Now released is the complete set of the I Spit on your Grave series of films , for the first time, this collection contains the once banned, X-rated original 1978 original I Spit on Your Grave, as well as the 2010 I Spit on Your Grave remake, and sequels I Spit on Your Grave 2 (although this film isnt connected with the previous films or part 3 or 4) , and I Spit on Your Grave: Vengeance is Mine, plus the new final chapter in the ‘Day Of The Woman’ franchise, I Spit on Your Grave: Deja Vu, the highly anticipated, direct sequel to the original film. that not only ties the storylines together but also sees the original star Camille Keaton return to the role of Jennifer Hills, the role that remains to this day, one of the most talked about roles in one of the most talked about films of its genre and era. I Spit On Your Grave.
If you arent familiar with the 1978 cult classic, it tells the story of Jennifer, an aspiring writer who is gang-raped, humiliated, and left for dead on more than one occasion by four men who she then hunts down one by one to gain her revenge. Deemed by some as massively exploiting its female lead, but by others as being one of the most powerful feminist films of all time ,the film is certainly divisive and always provokes discussion, even decades after its troubled release. It definitely deserve its place in cinema history, even for the discussion part alone.
Including in this 10 hour box set, is the documentary Growing Up With I Spit On Your Grave, a fascinating 100 minute look at the journey of the 1978 film, not only its low budget production, but it also covers many topics including where the idea for the 78 film came from, (it stemmed from an incident in a park in 1974 New York), how the finance was raised for the film, its casting, and of course what toll the film took on the cast especially during the more brutal scenes of the film (to which there are many in I Spit On Your Grave)
The secret to this documentary is in the title ‘Growing Up With I Spit on Your Grave’ as filmmaker Terry Zarchi had a small role in the 78 film when he was just a small boy. How did Terry come to be in the film? Mainly for two reasons, 1 he was paid $10 for the role, which for a small boy was a nice increase on his allowance, and 2, His Father, Meir Zarchi is the films writer/director. So you see, Growing Up With I Spit On Your Grave is the perfect title for one of my favorite filmmaking documentaries of the year.
Filled with so many cast and crew that appeared in the film (including of course Camille Keaton who shares so many stories of her experiences on the film both when the cameras were rolling and also stories from her personal life, this documentary is not only a fun learning experience which gives you a better insight into the film rather than judging the film purely on what you have heard from people who may or may not have seen I Spit On Your Grave in the first place , but its also a really well put together documentary in its own right, mostly using pieced together interviews , the documentary still has a great narrative to it and its a pleasure to see some of the cast and crew getting back together again to share their tales from their own point of view.
Of course a documentary about I Spit On Your Grave wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t go into detail about the controversy, the censorship, and the struggle that it had to get to the screen (both large screen and small screen) and Terry Zarchi has you covered on that . I remember seeing the now infamous VHS cover in video stores for several years (when I was too young to see the film) and the tag line ‘ This woman has just cut, chopped, broken, and burned five men beyond recognition… but no jury in America would ever convict her‘ scared me. What was this film about? It looks terrifying. Look at the cover, why are her clothes ragged, whats she going to do with that knife? These were all things that went through my ten year old mind, just by looking at the VHS cover. It wasnt until around 15 years later that I saw a bootleg version of the film in the UK (the film was never legally available between 1984 and 2001) So to hear about the films controversy and uphill struggle to get on the screens and remain there around the world, that was definitely a highlight section for me.
The good news is that even if you dont feel the desire (they are tough films to watch) to watch all 5 films in the ‘I Spit On Your Grave’ series in this now available box set, you can actually pick up this wonderful documentary on its own (and I do recommend this documentary) Great work by all involved and thanks Terry Zarchi for letting us know what it was like ‘Growing Up With I Spit On Your Grave’