02/23/13

I Spit On Your Grave (2010)

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Author’s Note:  All articles on MK Horror contain spoilers.

Article written by Maggie K. Ward

Distributed by Anchor Bay Films. Poster design by Bemis Balkind.

Distributed by Anchor Bay Films. Poster design by Bemis Balkind.

Over 30 years after the original was released, I Spit on Your Grave was remade for the modern audience.  While the concept is the same, the story and the revenge each have there on style.

Jennifer Hills (Sarah Butler) rents a cabin for some time to herself so she can write her next book.  She stops at a gas station and some scuzzy looking guys watch her pump her gas.  Another sneaks up on her and politely says hello before hitting on her.  He says, “You know you’re running a little hot?  Maybe I should check up under your hood for you.”  Of course he’s talking about her car.  What else could he possibly be talking about…?

30 years later, the story needed some upgrades with a society that has cell phones and such.  Grocery stores don’t deliver to us anymore, so Matthew (Chad Lindberg) is introduced as a plumber.  The toilet won’t flush, and she happens to drop her cell phone in it, rendering it useless.  They also add the extra element of videotaping the torture.

Stanley (Daniel Franzese) has a thing for videotaping random things.  He videotapes Jennifer when she was in the kitchen in her underwear.  Also, he also tapes the guys beating a dead fish (no seriously), and Andy (Rodney Eastman) comments on how he’s going to get them in trouble with the camera.

The group of guys breaks into her house and assaults her.  Andy throws matches at her, while Johnny insists she show him her teeth.  She hits Andy with a bottle of alcohol and runs off (here’s the inevitable helpless-girl-running-through-the-woods scene).  She finds men hunting in the woods, one of which happens to be the Sheriff (Andrew Howard).  But, here’s an unexpected twist: he takes her back to the house and joins the boys in their fun.

What I found to be creative with this film was the correlation between each man’s assault on Jennifer, and her revenge on them.  While Andy was tormenting her, he shoved her face in dirty water.  Jennifer knocks him out, and ties him above a bathtub filled with water.  “Suck it b*tch!” she yells back at him as she shoves his face in the water, just like he did to her.  Time for a new ingredient: lye.  When added to the water it eats through his “pretty little face.”

Stanley spent the entire rape and harassment recording it all on tape.  While he didn’t physically do anything to her, he recorded the other’s acts, which can be just as embarrassing and torturous as the physical acts themselves.  She duct tapes him to a tree, and sets up his camera so he can watch himself.  She attaches two big fish hooks to his eyelids so he can’t blink.  Better yet, she also rubs fish guts in his eyes when he begs her for help.  This causes birds to come and peck his eyes out.  Yuck!

Jennifer ties up Johnny, hangs him buck-naked from the ceiling, and sticks a horse bit in his mouth.  As I mentioned in my Saw 3D review, I have a thing about teeth.  He pulls some out with a pair of pliers.  Ugh, it had my insides squirming.  Just as he did to her, she sticks a gun in his mouth and makes him suck it.  Breathe through your nose. Just as they do to horses they can’t tame, she castrates him.  Oh, and the best part is she forces his member into his mouth.  How about that?  Again, sorry fellas.  I promise I will lay low on the movies with castration for a little bit.

Sheriff Storch is tied bent over with his shotgun shoved in his anus.  Seeing as he anal raped her, this torturous revenge seems perfect for him.  Wow, does she give him what he deserves and I’ll spare you the details.  In the corner of the room, Matthew is passed out in a chair.  She ties a string to his wrist that is attached to the gun located in Sheriff Storch’s rectum.  When he stands, the gun kills both men.  If you ask me, it was a simple death for the simple Matthew.

This film is rather difficult to watch.  The subject matter, of course, is a bit hard to deal with.  The guys are terrifying.  There’s nothing scarier than a human monster.  She was an innocent girl, and that is what we can relate to.  And that is what makes this story scary.

Have Questions or Comments? Feel free to e-mail me at: MKHorror@yahoo.com

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02/22/13

I Spit On Your Grave (1978)

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Author’s Note:  All articles on MK Horror contain spoilers.

Article written by Maggie K. Ward

Distributed by Cinemagic.

Distributed by Cinemagic.

Jennifer Hills (Camile Keaton) rents a summerhouse near a river for some peace and quiet while she writes her first book.  On the way to the house, she stops for gas and meets a nice man that pumps the gas for her.  He tells her she’ll like it here and wonders if she’ll stay year around.

When she finally reaches the house, she immediately goes for a swim in the river.  Of course, she swims naked.  Is there any other way?  Is this nudity for the sake of nudity?  You betcha.

The gas station guys go fishing and they rudely discuss woman, as well as Matthew’s (Richard Pace) virginity.  She comments on having glanced at Miss Hill’s breasts when he delivered her food and say she’s “special.”

Like many older films, the original I Spit on Your Grave has a slow start.  A really slow start.  The guys keep coming around to annoy Jennifer.  At one point she is resting quietly in a canoe, and two of the boys drive circles around her in a loud fast boat.  They are cat calling at her and attempting to tip over her boat.  They remind me of those annoying guys in high school that think they’ll hot stuff.  Very annoying.

Well, they manage to tie a rope to her boat and drag her back to there place when their fun begins.  They drag her from the boat, and throw mud at her, but she manages to get away.  Here comes the stereotypical helpless-woman-running-in-the-woods scene.  The men catch her, and hold her down as Johnny (Eron Tabor) rapes her.

Matthew “lets her get away” but the group quickly lures her back in for some more fun.  Andy (Gunter Kleemann) now has his turn.  This scene is brutal to watch.  Her screams of pain mixed with his grunting makes my stomach lurch.  There is no monster scarier than a human being.

They let her crawl back to home and into a false sense of safety.  As she calls the police, the men return so Matthew can have his turn.  At this point we’ve figure out that Matthew is “special” to put it nicely, and as he rapes Jennifer the camera is right in his face.  He’s awkwardly close to the camera, and this is supposed to cause unease in the audience.  I can imagine watching this in a movie theater with this shot of a ridiculously close up granting man with a glazed over smile on his face.  Ugh.  When will it end?

After Jennifer washes way the dirt, blood, and shame, the director decides to give us a break from all the violence and horror.  Thanks.  Jennifer reflects on the experience and does some writing.  Clearly she thinks attempting to call the police again is a bad idea.

Two weeks later, Jennifer orders a delivery from the grocery and Matthew is horrified to hear the delivery address.  He takes a knife with him just in case.  She lures him in the woods where she taunts him with her naked body, allows him to start to have sex with her, slips a noose around his neck, and hangs him.  Four down three to go.  What I don’t understand is why she let him get far enough to climb on top of her, let alone allow him to penetrate after what he had done to her.  A man wrote this story…

She lures Johnny in with the promise of a sexy bubble bath.  Seriously?  A bubble bath?  She massages his muscles and his…muscle, sneaks a knife into the tub, cuts his penis off, and lets him bleed to death.  Haha, that’s two manhood removal films for the MK Horror and the Ultimate Gore-A-Thon.  Sorry fellas.  Two down two to go.

She doesn’t play any games with Andy.  Having stole Stanley’s boat, she hits him with his own axe, and then kills Stanley with his boat.  And scene.  That’s it.  That’s all there is to this movie.  I feel a bit cheated.  They spent so much time on the scenes that were sexual (her multiple rapes, and revenge on Michael and Johnny), that her last bit of revenge seemed shorted.  And then what?  Credits.  It wasn’t a bad movie.  In the 70s it was terrifying and grotesque.  It still is.  The story just needed a bit more work, and I bet that’s why they remade it over thirty years later.

Have Questions or Comments? Feel free to e-mail me at: MKHorror@yahoo.com

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08/22/11

Trip with the Teacher (1975)

Trip with the Teacher (1975) is the very embodiment of cheap 70’s horror flicks.  A group of attractive female teenagers take a trip with their active female teacher, and along the way they meet two significantly strange men who end up raping and killing a few of the characters.  Along with the duo is the hero of the story, Jay (Robert Gribbin), who saves the day after a very obvious “left for dead” moment.
This film is filled with bad acting, cheesy music, sub par editing, and a severely underdeveloped story.  With a mixture of poorly placed close ups and unreadable facial expressions, I found myself wondering what motivated Al (Zalman King) and Pete (Robert Porter) to do the things they did.  From the beginning, Al is a little strange and creepy, which is almost motivation enough for him to kill the gas station clerk, however Pete never showed any unnatural traits until halfway through the film when he kills the bus driver.  All of a sudden he was bad guy.  This doesn’t make sense.
A classic rule of horror film is that the virgin tends to be the heroine of the story.  When the bus brakes down, the girls chat and the virgin is blatantly announced as Bobbie (Dina Ousley), however the role is minor and almost useless.  The female character that assists with saving the day ends up being the teacher.
Ultimately this film is full of underdeveloped nonsense.  If the goal of this movie was to show as many young attractive pairs of breasts as it possibly could, then I give in an A+, however in the world of 70’s horror film this movie is significantly below average.