I Spit on Your Grave (1978), or Day of the Woman - a clasc to some; cinema’s lowest point to others. Either way, this blunt revenge thriller received an upgrade in 2010 with a remake of the same name. How does the remake compare to the original? This article will pit both films against each other. It’s I Spit on Your Grave (1978) versus I Spit on Your Grave (2010).
The straightforward story of the 1978 original left little room for a sequel to be made. It’s a tale of rape and revenge. Writer Jennifer Hills rents a riverde cabin for the summer. She believes that getting away from New York City will provide her with some peace and quiet. Elements that she needs to write a novel. Instead, she is gang raped and left for dead.
The set up to both the 1978 and 2010 verons is the same. Jennifer stops at a gas station on her way to the summerhouse. The station is manned by a scumbag named Johnny. Also at the station are some other dudes who have nothing better to do. Jennifer is asked where she’ll be staying and she tells them. Jennifer (1978) looks like a supermodel. She’s thin, classy and beautiful. She’s always pouting and has the same sexy look on her face.
Jennifer (2010) is an average-looking chick. She has a distracting nose. She’s not exactly cover-girl material. Yet she gives off an “I’m all that and a bag of chips” vibe. Original Jennifer does nothing to the guys at the gas station except unknowingly pique their interest. Remake Jennifer ends up humiliating Johnny when he tries to make a move on her. In the original, the other guys at the gas station are jobless bums. They don’t seem very threatening. In the remake, they work at the station but they look menacing.
The 1978 film makes use of natural colors to capture the summer atmosphere. There’s no soundtrack muc in the movie. What’s more, there’s hardly any dialogue in it. Most of the sounds are of insects, speedboats, water, and the wind. The 2010 rendition uses dark cinematography for the most part. The 1978 veron feels like it was shot entirely on location, outdoors. The 2010 veron doesn’t. It comes across as more artificial and cinematic. The 2010 remake employs wannabe stylish camera tricks. There are lots of blurry shots and scenes that fade in and fade out. There’s more dialogue in the remake. Remake Jennifer gets to plea with her tormentors when they invade her house at night.
Original Jennifer is attacked while out in the woods in broad daylight. She is brutally raped and beaten by 4 men, including Johnny. The 1978 attack is much more disturbing than the 2010 one. The crimes committed by those 4 idiots is completely senseless. Their motivation for committing these acts seems to be boredom. Living in a small town with nothing to do has turned 4 men into monsters. Idle hands are the devil’s tools, as they say. One does get the sense that the town is insanely boring and slow-paced.
The attacks on Remake Jennifer are predictable. As a viewer, you know it’s going to happen – she ridiculed Johnny and those other guys looked like trouble anyways. That’s why the makers of the 2010 veron added a twist. A fifth man takes part in the all-night assault. Remake Jennifer is raped, beaten, and tortured by 5 men. Then, after the assaults, she stages an overly dramatic escape.
So, it’s revenge time. Remake Jennifer’s retaliation is unrealistic and unbelievable, even when compared to Original Jennifer’s. Remake Jennifer goes all Hannibal Ring on the guys who assaulted her. This means that she becomes a mastermind and genius at trapping people, torturing them, slicing them up, getting into their minds and anticipating their every move. She’s like a female Hannibal Lecter. She pulls off everything too perfectly. Her traps are too sophisticated and elaborate. Remake Jennifer was not established as being particularly smart.
Original Jennifer’s approach is mpler, but brutal and graphic. After the assaults, she reappears clad in black and stalks the 4 men before luring them into traps. One gets hanged, another gets cut up and he “can’t stop the bleeding.” The last two deaths are rather convenient (they involve a speedboat) but they’re entertaining to watch. Original Jennifer also develops a wicked sense of humor. She tells one of her attackers, delivery boy Matthew, “you came super fast.” She meant that in more ways than one.
Did I Spit on Your Grave (1978) deserve a remake? Does any film deserve a remake? The I Spit on Your Grave movies are essentially the same story. The 2010 remake is more decorated than the original. It gave the bad guys an excuse for their actions – they’re all violent lunatics by nature. Did the story of I Spit on Your Grave (1978) need to be told again? Did it need to be decorated? What is clear is that the same story about violence against women can shock and disgust people in 2010 as it did in 1978. Critic Roger Ebert seems to truly despise the content of both films. He reviewed both
of them separately when they first came out, 32 years apart. He condemned both movies. Is the story of I Spit on Your Grave (1978) a timeless story, that will always garner the same reaction? Or have mainstream society’s attitudes not changed in 32 years?
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