Time to review the franchise movie everyone will be talking about this week.
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE: DEJA VU (2019)
When I was a kid, I went to spend the weekend at my friend's house. We stopped off at a video store beforehand and picked out a stack of horror movies to watch. While we were watching them my friend's Dad picked one and took it to a different room to watch it. The movie he picked was I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978). After about thirty minutes he burst into the room screaming, "You're not watching this crap in my house. I'll let you watch porn before I let you watch this trash."
Unintentionally, he made the movie a top priority for me to watch.
In case you don't know, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE tells the story of Jennifer Hills, a writer who moves to a cabin in upstate New York to work on her novel. She attracts the attention of a group of four hillbilly locals. They brutally rape her and leave her for dead. She recuperates and begins killing them one by one. By hanging, by castration, by hatchet, and by boat motor.
It's gritty, hard to watch, and disturbingly realistic.
The critics hated it. People picketed theaters it was showing at. Critics would point to the fact that Jennifer acts like she liked the rape to lure the guys in so she can kill them as proof this was a pro-rape movie. Roger Ebert would call the movie, "vile garbage."
Unintentionally, Ebert, his fellow critics, and the picketers would make this movie a top priority for people to watch.
The rapists are portrayed as horrible, disgusting shit-bags. The assault is a nightmare for the protagonist. Anyone who roots for the men, or thinks the leading lady was asking for it or liked the assault, was a pile of human garbage before they sat down to watch this.
Julie Bindel, a top advocate in the UK for feminism would picket the movie outside Leeds theaters. After actually seeing the movie, she would proclaim herself wrong and became an advocate for the movie proclaiming it, "empowering, and has a strong feminist message." (Always watch a movie before you picket it.)
In 2010, there was a re-make. Much like the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (2003) re-make, it was slick, well made and stuck to the basic intentions of the original. But it had a Hollywood glossiness coating it. Gone was the gritty realism, and also gone was the soul. It just seemed like a hollow copy.
Also, there were two sequels to the re-make; I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 2 (2013), and I SPIT ON YOU GRAVE: VENGEANCE IS MINE (2015). I haven't seen these, so I really can't comment on them too much, but from what I read they're both rape/revenge films, each one with different girls, in different scenarios.
So in 2014, it was announced that an official sequel to the original I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE was in production.
Writer, director Meir Zarchi would be helming.
The actress who played Jennifer Hills, Camille Keaton, is back reprising her role.
The movie wrapped in 2015 and is just now seeing a release.
(I should've seen this as the first warning sign.)
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE: DEJA VU opens with Jennifer Hills as a successful writer. She's been cleared of the homicides of the four rapists in court, and she's written a bestselling book about her ordeal called I Spit on Their Graves. She also counsels rape victims in her spare time.
Her daughter, Christy, we learn from clunky exposition dialog is, "the most highest paid, famous model in the world."
Jennifer and Christy are having brunch during this exposition dialog-fest. As they leave and head to their cars, a pedo-rapist van pulls along side them. A hillbilly jumps out with Jennifer's book and asks for an autograph, while another guy opens the sliding door of the van. Jennifer is more than happy to sign the book. (Really? You're a former victim and a rape counselor. No red flags?)
They push the women into the van and take off.
Once they're tied up and gagged they meet the leader of the hillbilly clan, Becky. She's the former wife of the guy who was castrated in the first movie. She's been waiting most of her life to make Jennifer suffer. They take the Mother to their house to torture, and Becky orders one of the men to take Christy back to New York.
Christy easily outsmarts her captor and gains control of the van. She then rushes back to save her Mom from the hillbilly clan.
The next hour is a series of slow cat and mouse chases, through the woods, through the town, and through graveyards.
And yes there is a rape scene. It shows up after the movie has already set up enough reason to get revenge on the hillbilly clan. So, it feels unnecessary and excessive.
But I'm not even going to talk about it. I could bash this movie all day without even bringing that up.
And the last thing I want to do is unintentionally make this a top priority for anyone.
This movie is a hot mess of epic proportions.
The hillbillies are exaggerated caricatures. They're still using rotary phones because small towns in upstate New York haven't discovered cell phones yet. And why do they have Southern accents?
Here's a sample of some of their dialog:
Christy: "How much more misery does my Mom have to endure from you people?"
Hillbilly: "Endure? What the fuck is endure? Is this dumb bitch speaking American?"
Ugh. And they speak ninety percent of the dialog in the movie.
The clan leader Becky is constantly monologuing with the camera giving an unpleasant, tight close-up of her face.
But the worst thing about this movie, it has a runtime of two and a half hours. Two and a half hours!? No way in hell should a sequel to I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE sequel have the same running time as LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. An hour of this movie could have been left on the cutting room floor. There are plenty of pointless scenes that could have been easily chopped. This movie is a long, grinding chore to sit through.
This is the worst movie I've seen this year. And that's saying a lot. I've seen tons of bad movies this year. I've seen twenty-one Amityville movies. I've watched horrible screeners that I wouldn't review because I didn't want to shit on someone's indie movie. I have seen shit that would turn you white.
But this is the worst thing I've had to "endure."