Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Spit on Your Grave (a.k.a. Day of the Woman) (Meir Zarchi)

Left for dead.

Sometimes, there are pieces of provocative filmmaking that although tackle sensitive, graphic and taboo themes, can still pass as art. This may be a personal bias, but I do regard the likes of "Irreversible" as a daring cinematic art. The original "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" had its artistic merits amidst its exploitative slaughterhouse feel. Hell, even Clive Barker's "Hellraiser" can be considered as a masterful exercise of gothic storytelling. And then there's "I Spit on Your Grave".

This is where the pretense of unorthodox cinematic art really exhausts reasons and justifications. A revenge-themed independent production that actually climaxed in the gruesome and harrowing series of rape scenes. It is a film that can never find its place in a positive consensus. It is a deeply offensive display of feminine violation on celluloid. It is a highly nauseating exploitation picture that is tailor-made for that little, almost neglected 'fast-forward' button on your DVD remote control. Yet it sparked endless curiosities, garnered an underground cult following and even inspired a remake. Why? In one of my rare (cough, cough) instances as a film watcher and reviewer, I honestly do not know why.

"I Spit on Your Grave" is, above its surface of violence, murder, and physical and emotional torture, is primarily founded by two negative extremities fighting for hegemonic balance: misandry and misogyny. After all, as I question myself as how the 'momentary' capturing wonder of the video camera ever reached such a pathetic low point, the film is surprisingly, although unconsciously, split into two parts: The first being 'women' through the viewpoint of sexually shallow men and the second being the literal physical deconstruction (and dismemberment) of the idea of advantageous masculinity as the tables are finally turned.

Actually, I never thought that I will ever have the chance to see this film; but in a cruel twist of fate, I finally did, and although I really wish I hadn't, it gave me genuine firsthand reasons why.

This is disturbing stuff, and yes, even in today's standards, "I Spit on Your Grave" is still extremely disquieting. Just one tip for men, if ever you are planning to watch a horror film with your girlfriend, please do prefer Freddy and Jason's campy exploits more; this piece of questionable cinema doesn't belong in the 'horror' genre or does it even qualify as a film. It is a revenge-fueled assault to the senses completely devoid of any moral sanctions, nor traces of narrative cohesion, nor characters with common sense.


1 comment:

  1. I prefer this one rather than the remake, But the remake is as good as this one~



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