, or it’svery EXISTENCE?
6/11/2013 12:06:18 AM
Here's the thing.I can't, in good conscience, agree with it on a moral level because I find it freakin' hypocritical. Because a woman is objectified by three jackass monsters and a mentally retarded idiot. She's treated like a piece of meat. A THING. And we are meant to be horrified, absolutely DISGUSTED with this treatment, and see the rape as brutally as if she was being beaten, to be horrified if ANYBODY finds this sexually stimulating. And yet how does she get her revenge? For starters, rather than ask for forgiveness in the church, the director's interview reveals she's really asking for permission to kill, not to be FORGIVEN for killing. Two, if we were to follow his "eye for an eye" idea, then equal treatment would have been her actually having friends whom she could join with to do to the guys what was done to her: to have her and other women stalk the men, hunt them down, beat them and rape them and make THEM feel powerless and taken advantage of. Instead, she kills them, even Matthew, who's clearly so stupid he couldn't even tie his own shoes and doesn't know what he's actually doing. And HOW does she kill them? By doing the very thing the movie wanted to make clear was a BAD THING: objectifying a woman's body. Her own.That's like, as I said, having an anti-gun message in a film where they use GUNS to solve their problem's. It's like Cannibal Holocaust's message of "I wonder who the REAL cannibals are" and how awful the film crew in the story were for exploiting the poor natives who finally snap and kill them... when all the film DID was show exploitative footage meant to be as graphic as possible, to show women in an objectified fashion, and which pitilessly MURDERED innocent animals to hammer in the point that the film crew was sick. The exploitation film...tried to make a point...on how exploitation is wrong. IT. DOESN'T. WORK. The same way THIS film doesn't work. It's titular character got revenge by doing the very thing the film decried as wrong in the beginning! You can't do that! That's hypocritical!But even IF I could look past it on a moral level and just try to appreciate it on a CINEMATIC level, even THEN it fails. The acting is flawed, only Johnny and Jennifer put in pretty consistent;y decent performances, but the film stock is pretty bad, the sound mixing is TERRIBLE and the climax at the end doesn't really work. The film could have really ended on a much more triumphant and poetic fashion if it had ended with her, as I said, listening to that record in her chair in the living room as Johnny's screams slowly fade, the music swelling in the background as the credits roll and all fade to black. So even on a CINEMATIC level, I can't say this is a good film nor in good conscience recommend it.And let's be honest in another way. Even the poster and the film's tagline that the woman has "Cut, chopped, broken and burned five men beyond recognition" is a flat out line, considering she only gets revenge on FOUR men and doesn't "burn" anybody. And it's REAAAAAL classy to have your poster to advertise your film that's trying to show a woman reclaiming her identity to have an ass shot that would looks more like a playboy cover.In short...I award this film no points. I tried to approach it more fairly than Ebert did...but the movie's technical flaws are so many that I couldn't give it a decent rating or recommendation in good conscience. "The Accused" was honestly ten times a better movie and handled this FAR better because1. It shows a female protagonist working WITHIN the system to get justice not merely for those that did the deed, but who ENCOURAGED it and did nothing to help.2. It shows a male character in a positive light actually trying to help to some degree, yet also struggle with doing what was right, afraid to speak up because of being ostracized by his friends and peers only to do what he knows is moral and be the final piece of the puzzle that gets Jodie Foster's character justice.3. It doesn't show the hypocrisy in how awful it is for people to sexualize women as objects only to have that same woman use sexualization to get what she wants.4. It's got ten times better acting and production values.5. Nobody has a stupid expression with their lenses fallen out of their glasses in the middle of what should be a dead serious, you do not wanna fuck around and make jokes about this moment rape scene. Like "I Spit on Your Grave", again, did with Matthew. How could the director MISS that? It really takes away from how horrifying the rape is supposed to be when he looks like Waldo without his hat and missing the lenses from his glasses....wow. That was...lengthy. Sorry. But this sort of talk really...and this kind of MOVIE really...well...y'know...
6/11/2013 5:33:34 AM
Ok here's the thing about The Accused. The one thing above all others, that makes that movie a complete failure: THE RAPED WOMAN IS NOT THE MAIN CHARACTER. The main character is her lawyer. She is not even as important a character as the male witness that comes forward. How the raped woman feels is not nearly as important to The Accused as how literally everyone else feels. Even the rape scene is shot from the MALE WITNESS'S PERSPECTIVE. Jodie Foster's character plays secondary importance in her own rape scene. But finally, and probably the most egregious thing about The Accused is...(wait for it)...the rapists are not punished. Let that one sink in. It is not the rapists who are punished, but the people who cheered them on.The movie does not even have the balls to punish the rapists. Yeah, it's based on a true story. But it is not a true story with a triumphant conclusion. I Spit On Your Grave for life. And for those that will get it "I Believe You Jennifer Hills"
6/11/2013 8:41:04 AM
Possibly problematic on some level, this business of us men debating which movie written and directed by men about a woman getting raped is better representation of that experience than the other.
6/11/2013 6:55:37 PM
Well then, AS a woman, let me respond:The Accused *meant* well. It tried to be topical and to tackle a terrible situation, based on a real-life incident that I vividly remember hearing about when it happened. And, historically, it did so at a time when mainstream Hollywood really wasn't tackling the issue of rape. So it does get a few definite kudos in that regard. That said, the movie ages horribly. Like The Prince of Tides, in some ways its male equivalent, The Accused now is horribly dated, coming off now like the afternoon special/very special episode of rape movies, whereas I Spit On Your Grave is still very effective decades later.There is a place for female anger and revenge fantasies. There is a place for letting us fantasize terrible justice -- not the justice that we might get in the real world, but the justice fed by seeing terrible wrongs against us go unpunished. This movie lives in that place. In a world where the Steubenville rapists get more sympathy than the girl who was raped, there is a place for a movie like this, a place where we can wield our sexuality as a weapon, instead of having it wielded against us.You see Jennifer's use of her sexuality as hypocrisy. I do not. Rape strips away sexual identity. It strips away power. Having Jennifer find her power in her sexuality, having her be able to wield it as a weapon, to use it to revenge herself - I'm cool with that. I don't feel she was objectified, and I don't feel objectified watching it.The fact that this movie stemmed from Zarchi's own anger at the system that didn't help a rape victim is palpable. And what I like about this original movie, as opposed to the recent remake, is that at the end, she is restored to who she was at the beginning. In the 2010 version, the movie's ultimate point to me seemed to be that violence in response to violence makes you equally a monster. I felt like she had lost something of herself by the end, rather than getting it back.In the words of feminist Julie Bindel, "Whereas The Accused serves as a warning to men who do nothing to stop rape, the punishment they receive in the film is highly unlikely to happen in reality. The revenge meted out in ISOYG, however, is something men should fear. It does not rely on the law of the land, but on a woman being pushed too far and deciding enough is enough. I sat through a murder trial in the 1990s in which a woman stabbed and killed the man who had raped her child. The jury, against the directions of the judge, acquitted her."I still believe in our criminal justice system and am against vigilante attacks, but the fact remains that the majority of men who rape women get away with it. If I were gang-raped, aware as I am of the near impossibility of winning justice through the courts, I would not be sitting here fantasising about being saved by crusading lawyers and nice men."I stand by the pickets against the video-nasty genre 30 years ago, but on reflection I was wrong about ISOYG being harmful. It was and still is exploitative, but at least it does not present the criminal justice system as a friend to women."If rape remains as easy to get away with as it is at present, films in which women get even through the legal system will become as unrealistic as ISOYG. But I know which one will give me, and many other women, the most comfort."Me too.
6/11/2013 8:03:35 PM
Thanks for your reply, Linda. While I dislike this film I won't argue with your reasons for liking it. The only thing I'll quibble with is when you said "you see Jennifer's use of her sexuality as hypocrisy." I do not see it as hypocrisy. I saw it as an implausible psychological reaction (from my limited point of view as someone who has not been raped or experienced life as a woman). She placed herself in positions of physical peril and allowed one of the men who raped her a day or two before to enter her violently abused body sexually again in order to enact ornate macabre punishments that could have gone wrong at any point, resulting in her own murder or further physical abuse. It didn't seem psychologically motivated to me, when she had a gun. Seemed like the more plausible course of events would have been for her to end the fucks quickly with that gun, out of the distance of them being able to grab her, since she had already experienced the horror of being physically dominated by them and would not want to risk it happening again. But as Jack replied earlier, an argument against that is that it's supposed to be more cathartic with the Tales From the Crypt style sexual mutilations. I don't agree that this film is good, but won't argue that people shouldn't like it for that reason if they do.
6/11/2013 8:20:37 PM
Yeah, that part of the response was actually aimed at the poster above you. I didn't mean to target you with it!Part of a revenge fantasy IS being able to place yourself in peril and come out on top -- it's what makes it revenge. And especially with matters of assault, it's not only about killing the person who did you wrong -- It's about seizing back physical and personal power over your own body. So while a gun would put them out of her misery... it doesn't give back the feeling of power over her own body. Catharsis is the right word here.
6/12/2013 12:52:15 AM
If she wanted to get power back, she should have outsmarted the men in some OTHER fashion, or gotten back at them not by turning herself into a sexual object, the very thing the movie tried to paint as being wrong in the beginning and shame on you if you THOUGHT she was one, but by doing to them what was done to her, to rob THEM of their identity and power, to strip THEM of dignity and violate THEIR bodies the way hers was. I can never know what it feels like to be a woman and raped. But these are big damn issues and ISOYG doesn't address them quite as seriously as it could because it's just a rape/revenge film. The Accused has ethical, legal, psychological AND sociological angles of what rape is to consider. Focusing in on how the victim can so horrifyingly easy be made to seem like she asked for it in the eyes of society and in the eyes of the law, on how it isn't just the duty of the victim to seek justice, but ALL of us who have a conscience to speak up and say "We will NOT allow this". Also, let's be honest. The 1970's was the era of "Castrate Men" feminism. A time when idiots like Limbaugh got the term "Femminazi" developed because it was popular to show men getting horribly killed by women or, say, by cannibals (coughcoughCannibalHolocaustcoughcough) as a way of trying to appeal to women viewers and to have them indulge in their fantasies. To exploit them. But worse still, I think that approach belittles women because rather than have them treated on an equal level and fairly, it gave rise to a new double standard: women must always be treated chivalrously, and whenever a woman does something terrible like cutting off a guy's penis with a boat or leaving him to die in a tub or hanging him mid-sex, that guy deserves it, he "had it coming", as Chicago the musical said. Heck, when a woman cheats, it's because her husband was weak. It's what the "Lifetime" channel was born from. Susan B. Anthony would WEEP if she could see this film.You wanna make a film with a good female protagonist? Write a film with a good male protagonist. Then lose the penis. Your character should be a person first, and anything else second. What happens to them should be capable of happening to anyone. I feel the "Accused" did a better job of getting that idea across not just because rape can, in fact, happen to anyone, not just women, but that the justice system does not always do enough FOR everyone, and you can feel abandoned and outcast by society as you, the victim, are shamed, something "I Spit On Your Grave" didn't address, and I wish it had.
6/12/2013 8:29:41 AM
Some points of correction:Contrary to conservative stereotype, the 70s was NOT the era of "Castrate Men" feminism. Feminists in the 70s did not advocate castrating men. At the extreme were women like Andrea Dworkin, who advocated keeping all penises entirely at bay until the patriarchy ended.They did advocate a woman's right to be independent from men. The primary social/political focuses of second-wave feminism were:* equal access to education, credit, health and family planning* no-fault divorce* legal punishment for spousal rape. However, as women demanded to have the same power and rights as men, some conservatives translated this as effectively castrating men -- stripping them of their power and rights -- and from that the stereotype was born. This was also not when the term "feminazi" was coined; that happened more than 20 years later. According to Rush Limbaugh, at the time of its creation, it referred to women whose goal was to allow as many abortions as possible. Of course, opponents to feminism have broadened that definition since then to basically include any feminist, anywhere.Very few movies from the '70s even tackled rape-revenge, the three most notable being Rape Squad, Thriller, and Deliverance. Movies like Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes included rape, but the revenge was more on a family-revenging-the-death-of-family level. It was not particularly popular to show men getting horribly killed by women. Grindhouse movies overwhelmingly focused on women being killed or shown sexually, and the exploitation genre as a whole was widely protested. There is NO double standard in ISOYG. The message is clear: "If a woman retaliates to rape and attempted murder by cutting off her rapist's penis, he deserves it. If a woman runs over a guy with a boat because he raped and tried to kill her he deserves it." Only the guilty are punished, and in ways that befit their crime.Cannibal Holocaust had nothing to do with feminism, nor was it designed to appeal to women viewers. The movie itself was the director's statement on the Italian media's lack of journalistic integrity.We agree on writing good female protagonists. I consider Jennifer Hills to be a very good female protagonist. What happens to her can happen to anyone -- as Deliverance made very clear that same decade, rape happens to both men and women, even if statistically, it happens to women 90% more often (based solely on reported cases).I don't think it was necessary for I Spit On Your Grave to cover every social and political aspect of rape. I think female re-empowerment is a powerful enough statement -- and one that was rare in the decade of its release -- to stand on its own.
6/12/2013 11:05:31 AM
The Accused and ISOYG are kind of...sister movies. One represents a vision closer to reality and addresses the multiple facets of rape. The other represents what is kind of REPRESSED in the Accused...the raw violence is more open and the act happens really not just once but four times over the span of twenty minutes. It shows what i think most people fear: that all movies are really just centered around the most base instincts we have. Everything is simplified, yet also amplified in the intensity of what it DOES cover. But one point you made. It made me flinch. "Cannibal Holocaust" and why it was made. You say the point was to show how irresponsible and lacking in integrity that Italian journalists had. Now, that point COULD have been made by showing how cruel the film team was, and leaving it AT that as they got their comeuppance for it. But by actually KILLING innocent animals on screen to further drive the point in, the director himself became sadistic and lacking in integrity. He was already pushing it with what he had the film crew doing, who were not only burning houses and killing natives, but raping too, yeah, why not just throw THAT in there...but then he has them pointlessly kill animals. There was no need for that. The rapes and killings drove it over the line and made the film crew look sick, but killing the animals makes the director lose ANY right to try and claim te moral high ground. You don't get to do that when you've just had your crew cut open a turtle. Then you become a hypocrite by going on and on about how horrible and exploitative people are when you're doing the very thing you hate others for doing. And ISOYG comes a bit too close to doing that by having Jennifer turning herself into a sex object to get revenge when having her being thought of as an object was supposed to be what we, the audience, were against. What, it's okay for a woman to think of HERSELF as a sex object but not anybody else? Shouldn't NOBODY think of women as just...things to be used, even if for a good cause? Shouldn't we think of them as just people?
6/12/2013 12:12:02 PM
Jennifer Hills does not become a sex object at the end of I Spit on your Grave. Sex objects exist purely for the sexual gratification of the audience and are more often than not denied agency or humanity. No, Jennifer merely uses sex as a weapon to lure and punish the very men who thought of her as an object. Why? So she could reclaim the bit of humanity they stole from her, namely control over her own body. There's a distinct difference.
6/12/2013 12:46:46 PM
But isn't USING sexuality after she was viewed only AS a sexual object something of a cognitive dissonance for the director? Yes, she uses her sexuality to draw them into her traps, which can be read in any number of ways. Those who criticize the film say it is the film’s way of justifying her having been raped, pointing out how Zarchi depicted her as an oversexualized woman to begin with and that she, in essence, “asked for it.” Whilst you argue she's using it to reclaim her body. As I watched it, I felt...not horrified, but...sad. Because her USING her sexuality comes across as...almost really...defeatist. Like she's decided "If they want me to be this, I'm gonna BE this and we'll see how much they like it when the tables are turned". She kills her attackers in gruesome, painful ways (the castration in the bathtub being the sickest and, by extension, the most appropriate), and thus achieves her vengeance. But, there is forever the feeling that she is irretrievably damaged by the incident, both the rape and the revenge. She goes from this sweet, almost bookish yet still strong, smart, determined woman at the beginning of the film...to a cold, calculating murderess who gets her revenge, but has lost her soul by using the very thing that she was lusted after to get revenge. It's not really "triumphant". The woman has now slipped her squiff!But even if I bought the idea of her using her sexuality as acceptable to get revenge, this does make me think of two other points. 1. All of the guys are beyond stupid. Even when Jennifer has a gun right in Johnny's face, he still doesn't get that he's pretty much dead, Matthew doesn't run off when he see she's still alive, but I give HIM a pass because he's clearly mentally deficient. But the other two guys actually go AFTER her and one just clings to the back of the motorboat when she's second from turning the engine on and tries to talk her out of it? Hello, release your grip and try to SWIM for it, what do you THINK is gonna happen if you're clinging to the back of a motorboat and she has her hand on the throttle?2. The review tried to make the point that, technically, she did try to call for help...but they kicked the phone away. Which then raises a simple question: how did she not notice they were in the house? How did she not hear them or SEE them get inside? They were right there. The only way she could have NOT seen them is through bad editing on the director's part. So believability gets sacrificed again in the name of setting up a scene where she has to "Suck it, bitch". But there is another point about the director I'd like to add. When someone actually brought UP the Accused and Jodie Foster, here's what he had to say: "Look, there were a lot of movies that tried to imitate `I Spit On Your Grave’ or `Day of the Woman’…with big major actresses. Jodie Foster, `The Accused’. Jodie Foster, `The Brave One’…’Thelma and Louise’ also. A lot of movies…including the latest one, `The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’. You know, something similar…anyway, they’re all gone. anyway, they’re all gone. You see them from time to time in syndication or cable T.V., etc. This movie’s still alive…nothing buried it." He also said in ANOTHER interview he said "I think they [censors] are very, very biased. Jodie Foster is getting an Oscar for portraying the rape victim in The Accused and Camille Keaton not obviously is something to do with the fact that this [The Accused] is big budget, it’s got a very well known name, etc. But it doesn’t matter. Those movies came and died, you don’t hear about them anymore. I spit on Your Grave still goes on and on and on." So...he's essentially saying "My movie's so much better than all those other ones, they can't ever match what it does". I would have a lot more respect for the director and his intended goals and what he wanted the movie to be...if not for his douchey attitude towards other films that also tried to examine the issue of rape. He feels HIS movie is timeless. But "Thelma and Louise"? "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"? "The Accused"? BAH! Who even REMEMBERS those movies anymore? My problem is the reason people remember ISOYG is not because it's deep, or thought-provoking or because it's well-acted or because it's well-shot. It's because it's got an overly long rape scene, a CASTRATION, a titillating poster and a seductive title that is, admittedly, not the director's fault. In short, people don't remember it the way you SHOULD remember a film. They remember it for the most exploitative and violent aspects of it. That's really kind of sad.
6/12/2013 1:34:24 PM
Jennifer being viewed as a sex object by her rapists and then using her sexuality as a weapon against them is not two opposing ideas or beliefs. In the first half the rapists deny her both agency and humanity by forcing sex upon her because they believe they're entitled to it. In the second half, however, Jennifer takes control - takes agency - and uses the very thing that was forced upon her as a weapon. The key word there is uses, by the way - Meaning she's regained control - regained agency - over her own destiny. Except unlike the beginning half of the movie, she presents the rapists with a choice. They must choose to treat her like an object before she strikes. In other words it's their objectification of Jennifer that seals their fate. The juxtaposition of these two halves present two unified - not opposed - ideas: Women are not men's play things and men who believe so will - and must - suffer the consequences.
7/24/2013 10:22:11 PM
True, it isn't. I still think that she wouldn't be too eager to force sex on the same men who raped her in the first place. Sure, it's justified, but would that really happen in real life? Probably not. If she was clever enough to come up with those crazy plans and skilled enough to carry them out, she would just find another way to kill the men. The shock would make her associate sexual activities with those men with the brutal experience days before. The justified idealogy is acceptable, but to experience the objectification again just to get her revenge in a twisted way? I don't think it's realistic.
6/12/2013 1:47:56 PM
Ok here's the definition of cognitive dissonance (because I not believe it means what you think it means). cognitive dissonance is the discomfort experienced when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting cognitions: ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions. In a state of dissonance, people may sometimes feel frustration, hunger, dread, guilt, anger, embarrassment, anxiety, etc. I do not think Meir Zarchi felt that while creating ISOYG. His intentions are crystal clear: Woman Takes Revenge and It Is a Good Thing.Now you go on to say that "Those who criticize the film say it is the film’s way of justifying her having been raped, pointing out how Zarchi depicted her as an oversexualized woman to begin with and that she, in essence, “asked for it.” To respond to that: WRONG! Jennifer does NOT deserve it and the movie goes out of it's way to demonstrate this. Now if only someone had done some sort of recap and analysis of the movie. A "review" if you will, that specifically talks about this issue. But I guess we'll just have to dream. If you saw this movie and in anyway thought Jennifer was "asking for it"...you might be...A MISOGYNIST. And don't hide behind "those who criticize" because that's just code for "I'm too much a pussy to stand behind my own opinions. So I'm going to hide behind the opinion of others." As for what Meir Zarchi says about how ISOYG stacks up against other rape revenge films. Yes, that would be pure egotism...IF HE WEREN'T CORRECT. There IS something special about I Spit On Your Grave. That's how we're able to argue about it fucking 45 years after the movie was first released. The legacy of all others PALE in comparison. And I think I know why. It's because the message is so clear: Woman Takes her Revenge and it is a Good Thing. There is NOTHING ambiguous about the original I Spit On Your Grave. And there is no cognitive dissonance.The only cognitive dissonance is in YOU. You have been talking in circles this entire time. One moment you say you are on the side of women, the next you say some of the most self aggrandizing, sexist crap. You come in and dare to dictate what makes a good woman character, because as I'm sure we are all supposed to notice, you're the obvious expert on this. Every point brought up, you dodge. You deliberately misinterpret what others say, and I am not letting you get away with that. Not here. You have nothing to add except your unease and fear of this movie and what it says. You are afraid and I'm glad, because I Spit On Your Gave, pointed it's finger at YOU. And you found yourself lacking. Now you get back in your room and think about what you've done!
6/12/2013 2:57:15 PM
Yeah, because revenge is such an uplifting, morally wonderful thing. Why dont we just kill ANYBODY that we think wrongs us? I mean, how STUPID of me to prefer a movie that actually has acting that's not hit or miss, which doesn't portray every single male character in it as reprehensible and which doesn't turn the woman into a borderline sociopath in the name of getting even. No, I should support a movie that's badly shot, has terrible sound mixing, treats a regarded character with an exploitative air but says exploitation of WOMEN is wrong, and which has a confused climax that would have worked better if it had ended on he castration. Nah, a movie in which a woman gets justice WITHIN the system doesn't appeal to our worst urges enough. No, we all know all movies are really about sex and death when you get right down to it! So fuck Thelma and Louise, fuck the Accused, no, we want our women to be TOWANA THE AVENGER whenever she gets violated even if how she got into that position or what she does in response to it is unrealistic and horrifyingly unehical. Lemme quote from an actual GOOD movie. "Revenge. The most worthless of all causes."
6/12/2013 3:31:18 PM
I will not have you bash Fried Green Tomatoes! That cannibal Bar-B-Que scene is GOD!! (BTW I'm not kidding people, there is a cannibal bar-b-que scene in Fried Green Tomatoes, rent it TODAY!) Which now that I think about it...is another story of a woman that seeks and gains justice OUTSIDE of the system. and it's TOWANDA The Avenger, not "Towana."As for revenge being the most worthless of all causes. You're right..IN REAL LIFE. But we're talking about a movie. And in the movies, I say the female revenge story is perfectly acceptable. It allows a woman to engage in an activity which is usually the province of men.
6/12/2013 3:46:35 PM
As someone who read the book FGT...you missed a big point. Towanda was an invention of the main characters mind that allowed her to get out her frustrations or the world she lived in. But that release itself wasn't her real self and was just as harmful as her thinking about suicide. The more Towanda romped around, the angrier and more bitter the main character got and the less she became of he sweet and decent woman who Ninny loved. It shows her escaping into a fantasy over trying to better herself, and she even REALIZES this and talks to Ninny about it, who recommends she find herself a new job and take menopause tablets. Evelyn manages to truly find a real identity not in indulging in the darkest parts of her, but in the comforting words of a wise friend and in finding work that she loves that makes her feel alive. She reinvents herself and the film is beautifully touching for that, just like the book.Also...it shows the inner mindset of the female character and what happens to her after her own harrowing incident. AND we see how she progressed over time. ISOYG doesn't do that. It couldn't maybe show Jennifer a few years after, maybe writing about what she went through as the book becomes a best seller? Maybe showing her taking therapy and talking about how she foy feels she is herself again? Nothing like that? At least the Accused tried to do that.
6/12/2013 12:37:15 PM
I don't see Jennifer using her sexuality again her rapists, any more hypocritical than a person being mugged, using their attacker's own gun against them.I also noticed that you dodged, or misinterpreted, almost every point Linda made in response to your previous post.
6/12/2013 1:38:52 PM
Truth be told I actually do agree with her on those points in regards to convservativism and feminism. And yes, very few movies from the '70s even tackled rape-revenge, though as she said, Rape Squad, Thriller, and Deliverance DID. But there's a reason FOR that. And it's not just because it wasn't popular to show men getting horribly killed by women. Men get horribly killed all the time in films, we are "the expendable gender", women must be kept sacred and safe like children, but men dying? Ho hum. Pass the butter. Women are the "outlier" gender and as such when THEY'RE hurt or raped or killed, we immediately are horrified, much more so than if we saw a man having this done to him.For example. NOBODY would ever quote lines from the Accused at Jodie Foster. But EVERYBODY would like to say "Squeal like a pig" to Ned Beatty. It's funny cuz it's happening to a guy, get it? But I do take issue with your argument that using her sexuality is equivalent to using a mugger's or attacker's gun against them. That "using the gun" thing happens DURING the attack. Or immediately AFTER when you grab the gun away after he's rifling through your purse and you stick the gun in his face. Jennifer's use of her sexuality is a premeditated and cold as the gang's decision to hunt her down. It essentially brings her to the same level as them, and weren't we supposed to hate seeing people on that level? Also, the gang isn't equivalent.Something you ignored was Matthew was actually told to KILL Jennifer after the deed. But you neglected to bring up that he spared her. The fact is, he's basically a retard and is often abused and USED by the rest of the group. He's got the mind of a child. The fact that he is clearly not of average intelligence and is little more than a child in a man’s body makes the film’s treatment of him inherently problematic, as he is lumped in with the other three men who are depicted in stark, clear terms as cruel, reprehensible misogynists. Simply put, Zarchi didn’t thoroughly think through the implications of Matthew’s inclusion in this group, but simply ran with the dictates of the genre (all redneck horror films have to have at least one character of subnormal intelligence). So from his treatment of Matthew suddenly the film becomes less of an attempted subversion of the "hillbilly rape" type genre and becomes more like...well, an exploitation film! It wants to have its cake and eat it too. It wants to have it both ways. And you can't HAVE it both ways. You can't say exploitation of ONE type of person is wrong, but not exploitation of ANOTHER. Either it's ALL wrong and deserves our scorn and disgust, or NONE of it is.
6/12/2013 2:58:52 PM
"the expendable gender"Really? Dude, men are no more the "expendable gender" to woman, than women are "the expendable gender" to men. Now stop with that Male Privileged bullshit.So...how is this male privilege? Well let's go into that shall we?The concept of the men as "the expendable gender" is born from the fear that women see men as expendable because, men are expected to fight/die in wars. This is the same as saying "men are objectified too" in discussions of depictions of women in comics. And like that argument there are two major parts to it1) It contains a grain of truth2) That grain of truth is expanded to become totally retarded. Women do not see men as "expendable" (which the exception of Valerie Solanas who, despite trying to kill Andy Warhol, is COMPLETELY BATSHIT INSANE) nearly as much as men see OTHER MEN as completely expandable. So what I'm getting here is that you don't like the idea of a woman treating men ...the way other men treat men. As for Mathew, he doesn't show mercy...he chickens out. In fact the movie makes this abundantly clear when he tries to kill Jennifer AGAIN in the second half of the film. Does he try to apologize? Does he try to make amends? Does he turn himself into the cops? No, he says "I hate you!" Also, me maybe as retarded as the concept of "the expendable gender" but he knows right from wrong, and he still raped her. Question...are you one of those Men's Rights people?
6/12/2013 3:24:15 PM
Look, it's not WOMEN who think of men as the expendable gender, but SOCIETY. Even we men would prefer seeing men die than seeing women because we instinctively feel women need to be protected more than men. Also, as a white male, I won't lie. We've had it pretty damn good. As such I feel women need to be given every possible advantage they can in he world because we do not live in a gender-blind society any more than we live in a RACE blind society. To me, violence and death of women and children is just more horrific and undeserving because all I can think is "come on, haven't we done ENOUGH to these two groups over the years?" Every possible instance of exploitation hurts me and makes me carotene same way the "Red Wedding"'from game of thrones offended me. It tossed in the death of Robb Starks pregnant wife...for shock value, because they couldn't think of anything else to do with her. Even though she doesn't die in he books. And they changed the gender and hostage that Caitlyn takes from a male to a female. To me, this was manipulative and offensive. It crossed the line. The same way ISOYG did. And there was certainly no justification for the rape scene to last as LONG as it did.
6/12/2013 3:49:05 PM
"Look, it's not WOMEN who think of men as the expendable gender, but SOCIETY. Even we men would prefer seeing men die than seeing women because we instinctively feel women need to be protected more than men."You do realize you just agreed with my point, right?As for all exploitation and The Red Wedding hurting you. Yes, yes, you are a very sensitive person...NOBODY understands how sensitive you are. Oh boy you are so sensitive. That's why you told a woman how a female character should be written. No, I want you to tell me IN NO MORE THAN TWO SENTENCES. In PLAIN FUCKING ENGLISH. What your problem is. Two fucking non-run on sentences. Cause I bet you can't do it.
6/12/2013 4:10:22 PM
A woman got raped for about half an hour and instead of being disgusted that he filmmaker let it go ON for that long when just having it being up close and personal and from her view was intense and unsettling enough, YOU'RE TREATING THE DAMN THING LIKE ITS "THE GODFATHER"! RAPE! IS! NOT! ART! PERIOD! It grinds the narrative of any story to a halt! It strips people of their dignity and their sense of self! It turns people into things less than trash! We see enough of this in news reports on what happened in India! Why the FUCK would I want to see a woman getting gang raped for about half an hour in my escapist fantasy I so down to watch on a Saturday night?!
6/13/2013 7:19:47 AM
7/3/2013 10:17:57 AM
@nicholasmgrey:disqus I agree with that,big time! I hate watching that in films and it's basically just some exploitation shit some directors throw in just to sell more tickets!
6/12/2013 4:19:09 PM
Also, RAPE. AS MOTIVATOR. FOR WOMEN. That. Is. Always. Wrong. It is a sign of lazy and sexist writing, it is "Women in Regrigerators" type thinking! But you failed to make a point about that because you were too busy singing he praises of a director who won't even in an interview even SAY whether or not the film is exploitative or feminist and who would go on to make ANOTHER rwenge thriller...and Helped male a remake of THIS film that came off like a "Saw" movie and fucked Jennifer's character worse than her own rapists ever could by turning her into the Jigsaw killer who sticks a shotgun up a guy's ass! Real smooth, guy!
6/13/2013 7:17:43 AM
Do you even know what "Women in Refrigerators" is about?
6/13/2013 1:00:07 PM
Yes, as someone who actually READ the comic that the phrase sprang from. It refers to a dead, raped, horribly beaten or abused woman that acts as a motivator for a man. It's the lowest common denominator of motivation FOR a guy. The lowest for a woman, though...is rape. Period. This is what the movie does. Rape/revenge films, in their so-called attempt to try and fulfill the darkest fantasies of those watching, ignore that ENORMOUS elephant in the room: that a rape. has become the motivating factor...of someone who was once a character all their own, who had a real identity and personality. And then...she becomes the avenging angel after a rape. Films like this ONLY exist by completely pushing aside the idea that rape as a motivator for women is never right in favor of focusing solely on how the woman...or if it's a man who's been raped, the man...gets even. That's just not RIGHT. Rape as motivation should NEVER be acceptable in ANY story. And I WOULD be willing to give the director the benefit of the DOUBT, and try to appreciate this movie on SOME cinematic level (however reluctantly)...if not for the plain and simple fact he couldn't even outright state whether we were supposed to view the film in a female empowerment way, or to insist that the movie WASN'T exploitative. He couldn't even do that in any of the interviews. In fact, he got irritated when somebody asked him that and turned the question around on the interviewer. Would it really have been so hard for him to say "All I wanted was to show a woman getting justice for herself, it was NEVER about any kind of exploitation"? In fact, this is what he said. Interviewer: You just made a very general statement that’s in the press notes saying that you’d felt the film when it was originally released was misread by people. So I was just curious what you feel the misconceptions about the film were.Meir Zachi: I don’t think that I ever myself said that people had misconceptions about the movie. I refrain from…defending my movie. So if you think that the movie is, for example, misogynistic, good for you. You feel it is pro-male? Pro-female?…I would never stand to defend it. Let other people defend it.It doesn't help that having driven three hours from New York City to upstate Connecticut, Jennifer arrives at her summer house by the banks of a river. The first thing she does is strip NAKED and go for a swim. You COULD make an argument that this is trying to show she's at peace with herself and her body, but it comes across as a moment of nudity for nudity’s sake. Didn't Jennifer talking about how comfortable she was having many boyfriends or her openly and freely bathing near-nude in the boat just before the attack do a good enough job of explaining how free she was with her sexuality?BUT. I do actually feel the need to give the director credit in one regard. He was actually aware of the whole "Maybe I should show what happens to her after all this" thing and in an interview in 2011 actually talked about a sequel. "All I can tell you is that it is some years later and Jennifer Hills has written an autobiography, in which she conveys the details of everything that she went through, the rape and the revenge, how she survived, and, obviously, if there was a trial, what happened to her at the trial. Was she exonerated or not? The book becomes a tremendous best-seller and, obviously, the people in the little village where the events took place, are infuriated. She belittled them, so they get up in arms and seek retribution."So...if that movie actually DOES get made AND does continue Jennifer's story, then ISOYG might actually become far better because now we can see what follows AFTER, how it affects her, what impact it had on her life. Because to me, that was a big problem with the movie: we don't know what's going through her head, she never even talks to the Priest in the church, or tries to call her mom or dad, nor do we see what happens to her after the revenge is finished, we never learn how it impacted her life. A sequel might actually answer those questions and flesh out the story.
6/11/2013 11:44:29 AM
Yeah they are. They get reduced sentences but their friends who encouraged the horror are punished along with them in a sense of fairness, meant to show that those that encourage this kind of thinking are just as worthy of scorn, disgust and punishment as those that commit the act. Also, "I Spit On Your Grave" was based off a real life experience for the director. And it resorted to hypocrisy in the name of getting a "triumphant" ending, but in having Jennifer sexualize herself to get revenge and turn herself into an object after the movie tried to take great pains to say thinking that way about her was wrong, it diminishes from the impact of her victory and taints it. But even if you want to argue that Jodie's character feels secondary, she even makes a point in the MOVIE on how she feels the story told was not her own after she confronts one of the men who were hooting and hollering. "you did all my talking for me", she says, deciding that she herself must take the stand and tell the story from how SHE saw it, and what was going through HER head at the time. Also, and this is a big deal, Jennifer appeared sexual but was really just a sweet, book writing type. This makes what happened to her more horrifying...in theory. But Jodie's character was a party girl who'd be more the type to "ask for it"...only this instance it goes too far and we see a different side to her. Suddenly we, the audience, are confronted with the cold hard fact that wanting to have a good time and looking the way she does does not make her any less of a woman or any less deserving of justice. Just because she's not a cute little writer from New York doesn't mean she's not innocent. Jodie's character has more...well, CHARACTER. I feel she has more facets to her. And the title itself is revealing: the ACCUSED.Jodie herself asks "do you think I asked for that?" Rape victims feel they themselves are to blame. She appears as the true "accused" at first, finally turning the burden of blame on the proper parties and those that encouraged them. It's more of a legal drama that focuses on rape and its after effects than a rape-revenge film, but it still does it better. And it doesn't come from an era where exploitation films were beginning to take off. ESPECIALLY rape revenge films. It tried to show some measure of justice can be found within the system whilst at the same time ACKNOWLEDGING how hard that can be. It's more honest than "I Spit On Your Grave".
6/11/2013 12:27:04 PM
Ok, you don't like the movie. Got it. But The Accused still sucks.
6/11/2013 1:22:51 PM
That may be a matter of personal taste because you seem to prefer more...GRAPHIC...films, judging by the ones you review. But I WOULD, however, like to offer up one more thing to consider. And it's this.You going to look up the interviews with the director is good, and looking for behind-the-scenes things behind movies and stories is pretty much a necessity for reviewing, because sometimes we can give directors and writers FAAAAAR more credit than they actually deserve. It's kind of like the South Park episode where the boys write a story. Everyone interprets it to be this great work of art...when really they were just trying to be as offensive as possible. So I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes an exploitative, sexualizing film that's overly violent and intense and horrifying is just THAT...a film meant to horrify, make you uncomfortable, and then get you riled up when you see bad people get comeuppance, and not, say, a "feminist empowerment" movie.
6/8/2013 8:52:00 PM
It s reviews like this that prove Aogny booth is getting better than most of That guywith the glasses, with exception of doug Walker, chez apocalypse albiet their almost seperate at this point.
6/7/2013 2:44:08 PM
Great episode, but one minor nitpick that has nothing to do with the overall theme of the episode. In The Crow clip T-Bird is reading from Milton's Paradise Lost, not Shelly's poetry.
6/7/2013 2:22:19 PM
You bring up The Accused; I've never actually seen it and only know it by it's reputation, but isn't that the movie where Jodie Foster's character was so unlikable that audiences were actually cheering when she got raped? I vaguely remember her bringing that up in an interview, once.
6/7/2013 4:37:53 PM
A bit of trivia about The Accused: she wasn't able to sue the actual rapists, so the lawyer went after the men who stood back and cheered them on.
6/8/2013 8:43:32 PM
You mean in real life, because while cheering on rape is bad, if the courts can arrest for that then, holy crap the system is broken. Micheal is right, jodie's Foster's charactor is absolutely annoying, she is whiny bitch with no sense of herself and has a deep personal hatred of herself. i watched it last night, her charactor did everything short of a BJ to entice the men, in real life i bet the real person didnt.
6/9/2013 12:45:53 AM
There were conflicting accounts of the real case in question, partially do to the fast and heavy amount of media coverage. I found pretty good summery report in the aftermath of the trial and it's impact. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=5XobAAAAIBAJ&sjid=6k4EAAAAIBAJ&pg=6760,4684003&dq=big+dan+case+cheering&hl=enAre we supposed to believe that because the character in the movie came off as a weak person in behavior and outlook that her case for rape wasn't strong? Or than encouragement can't count as being an accessory to a violent crime?
6/10/2013 1:59:56 PM
you mean kenny, yeah he is weak and we didnt see his trial yet, he has his day, he also turned on his childhood friend, weak all over. he would have been best to keep his mouth shut. Sadie in the movie is not weak, she is questionable as a witness because of her prior conviction and thier is doubt on wether it is sexual assualt or rape since she did entice them to do it, as on e the defense lawyers said, "she did everything but yank thier dicks." it doesnt justify assault but it makes it easy to understand why it happened. rape is about power, their a bunch of drunken idiots who just wanted to get laid.
6/7/2013 8:50:29 AM
I had to think long about both this movie, the horror genre, and overall media in general. While this movie clearly illustrates misogyny and the social consequences, there must be a bigger play at work here. Not everything is a conspiracy mind you, but social media does quite affect public morality and what is acceptable.I don't know that much about the issue but working with mostly men, authority does give a level of being able to dictate what other men do, even if the consequences are not that great (nothing of personal injury, just costing the company on bad decisions). Overall if misogyny is about the hatred of women in particular, it implies to a feeling of overall control and women represent a threat to that power structure. There are so many other possible examples to work from, I'm sure Vandal Savage in JLU is a misogyny archetype because he doesn't respect any woman even thought they primarily defeat him, as do what he calls "children." I like that you are doing this series and feel it's important to look at the perspective of a male, because a woman recapping this movie might be labeled a feminist or lesbian, whereas a man doesn't suffer the stigma of those labels.Final note, this recap was something I was looking forward to and it does not disappoint. I would hold up your recaps next to Sofies, Film Brains, Blockbuster Busters and MikeJ's (Love the Shameful Sequels series too). The production value is incredible it must take a lot of time to do something with so much production put into it.
6/7/2013 7:21:22 PM
Well a man can be called a feminist
6/7/2013 8:40:47 AM
This was an exceptionally well done review. No offence, but I didn't expect such an articulate and thoughtful treatment of a rather disturbing subject. Great work. :)
6/7/2013 7:10:12 AM
great episode. i really found the connections to mythology/religion to be especially fascinating, as i'm a religious studies major and found myself making connections with spirituality and other forms of media.really intrigued on what you'll tackle in the next video. keep it up!
6/7/2013 6:52:45 AM
I think the review in dept. Its just that I don't like the movie.Sure some parts I see in the review I don't like are too femist for my taste(i'm not going to get into that because this would be too hard to explain online like this). But that may be I don't like the movie. I feel a lot like ebert on the movie.http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/i-spit-on-your-grave-1980#disqus_threadhttp://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/i-spit-on-your-grave-2010
6/7/2013 7:17:24 AM
...cocaine is a hell of a drug. Is English your second language? NO seriously, I don't wanna pick on someone for poor grammar if there is ACTUALLY a language barrier here.
6/7/2013 6:41:33 PM
No, its just the coke:)J.K.
6/7/2013 7:25:56 PM
Sorry about that. It was kind of late night after a long day. What I meant to say is I don't like the movie for the same reasons Ebert didn't like the movie. I also disagree with some of the points made in the video. Though that may have to do with you being very Liberal(possible,I don't actually know you to say for sure). And me being an in-between Liberal and Conservative.Hope that clear things up for you:).
6/7/2013 7:27:43 PM
Also are you guys doing V/H/S 2. That review going to be a lot of fun:).
6/7/2013 9:35:02 PM
Hell yeah we will be. We watched it last night and will be writing our reviews very soon. =)
6/7/2013 3:42:32 AM
I've already given most of my thoughts on this kind of movie on The Cinema Snob forum on TGWTG so I won't repeat most of it here. My real problem with these so-called "rape and revenge" films isn't necessarily the violence because as you said this scenario appears on Lifetime constantly (though I'm not sure about your claim no one complains about those). What I find insulting about most of them is there ALL about the rape and revenge. They treat violence as I mean to an end, but than try to cover it with a theme of FEMALE EMPOWERMENT than would have been impossible if the gender roles were reversed. All that stuff you talked about mythology, courtroom bias, even the true story of the direction would all make much more interesting stories than the bland formula that particular movie boils down to. 1) Innocent woman is brutalized by savage men2) Woman brutalize the same men and get away without and that somehow balances out the universeTo me the idea that a woman can't survive becoming the victim of brutality without becoming brutal herself isn't feminist it's nihilist. It's seeing a movie filled with 20 plus minutes of dog fights is somehow pro-animal rights because one of the dogs kills the master and gets away. Of course you could argue that all lot of those male oriented revenage movies you mention below are just as absurd, but this movie seems to try to be something more profound than it really is. Your analyzes was profound, but I don't think most people would get that from the movie. I guess what I'm trying to say is a prefer more range in stories about such brutal subject. Less sensationalism and reliance on easy answer wish fulfillment fantasy where the character doesn't just damn herself by sinking to her attackers level with the same power of four men and just feeling in about like that's all you need to recover. In my mind that makes her little better than they are. As someone wrote below the heroine in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo work to something good with her experiences rather than just, as the Bard wrote "Better the Instruction." Because you know how well that worked out for Shylock!
6/7/2013 6:47:56 AM
I would say that a movie about dog fighting that ends with oneof the dogs killing it’s master and getting away WOULD be a pro-animal right’smovie. I’m surprised you wouldn't see it that way too.
6/7/2013 4:46:58 PM
Well first of all another critic (I forget his name) used pretty much the same metaphor I used for this movie only it involved cock fighting where the cock survives. I wasn't making a comparison to the lead characters role, only the basic two-part plot outline I described above. Plus, you'd be surprised how many people are more upset seeing just one dog dying in the movie over several people! I remember John Turturro saying that in one movie he did people where angrier at him for killing a penguin than throwing his own mother out a window. I'm not comparing animal deaths to gang rapes, only saying that it's easy to stir up the audience blood lust towards the villains when they are one-dimensional brutes who savage someone defenseless for the bulk of the movie. (Though in fairness, you managed to make the pretty persuasive argument that the villains in this movie where more two-dimensional). As for whether this is Pro-Woman picture, I guess you could see it is and I did find your analysis fascinating. As I said about, the problem for me this kind of plot line is that try to make seeing a woman savaged lurid detail is simple balance out by having savage the attackers in equally lurid detail. To me it's just tit for tat, mayhem meets mayhem, hate meets hate. One doesn't really balance out the other for me.A Clockwork Orange, Dirty Harry, Straw Dogs, even The Last House on the Left which this movie is so often compared to featured rape and revenge as plot point, but they presented something tragic about the way the heroes got there revenge. Like it didn't really make everything better and they were never going to live this down. Of course for someone outside the realm of respectability as an outspoken feminist would be as this environment (which you clearly illustrate) the odds of her even getting away with it are far worse. That's why I don't buy this movie tagline, "There isn't a jury in the world that would convict her," since no one on the jury would have witness the rape and someone could still find evidence linking her to the murders. There's a lot more I could say on this subject and frankly it seems futile to spend it all on one movie especially when you have two more videos to go through. These are important issue to consider in one of the most debated and less understood of genre so I thank you taking the time to make these videos and bringing this sort of healthyand enlightening debate to a wider audience. Look forward to what seeing what you've get next.
6/7/2013 4:51:33 PM
And to make it extra clear even so many other have said it, though we may seriously disagree about the merits of this particular movie you did a brilliant jobs of interpret ion and evaluation and now I look forward to sampling so of your earlier work.
6/7/2013 6:50:13 AM
Also, I find it interesting that we're talking about a movie where a woman gets raped and you compared her role to theoretical movie about a DOG. Shall I assume that was unintentional?
6/7/2013 1:40:59 AM
I had a hard time watching all the clips, but this was seriously well done. It was maturely and intelligently handled, with a ton of background knowledge, as well as some appropriately placed humor.I wonder, what do you think of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series as a rape revenge story? Without spoiling too much, I thought that one was difficult to watch but extremely well handled. The brutality of the assaults was very well portrayed in the movies, making the revenge that much more meaningful. Interestingly enough, that series was also semi-autobiographical- when Stieg Larsson was fifteen, he witnessed three of his friends gang-raping a girl named Lisbeth. He never got over the guilt of not intervening.
6/7/2013 2:11:07 AM
I consider the American re-make of "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" to be "David Fincher's I Spit On Your Grave." It does much the same story in a completely different setting and context. And like "I Spit On Your Grave" it keeps the wronged woman in focus as a sympathetic character. Unlike the 2010 remake of "ISOYG."With that said, "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" owes much to "I Spit On Your Grave." I almost used it as the example of how the rape scene influenced ones that came later, but in the end, The Crow was a better fit for that analysis.
6/7/2013 2:18:23 AM
Something I liked about that one that this didn't have was that she went on from getting revenge on her rapist to being a hero using mental and physical skills in another unrelated situation, saving a dudesel in distress in the process. Her story wasn't defined solely by the rape.
6/7/2013 6:41:11 AM
I didn't like the Millennium series. The books or movies. They were kind of uninteresting. Though I did type a little bit of a lighter and softer fan fic of the girl that goes into the Sci fi world so:).
6/9/2013 5:50:04 AM
The first book had too many descriptions of sandwiches and apple products. Then when I thought it was going to end it went on and was uninteresting. I did like Lizbeth though.
6/7/2013 6:54:48 AM
Well, not to start an argument here, but Lisbeth has dedicated her life to catching and brutalizing rapists because she herself was raped. She is TOTALLY defined by her rape. Almost entirely so.
6/7/2013 9:08:12 AM
I've only seen the Swedish TV version of the first book, have not read the books or seen the adaptations of the other two books. But in the adaptation I saw, she is raped, and then in a separate storyline as part of her day job she hacks a journalist's computer and the journalist confronts her about that and she agrees to help him investigate a serial killer who they later discover rapes women before he kills them (at least I don't remember them discovering that until after she already had started investigating the case). She did not seem to make a choice to go after that serial killer based on being raped. Again, I can only go on the adaptation I saw. She also didn't set out to brutalize the serial killer/rapist, as you seem to be suggesting. She was attempting to help the journalist investigating the case and then when given the choice about whether or not to help the killer out of a burning car that he ended up in while fleeing made the choice to let him burn, which is a lot different than premeditating a brutal revenge on him.
6/7/2013 12:30:48 PM
She was dedicated to it before, because of what Zalachenko did to her mother (granted, one of the things he did was sexually assault her mother). What you could argue, actually, was that she dedicated her life to bringing men who hate women (see what I did there) to some sort of justice.
6/7/2013 1:33:41 AM
This analysis was fascinating. There are a couple things that bug me, though.1) Connecting aspects of the movie to various ancient myths seems like a stretch.2) Judging from your commentary, it looks like the violence in the scenes where Jennifer takes her revenge were sexualized, and for a lot of people, that comes across as exploitative. I wish you had touched on that a bit more, since that probably has colored a lot of people's reactions to the movie at least as much as the rape scenes themselves.
6/7/2013 1:57:06 AM
I was thinking the same thing about point #2, jjramsey -- it didn't seem very plausible that she would willingly put herself in the position of having intercourse with the first guy she took revenge on before hanging him. Didn't seem much point to that other than titillation of the audience. I also kind of disagreed that showing her frightened and angry face while she was being raped was an effective counterbalance to the lingering shots of her naked body while it was happening, as given that rape is an act of violence and control the kinds of guys who are most likely to do something like that would probably enjoy seeing her suffering face as much as the nudity. It is not something that would kill the thrill for those people.
6/7/2013 2:45:22 AM
Having a rape victim take revenge on her attackers using her sexuality (which is what they took from her) probably isn't very realistic, BUT neither is the idea of a guy murdering an entire group of criminals for murdering his family (Death Wish, The Crow, The Punisher, etc). Some stories are intended to express anger and allow people to vicariously engage in the dark impulse one feels when you are wronged. Women deserve to engage in that too. The way the rape scenes are shot is as much about Jennifer's objectification by the rapists and audience alike. Yes, the rapists probably DO enjoy seeing her suffer. But we the audience are not brought in on that enjoyment. We are intentionally excluded from it. We are supposed to see it as terrible.And I, for one, did.
6/7/2013 3:30:27 AM
Yeah, you got a point. Realism isn't the goal of all art, nor should it be.
6/7/2013 4:04:56 AM
Just to carry on from that. I wasn't faulting this movie above for being unrealistic. I get it's wish fulfillment, I just wish it didn't have to good SOOOO out of the way to make the villains as hateful as possible. It's not a particularly difficult thing to make audience sympathize with or despise a character. It's basic requirement of fiction. Which as why one of the reasons I so admire Hard Candy (which deals with many of these same theme better in my mind), is that it completely turns the tables about how we're supposed to side with and manages to find the pity and the despicable in both the predator and the prey. Also I agree that the rape scenes were shot here in way the makes us see things from the victim side, but there's no telling how some audience might response. Regarding your comparison to The Accused, I think Jodie Foster said she walked out of some theater showing the movie because people where cheering on characters rape.BTW it's kind of strange that you can't show the nudity in these scene, but you can show all the gruesome violence. Nudity is probably one of the lest disturbing parts and (well maybe this was your intention) but does imposing the MLPFM shot actually makes this even MORE disturbing in context?
6/7/2013 6:56:10 AM
So wait...you'd like I Spit On Your Grave better...if the RAPISTS were more likable?
6/7/2013 3:37:03 PM
No that would have been worse! I just think they don't have to make the violence go so long just to make it clear these are terrible people.
6/7/2013 4:22:42 PM
I think he does have a point actually- writers and filmmakers often feel that they have to make a sexual assault as violent as possible or the audience won't realize that it's bad. I can only think of a few books and movies where a victim did not put up some sort of fight when being sexually assaulted, and that is a damaging mindset in other ways. There are way too many people who think that it's not rape if the victim didn't fight back or say no. And there are also way too many people who think that if a rapist isn't violent in some other way, then it's not rape.
6/7/2013 11:31:52 PM
I don't think making rapists unsympathetic is a bad thing.
6/7/2013 2:16:40 AM
NO, connecting aspects of the movie to mythology is not a stretch. That director's commentary makes it clear that's what he had in mind. Hang on I see that a reply to your comment ALSO discusses the sexualization in the later half so I'll respond to that there.
6/7/2013 12:21:10 AM
This was a rather impressive and uncomfortable analysis. And in this case, "uncomfortable" is the right thing.
6/7/2013 2:46:51 AM
It's why I love horror movies. Not all forms of art are meant to be comfortable. As Rob Zombie said to Bill Mosely "Art's not safe." Thanks for your kind words.
6/6/2013 11:56:15 PM
Thank you Count, so very much.
6/7/2013 2:47:06 AM
6/6/2013 11:27:14 PM
Thoughtful review. Here I come again with a contrarian thought (which I intend as a compliment to your work, given if I didn't respect it I wouldn't post). You showed a picture of Yoko Ono and The Beatles to illustrate the concept of men hating women because of jealousy over their favor disrupting the established order. I don't think Yoko's an accurate example of what you're talking about, though, as the other Beatles did not desire attention from Ono, they were upset that Lennon insisted on bringing her into the Beatles recording sessions. True, that did disrupt the existing order, but in a way that wasn't necessarily gender-related. If Paul McCartney suddenly made a really close male friend outside of the band and insisted on bringing him into all the Beatles recording sessions and inviting his creative input they would gotten upset at that person just as much, it seems to me. I do agree that a lot of the Beatle fan backlash against her was misogynistic, though.
6/7/2013 2:50:59 AM
You have a point about Yoko, and I did consider using a different series of pictures that might illustrate it better, since The Beatles reaction could easily be applied to a man coming in, but I still think the fact that Yoko was a women, is what made it more polarizing. But I couldn't think of a more well known example.
6/7/2013 3:07:14 AM
Crap! We just realized a better clip we could have used there....ANCHORMAN. Well, next time.
6/7/2013 3:29:42 AM
An artist's work is never done! Heard stories about a famous painter who would go into the homes of people he had sold paintings to and start retouching them.
6/7/2013 3:38:07 AM
Yoko gets a lot of unfair treatment from Beatles fans. I believe that she wasn't what broke up the Beatles, but she was only one of many contributing factors....but that doesn't mean she wasn't fucking insufferable.
6/6/2013 11:04:35 PM
Yanno, I think Freud can be best summed up in three words: Everything is dicks. :) Actually, I think you hit the nail on the head with the "spider in her web" analogy, because a spider's web is exactly what the hammock she was laying in reminds me of. Fun Fact: During a flashback on the Supernatural episode "After School Special" a teenage Dean Winchester is macking on one of the cheerleaders when he offers to take her on a date that involves a midnight screening of I Spit on Your Grave....which is probably the last movie you want to take a date to (unless of course your name is Johnny 23). Also: Points for using Inkubus/Sukkubus.
6/7/2013 2:52:40 AM
I'm glad you noticed Inkubus/Sukkubus. And yeah, I noticed the ISOYG reference in Supernatural. I also like the fact that they continued Dean's love of horror and anime. IT'S AN ARTFORM!
6/7/2013 3:08:46 AM
And westerns. Don't forget westerns.
6/6/2013 10:39:21 PM
I'm a devoted viewer of this sight and have never commented before, but this review......incredible! Well done!
6/7/2013 2:54:07 AM
Word up! Glad you commented, hope you continue this commenting trend :)
6/6/2013 9:53:39 PM
This is probably the best recap on this site. Not the funniest, mind, that goes to PGSM summarizes, but the best. Excellent work.
6/7/2013 2:55:42 AM
A comparison between The Count Jackula Show and PGSM? That is some esteemed company! Thanks man :)
6/6/2013 9:35:20 PM
Fan-fucking-tastic as per usual, my friend. =)
6/6/2013 9:02:52 PM
So what part of a man does the male god you disscused earlier in the video represent? If he gives her his silent consent then it cannot be the male nature on display in the men in the movie.
6/7/2013 3:02:59 AM
The male god in ISOYG represents the part of male nature that says "An eye for an eye."
6/6/2013 6:27:11 PM
Damn man... first half... very well detailed analysis man. After that I needed a beer. loland the other half was a satisfying way to end it. You beat DVD Shelf: Who Framed Roger Rabbit Review as The best review I've ever seen. Well... I would say evenly matched but youwin by a nose. lolNow if you excuse me... I'm going to watch MLP as a palad cleanser
6/7/2013 3:04:25 AM
After what those four men did to Twilight Sparkle? How could you? :)
6/6/2013 6:21:33 PM
Well done, sir! Truly, you have topped yourself!
6/7/2013 3:04:59 AM
Word up my man.
6/6/2013 5:35:37 PM
Thank you for such an indepth and thought provoking review.
6/7/2013 3:06:13 AM
Thank you for watching and commenting! It feels good finding out that there are women who appreciate this series.
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