I Spit on Your Grave and Your Suspension of Disbelief

September 27, 2011

“Hey Doug,”  I say.  “Is there a way to discuss the specific differences between the 1978 version of I Spit on Your Grave vs. the 2010 remake without sounding abnormally creepy?”

“I don’t think so,” says Anonymous Doug.

“Good, that will save me a lot of effort in trying not to be creepy then,” I say.  “Yeah, they really dropped the ball with this remake.  They screwed up a perfectly good movie about a woman getting bloody revenge on her vicious country gang-rapists.”

“So your complaints are going to go far beyond how the repeated rapes in the 2010 version paled in comparison to the orginial 1978 version,”  says Anonymous Doug.

“Yes, though I will point out that in the original when they throw the girl over that rock and rape her in the ass, she lets out a scream that makes your soul vibrate like an opera singing hitting that note that shatters glass,”  I say.  “It was horrifying, it was monstrous, and the 2010 version is poorer for not having a scream like that of their own.  There aren’t many movies where you see  or hear something that actually damages your intangible sense of self.”

“That is one of the most artistic, yet creepy, statements I have ever heard,”  says Anonymous Doug.  “But what else was wrong with the remake.?”

“Okay, so the movie establishes early on that the main girl is a bit klutzy,”  I say.  “She’s spilling wine, she’s dropping her phone in the toilet.  Then she gets raped, jumps off a bridge into a river, and disappears for a month.  Then she comes back to kill her rapists with these elaborate death traps like she’s the Jigsaw Killer in Saw.”

“Clumsy girl gets raped, falls off bridges, comes back as MacGuyver… yeah, that’s a bit of a leap too far for me,” says Anonymous Doug.  “She’s operating way past her previously established competency level.  Unless getting raped activates some sort of mega-aptitude section of your brain.  Ever wanted to play concert-level piano or increase your SAT score or rig an elaborate deathtrap regarding a shotgun shoved up a man’s ass?   Well, get yourself raped!  Yeah, that sounds retarded.”

“The original woman killed the guys well within her physical and mental means to do so,”  I say.  “She lured two guys in with submissive wiles before slipping a noose around the retarded guys neck and hanging him, and cutting the guys dick off in the bathtub and letting him bleed to death.”

“And the last guy she killed in the river with the blades of the motor on her boat,”  says Anonymous Doug.  “Got him good.”

“But in the 2010 version, this girl is taking unconscious men who outweigh her from 60 to about 140 pounds and rigging them up in these elaborate ways by herself,”  I say.  “Even the Saw series acknowledged that the little crazy girl from The Stand couldn’t physically get her victims into these traps by herself.  But I’m supposed to believe this waif girl who looks like the chick from the Twilight movies, who is also a klutz, can do it alone?”

“The chick’s supposed to be an author in the movies,” says Anonymous Doug.  “If they established her early on as some sort of twisted horror writer with some good upper body strength, then yeah I can buy her being able to conceive and set up a series of brutal deathtraps.”

“But they don’t,”  I say.  “And to paraphrase a point you made earlier, getting raped doesn’t make you Hannibal Lector or Lex Fucking Luthor.”

“That would be quite the evolutionary defense against rape,”  says Anonymous Doug.  “Rape turning women into evil geniuses.  Who’s going to rape a woman if you know it’s going to turn her into freakin’ Professor Moriarty or a Bond villain?”

“My other problem with the I Spit on Your Grave remake is that the whole second half of the movie is about the rapists getting hunted down and killed by the woman rather than being about the woman hunting down the rapists and killing them,”  I say.  “It’s a strange distinction but it’s important.  It’s like if the second half of Jaws focused on the shark trying to figure out how to kill the people on the boat rather than focusing on the people in the boat trying to figure out how to kill the shark.”

“Yes, then we wouldn’t have that great scene when they’re comparing scars and singing while drunk and Quint’s story about the sinking of the Indianapolis,”  says Anonymous Doug.  “It would be just a lot of underwater shots of the shark swimming in the dark.”

“It’s not a cinematic twist, it’s just poor storytelling,” I say.  “You don’t make the main character disappear halfway through the movie and then have her sporadically appear until the ending.  And you don’t skimp on the brutality in a revenge movie, especially one with the pedigree of I Spit on Your Grave.”

“The part where she cuts off the guys dick with hedge clippers and and shoves the dick in his mouth was pretty cool,”  says Anonymous Doug.  “Do you think you’ve become desensitized to violence in movies?  You do watch a lot of Japanese and Korean movies where people are getting the shit fucked up in crazy-ass ways.”

“Hey, if Takashi Miike has upped the game when it comes to brutality on screen, then you have to up your game too,” I say.  “And guess what remake of I Spit on Your Grave, you didn’t up your game for the 21st century.”

“You didn’t watch both versions of I Spit on Your Grave in the same night, did you?”  says Anonymous Doug.  “Because I think in some states that makes you a rapist.”

“No, I did a double feature with the movie Rubber,”  I say.  “Weird-ass movie about a tire that comes to life and can make people’s heads explode telekinetically.  Kind of disappointed in it, but at least it kept a constant tone of being a movie where shit happens for no reason.  They establish that right from the start and keep it going the rest of the way.”

“What if we make a movie about a living tire that rapes people with its mind?”  says Anonymous Doug.  “And one of the tire’s victims becomes a mad supergenius who plots to rid the world of tires.”

“Sounds like a David Lynch movie,”  I say.  “David Lynch’s Rape Tire… that might turn quite a profit…”

If we can’t get David Lynch, we’ll take J.J. Abrams.  J.J. Abrams’ Rape Tire would be the summer blockbuster of whatever year it gets released.



  1. I’ve never seen I spit on your grave but I do like the casual violence of Takashi Miike

  2. i suppose there are very good reasons why i don’t watch many films these days… you have articulated at least a dozen.

  3. wow….i must have been about 13 or 14 when i first saw “i spit on your grave”. i had no idea it’s been remade….

  4. Hi! I got the Versatile Blogger award last week and I would like to pass it on to you. There are some conditions to earn the badge (pretty easy) but hopefully it makes your Monday more happy to know someone read and likes your work. Keep it up, I need stuff to read :)

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