My year in disturbing film is my new weekly column where I devote a few paragraphs to the most fucked up films ever made. Each week I plan on subjecting myself to the most horrific and mentally damaging imagery my mind can handle. I can't promise you this won't be the week I wind up in the hospital...
Here is a reminder about my rating system for these films
The first attempt to damage my psyche irreversibly:
I spit on your grave – a grave experiment
What is the movie about?
Not much in the way of story in this one. A female author goes to the country to work on her book. She’s from New York, a fact that the guys in this film can’t let go of. “You come from an evil place”, quips Matthew, the mildly retarded character, but more on him later. She catches the fancy of the aforementioned guys and when she spurns their advances, they gang rape her, brutally. She recovers while they think she’s dead and she takes her revenge. This film takes the actions speak louder than words disturbitude.
Was the film disturbing?
The jaded observer could argue that by today’s standards the film is downright tame. I prefer to think of what the layperson would think of this, someone who doesn’t spend their days watching this kind of filth and depravity (I do speak of myself here). So to this end I invited a couple of friends to watch it with me. This film does have many aspects of it that are very disturbing when you think about them. It boasts the longest gang rape scene ever filmed. I have a film later in the year that may have the longest one on one rape scene ever filmed. I chose this film to do first because it deals with a topic I personally find very hard to watch and one, which comes up many times in this year of disturbing films. That of course being rape, rape is used in these films because it should evoke the basest of emotions and get you behind the woman who was raped when she seeks her revenge.
The other topic this film touches on, but in a much more comical sense is the mentally handicapped. Only one male character is portrayed as weak and not in control of what he’s doing and this is the mentally challenged Matthew. He’s the fall guy, the butt of every joke and surprisingly, the reason this whole event takes place. At the beginning of the film he delivers groceries to the woman, he finds her attractive and when he goes back to his friends brags that she showed him her breasts. It’s at this point that the guys decide to do poor Matthew a favor and get the girl for him. Their attempts to pick her up are described sarcastically by one friend as “the definition of subtle”. One day the woman is sunbathing lying in her canoe and the guys decided it would be fun to drag her off downriver.
This is where the gang rape scene begins; they start off by taunting Matthew to rape her. They did get her for him after all. When he doesn’t do it, the leader of the group (Johnny) decides to do it himself. Then they let her go and she stumbles through the woods a little bit, naked and dirty. She thinks she’s gotten away and she stumbles across the guys again where the next guy (Andy) promptly rapes her by having the other guys hold her over a rock. Squirming yet? Because it’s only half over, Sorry. At this point they leave her again and steal her boat so she can’t use it. She manages to make it back to her home and gets to the phone to call the police, GUESS WHAT? They’re there and this time Matthew decides he’s going to go through with it and does a strip tease while the other guys hoot and holler, but can’t finish because everyone is watching him. Stanley, the last guy (seriously, who wants to go FOURTH in a gang rape?), he goes a different route with it and orally rapes her, then beats her to a pulp. They leave, yet again; only this time when they get outside Johnny finally comes to the realization that they can’t let her live. So you already know whom they send in to kill her, yup, Matthew. He chickens out and just wipes some of her blood on the knife and tells the guys he did it. This was a big mistake; only he doesn’t know it yet.
Not sure if I mentioned it, but the entire rape scene, or all four really, is approximately 28 minutes. That’s a lot of chair squirming, made me feel like Nicholas cage in the trailer for 8mm.
Two weeks go by and, as if superhuman, she heals entirely, no bruising, no scars (that’s not true, she had a scar in one scene, but it goes away somehow). Really it is amazing how fully healed she is, I blame it on movie magic. The revenge half of this movie is much easily to watch than the rape scene, though one scene does make you squirm quite a bit, especially if you’re a guy, more on that in a minute. Let’s start this where she does…
Matthew, poor Matthew, he just liked this girl and didn’t know how to express himself. Did he truly deserve what he gets? Of course he does, she lures him to her house, not very hard since he’s her grocery delivery boy. Offers him sex, has sex with him, then puts a noose around the poor bastard’s neck and hangs the son of a bitch. Remember that I spit.. is a feminist piece so I will be using man hating phrasing for this half of the review. Next up is Johnny, she lures him off to the woods and is going to shoot him, too good of a fate if you ask me! He somehow talks her out of it by explaining to her how she’s a whore (?) and she takes him home to give him a bath, yes you read that right, she takes him home to give him a bath. Of course this is where her true plot comes out and once she has him relaxed she begins to pleasure him with her hand and once he puts his head back in relaxation the prick loses his. A hard scene to watch (pun intended), as the blood shoots out and he realizes what has happened. She locks him in the bathroom and he bleeds out
At this point there’s only about 9 minutes left to the film so it becomes obvious that the final kills have to happen simultaneously and the filmmakers don’t disappoint. She takes Andy out with a conveniently dropped axe, that he conveniently dropped in her boat and Stanley gets his guts ripped out with a motorboat propeller in a scene that would have much better with modern special FX, but they did well with what they had. After Stanley dies she rides off down the river. Credits roll, leaving my other friend to ask the one question on everyone’s mind “but does she finish her book?”
5 bathtub castrations our of 5
Disturbitude: 7, due to the rape and the castration scenes, the rest of the movie is tame enough to let you mellow out between the two big events. No need for therapy after this one.
Next up: Murder-Set-Pieces - Dieser Film ist Schlecht