Titus, Crank, Payback, both recent Punisher movies…I adore a great revenge film, and they don’t come much more primal, visceral, and potent than I Spit on Your Grave, opening today, the second unrated horror film to secure a limited, national release in the past 2 weeks. While i wasn’t a fan of last week’s Hatchet 2, I Spit on Your Grave is beautifully shot, more than competently acted, and ferociously unique: at turns repellent and captivating, but utterly aberrant compared to the oh-so-civilized, genteel, and formulaic art beset upon us.
Feral as it is, i’d expect the reviews to be even more savage; Ebert and Andrew O’Hehir at Salon.com have already ripped it apart (predictable -other than former Alaska governors and grassroots taxpayer revolutions, there’s little intellectuals tend to loathe more than bloodthirsty vengeance and vigilante justice.) Both reviews have questioned the logic of the film’s second half. Potential spoilers ahead…i think there’s two ways to look at it. The second half is either a.) a parable of Tyler Durdan-ism. In hitting true bottom, we’re freed of conventional limitations, giving way to the possibility of the extreme outlier. Having passed through the bleakest asshole of humanity, Sarah Butler’s Jennifer is reborn as something significantly darker and scarier…or b.) it’s an adaptation of DC’s The Spectre, without the obvious comic book trappings, or actually securing any rights from Warners. What the fuck do i know, though, to this day i believe cat CPR can revive the dead and imbue you with 9 lives.
I Spit on Your Grave is now playing at two of the best theaters in LA, The Rave (!!!) and the Mann Chinese.