Monday, November 2, 2009


I've been dreading doing this post for a while now because I'm struggling how to put into words how up in arms I am over the remake of I Spit On Your Grave aka Day of the Woman. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand how much I adore this film, but in case you didn't notice; It's where I got the name for this blog, and I use the iconic shot of Camille Keaton's ass as my banner. The reason that this blog even exists is because of the impact this film had on not only on the genre, but on Miss BJ-C herself. Today the filming of the remake started and Brutal As Hell gave me an entry on how they would remake it. Here's my two cents.

My heart is breaking at the thought of this film being redone. I have said many times before that I don't have a problem with films being remade as they bring the originals to a newer audience that were otherwise unaware of the film's existence. HOWEVER, (this however is so big it needed caps) there are certain films that I believe should not be redone for the simple fact that even the smallest change could completely ruin its heart. The film has its faults as does every film (except for maybe Star Wars), but this is undoubtedly a flawed masterpiece. When the film was created, it was a time that didn't have as many "politically correct" and taboo subjects constantly buzzing around. We now live in a day and age where we must walk on egg shells in order to protect the feelings of the people around us. 1978 was a completely different world.

The first thing that I see them cutting from the film is the lengthy and very graphic rape scene. People that dislike this film tend to point out that the 26 minute gang rape is completely excessive and unnecessary. I respectfully disagree. Rape is a very serious thing and according to RAINN, someone is raped every two minutes. What makes it so horrifying to see a rape on film, is because it's one of those instances where we know, it could happen to us. The scariest movies aren't the ones where mutant monsters come and create a gore-fest, it's the ones that are real, and could happen to anybody. Why did Paranormal Activity freak out so many people? Because it felt REAL. Should films include rape, just to include rape? Not a chance. But is rape something that needs to be brought to our attention? Absolutely.

The rape scene in this film is VITAL. Without it, there is no set up for her absolutely brutal revenge on her assailants. These scenes were filmed in the 70's where we were flooded with video nasties but people weren't afraid to make them. It's not the same anymore. People take the easy route and they sugarcoat reality. I hate when TV portrays rape because they sanatize the hell out of it...AND THAT'S NOT BEING HONEST. We're going to end up getting a film with a rape scene that will be barely as graphic as the one in the remake of The Last House On The Left. This doesn't make me some sick person who wants to see rape, but the horrifying torture of Jennifer Hill is what gives this film such sting. The tagline of "this woman has just chopped, crippled, and mutilated four men beyond recognition...but no jury in america would ever convict her" only rings true if we get a real understanding of the pain that she endured which fueled her need for revenge. We're not going to understand her and the horror she experienced, unless we see it.

The second thing I see getting cut is the death of Matthew. If you haven't seen the original, Matthew is a delivery boy at the Gas Station one of the men works at and the hang -out spot for the other two friends. Matthew is also mildly mentally retarded. The reason the men even initiate the gang rape in the first place is so Matthew can lose his virginity. Although he is mentally handicapped, he is very aware that what they have done is wrong. The three men send Matthew to kill Jennifer after they have all raped her, but Matthew cannot bring himself to kill her. This action shows us that although impaired, he understands the difference between right and wrong. There is no way in hell this remake will include a mentally retarded person raping a woman. I don't think I even need to explain why this scene won't be included.

So say they do include the character of Matthew and they allow him to be mentally challenged, I have a suspicion that he won't be killed off. He'll become the conscience of the group and try to stop everything from happening, Jennifer will take pity on him, and she'll spare his life and let him ride with her in her speed boat off into the sunset. I'm not even kidding. You can bet your bottom dollar that if they include his character, they won't get away with killing him.

Jennifer won't be walking naked through the woods either. My guess is that instead of us having to witness the reality that is a bloodied, bruised, battered, naked, and vulnerable woman...we'll see a stumbling girl with a ripped wife beater (no pun intended) and someone slowly pulling her panties back on that were drug to her ankles. The most horrifying thing about this film is not only seeing the rape on screen, but then having to watch her recover. Plenty of films show us rape, but not many of them show us the mortifying look of a woman who has just endured it.

The old film in all honesty, doesn't have much of a plot. The film was completely centered around not only the rape, but the revenge. It's an exploitation film and it's showing us the absolute worst things that could possibly happen to us. If its remade, it's going to be very plot driven and everything is going to be so watered down it won't be the same anymore. It will be a completely different kind of movie. They released it originally without a rating. That was how the people making the film could get away with everything that they had done. The censors tried to rate the film "X" with what they were making, so they just released the film without a rating so they could do whatever they want. If the film is made with the same heart as the old film, it will undoubtedly get a NC-17 rating. If this happens, no movie theater will ever show it, so the film will end up sugar coated and it'll lose it's heart. George A. Romero released Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead without a rating and could do whatever he wanted but by the time Land of the Dead came out, he no longer had this option. He had to play ball and bite the bullet otherwise the film wouldn't get released. This is exactly what is going to happen with this remake.

To sum it up, this film is going to come out and be "safe" and it makes me sad. This film wasn't showing torture for torture's had a heart and it had a moral to the story. One of the few films I had hoped people wouldn't touch, is going to have politically correct and uptight fingers all up into it.

20 comment(s):

Andre Dumas said...

Hear hear!

I talked about similar aspects in my blog when I reviewed this and I'm so sick of people complaining about how this is the worst movie in history because of the rape scenes. People need to stop using rape as an excuse to not like a film because it makes them feel uncomfortable or some bull. Yes it is uncomfortable but it is, as you said, REAL. Ebert said this was the worst film ever made- and then he went and gave Speed 2: Cruise Control two thumbs up....yeah that makes tons of sense.

The movie is fantastic and completely 100% embodies what your blog is all about. I'm still not convinced that that is Camille Keaton's ass on the cover- hers was way flatter in the movie- but I love it anyways.

Awesome points made throughout- especially the point about Matthew's death being warranted. Fucker obviously knew what he was doing was wrong. I am also horrified and nauseous over the idea of this remake!! Good work my fellow female blogger.

RayRay said...

I'm with ya, BJ-C. Remakes should be done with care, but usually not at all. And to tear the heart out of such a classic would be a crime.

As a man I cannot fathom wht this movie means to women. But it's effect on you is obvious, and I am positive there are many who share your feelings. All that can be done is not to see it in the theater, refuse to rent it, and otherwise vote with the wallet.

TheHorrorPress said...

Great Points. I guess we'll have to wait and see what comes of it.

DM said...

Great post! And oddly very timely because I had a conversation with my roommate just yesterday about rape and remakes.

I Spit On Your Grave is the definitive rape/revenge film (which I like to pair with a male counterpart, Deliverance) and I simply can't fathom a remake that doesn't feature both. Given Hollywood's (recent) penchant for sanitizing and moralizing, I'd bet good money this remake will likely water down the violence and pad the film with all kinds of moral and ethical dilemmas.

penney1115 said...

I don't knowe if i will spend $ to see it at the movies my mom may wanna see it so I might. As you said it will probably be watered down due the the PC Assholes taking the heart out of remake. But they didn't really show the rapes in the Original Last house on the left then they remake it & show a rape but by only 1 of the guys. So this remake might have the rape scenea just not as Brutal.

As far a Matthew goes I don't think they will kill him they will probably make him a slow witted quiet mousey kinda guy that doesn't like hurting anyone & hates hanging around these guys cause they treat him like dirt (kinda reminiscent of the LHOTL remake), but they r the only guys that talk to him so deals with it. So when the attack scenes happen he doesn't wanna help but hes forced to & she sees that & spares his life.

As TheHorrorPress said we'll have to wait & see what happens.

I loved the way you worded the entire blog I was in tears.
Im adding your blog to my mySpace

Unknown said...

Great post BJ-C.

You're absolutely right, as a society, we've gotten to a point where art has to tiptoe around sensitive topics, never addressing them head on. A movie getting remade has nothing but the bottom line in mind, and is sure to take zero chances.

Pax Romano said...

I spit on this remake.

Ms Harker said...

My commisserations my dear!

Rach555 said...

I totally agree with you with this. There are movies that simply cannot be remade because of the restrictions political correctness puts on things.
Add to that Hollywoods desperate need to include explanations and back-stories and I really don't think the remake has any chance of being good. They can't let horror be simple, can they?

I really loved this post by the way. Thanks for giving your view.

Anonymous said...

McWord. When I heard about it being remade I thought to myself... why? Didn't Rob Zombie say 'art isn't safe'? When will Hollywood learn this?

longtime lurker

David said...

I'm personally against Remakes in general. Why re-paint the Mona Lisa?

It is absolutely horrifying that they are remaking this particular classic, and I agree 100% with many of your sentiments and predictions.

I wish people would stop paying to see remakes altogether. If you must witness the car wreck, download it. If no one gives them money, they will leave it alone.

This really sucks and is the first I've heard of this news. There is nothing they could possibly improve from the original.


forestofthedead said...

Very well done post.

Anonymous said...

Just further proof that Hollywood would rather "rape" classic material than actually use imagination to create something original.

The Curious Cat said...

Really enjoyed reading this post - really interesting. I have yet to see the film- I'm possibly too scared though I seriously do want to see it - not the remake is interesting to see how things have changed and what is acceptable/not acceptable now... and how that changes the direction in which a film is directed/portrayed/produced xxx

Stonecypher said...

Wonderful post. You've really articulated some of the things I think about this remake. It just won't be as important, powerful, or as good as the original.

Erich Kuersten said...

This post made me finally see the film! Thank you so much... I'll never let Ebert's knee-jerk reactionary-ism poison my judgment again.

Queen Zombie said...

Great post!

I think you've got some excellent points about remakes and not turning our heads away from the brutal truth of rape.

HOWEVER; there's something important to be recognized -- exploitation films are exploitative. Just as our hearts race with fear and adrenaline when we watch horror, so do they react in a similar fashion when we watch porn. I think you could re-shoot the scene in a classic manner: showing face, showing blood, NOT showing mid or long shots with the men and woman at the same time, and have a much better affect on your audience.

Sorry to say it, but exploitative films make rape sexy and titillating. Don't get me wrong; I'm all for freedom of speech and art!! But there is a reason that it was able to be created more independently, for shock value (which it now cannot have in the same way; those boundaries are long devirginized) versus what it means for a rape scene to be ***published internationally at the profit of huge movie companies** where teens can see it.

I know it sucks to consider that; but it's a fact.

And parents that used to be crappy parents in the 70's weren't leaving their kids to quite the same media void as they do now... We just had an over 2 hour gang rape about an hour from here, after a homecoming dance, where dozens of kids stood by and NO ONE CALLED THE POLICE; they all just watched and took fucking cell phone videos.
Is that the fault of the parents and the kids who did that? YES, ABSOLUTELY.
But can you deny that sexual abuse is *exploitatively* mass produced and fills the void of children whose parents don't put it in context?
Not in this imperfect world.

I think you could get the point across with 26 minutes of close-ups, gore, flash-forwards of what she might imagine herself thinking of herself (self-harm?), her parents' reactions, her community's reactions, etc.


Maybe we should make a NEW film where she FIGHTS HER WAY OUT OF IT, instead of getting millions of folks to revel in the filmmakers' "bravery" for showing the elusive, titillating rape scene.


Maybe the LDG'z should show up and kick some ass for her.

Oh, wait; that was our "Hillbilly Zombies" Plot! Hee hee :)

Damn... no good video of it!

Great job blogging!

Joe said...

There is a movie that plays on cable, one made recently, a lot now about a stripper (she doesn't really want to be one) hunted in the woods ala The Most Dangerous Game and the hunting segment starts with an extended scene of her totally nude (scared, feet bloody, etc.) running through the woods. We get a few close up shots of full frontal nudity, not just some hazy shots of her butt or quick shots at her breasts.

So the nudity aspect very well might be kept on in a film made in this era.

George Vreeland Hill said...

Talk about a revenge movie.
I remember watching this on video disk many, many years ago.
It was gruesome, but I could not get away from it.
I was on the edge of my seat.
A trailer I saw of this said no jury in the country would convict her.
If what happened to her really did occur, that is probably right.

George Vreeland Hill

Joe said...

They killed "Matthew."

They showed her walking nude but barely.

But, the movie sorta sucked for various reasons. I can't find you actually talking about it though.

I got it via Netflix. It's even in my library (New York). So, where's your review? Did I miss it?

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