For many years…well, since the early 90’s…filmmakers have been trying to replicate the look and feel of sleazoid exploitation films from the 70’s and 80’s such as “I Spit On Your Grave”, “Last House on the Left”, “Last House on Dead End Street”, “Don’t Answer the Phone”, “The House on the Edge of the Park” and “Buttcrust the Movie.” Only a handful of these efforts have proven worth a s**t, the rest of them are just pure garbage. Imagine my pure joy, not to mention jaw-dropping astonishment, when I discovered that “I Spit On Your Corpse, I Piss On Your Grave” not only hits the target that hundreds of filmmakers have been aiming for over the past 10-15 years, but it’s even better than some of those classic exploitation films from long ago. This is no joke, folks.
I gotta admit, I wasn’t expecting a damn thing from this one and my attitude from the get go was shitty. That is very bad of me. I try to keep my mind open as much as possible when it comes to viewing these independent films that are overflowing my apartment, no matter how crumby they may look from the outset. But this evening it just wasn’t going to happen. I saw the title “I Spit On Your Corpse, I Piss On Your Grave” sitting in my mailbox and I instantly smelled cheap imitation shot by a bunch of knuckleheads who have friends who happen to like to get naked on camera and other friends who can whip up some crumby homemade splatter effects. I grumbled swear words to myself all the way back to my apartment. Little did I know that 90 minutes later I would be on the phone, screaming at friends, neighbors, relatives and Hell Angels that there will be a mandatory viewing of “I Spit On Your Corpse, I Piss On Your Grave” this weekend at my place. BYOBABMST – Bring your own beer and bring me some too!
Kidnapped by her boyfriend who just escaped from prison where he was having a little sleepover for being an accomplice to murder, Sandy finds herself being lured down into a church basement where she is to die alongside three men who are bound and drugged – her neighbor, her boss and a guy she had gone out with once before. Sandy doesn’t like the direction this party is heading, so she takes the first chance she gets to turn the tables and kill her kidnapper boyfriend. But now with the situation under her control, Sandy decides not to free the other guys as it just so happens that each of them has wronged her in some harsh way. And so begins a long, intense and brutally graphic lesson in revenge. This film will teach you not to grope your neighbors alright.
I’ve seen a lot of over-the-top gross-out stuff, but this movie features some of the most brain searing graphic violence that I’ve ever had the pleasure of being witness too. Boundaries are definitely broken through here, not only for violence, but for sexual situations as well. Up until this point, the only place I can recall ever seeing “insertion” in a movie is in a porno, but in “I Spit On Your Corpse, I Piss On Your Grave” there’s a scene graphically showing Sandy giving herself the old poke with a broom handle. Whoah! Wasn’t expecting that one! And that’s just a small sample of the many ways this film is bound to surprise its audience.
Aside from being completely graphic, I think what sets “I Spit On Your Corpse, I Piss On Your Grave” most from the horde of drek is that it actually has a head on its shoulders. The scenes seem like they’ve been thoroughly thought out so as too make the viewer as uncomfortable and tense as possible. Once again, this isn’t just a bunch of yahoos throwing naked skin and blood into the camera. These are real filmmakers who decided that they were going to make the sickest film that they could imagine. They succeeded and it’s a real kick in the balls.
Also making this movie stand out is Eric Stanze’s filmmaking style. This isn’t one of those flashy, quick cutting, videographic effects laden, wannabe music video movies cranked out by so many independent filmmakers today. Stanze likes to hold shots for extended periods of time and let scenes drag out for a little bit, so that you kinda forget you’re watching a movie and you get the feeling that you’re some sorta pervert peeking through a window into hell. The only time I had problems with this was during a few scenes that contain endless shots of a church. It gets to be a bit much.
Eric Stanze made a film before this one called “Scrapbook”. According to the commentary track on this DVD and the behind-the-scenes interviews, “Scrapbook” is supposed to be way more out of control than “I Spit On Your Corpse, I Piss On Your Grave.” Stanze says that he’s rarely found a person who can handle sitting through the entire thing. Well, if that doesn’t sound like a challenge then I don’t know what does. If you’re into sleaze and exploitation, I strongly advise you to seek out “I Spit On Your Corpse, I Spit On Your Grave” and “Scrapbook” as well as keep your eyes on director Eric Stanze.
Commentary by Eric Stanze and Emily Haack – It’s most always interesting to hear war stories of how something this brutal was made and this commentary track proves no different.
Two behind-the-scenes- featurettes, one of which details how Eric Stanze was roped into a murder investigation due to his throwing away of fake body parts into a public dumpster. Interesting stuff.
Trailers from other Sub Rosa Extreme releases – Apparently, “I Spit On Your Corpse, I Spit On Your Grave” is no fluke as it appears that Sub RosaEextreme has quite the promising line-up of films. One such title that stuck out was “The Christmas Season Massacre” – a “Friday the 13th” clone featuring a killer pirate.