Saturday, 31 July 2010

Video Nasty #28 : I Spit On Your Grave AKA Day of the Woman

Synopsis: In search of peace in which to write her first novel Jennifer has left New York and rented a house in redneck country. Before long she has caught the attention of the dim-witted locals, who, as to justify their atrocious sexual desires, selectively interpret her outgoing personality as a sexual game. After being raped and left for dead, Jennifer survives to take the ultimate revenge.

If you google for reviews of I Spit On Your Grave you'll find most reflect one of two opposing opinions; there's those that think the film is depraved misogynistic filth, and those that think it's a misunderstood pro-feminism gem. I was going to write a review that straddles both those opinions. I do believe that despite the poor script and acting, the director had good intentions. I also believe that if violence in a film is shot in a way that is utterly repugnant I don't see how, morally at least, a bad thing. I started writing a review in this vein and realised that firstly, it was predictable and secondly, I could of written the review without watching a frame of the film. Here's the honest truth:

I'm lying on bed, attempting to piece together a review of my usual mediocre standard. After a brief period of struggling to spell 'misogyny' I had something of an epiphany. The TV's on, and i'm being treated to 'The Best Of My Supersweet 16'. If you're not familiar with the programme, it follows spoilt middle class idiot-holes planning lavish sixteenth birthday parties, all at the expense of their painfully useless parents. And as I was watching a self-agrandising spoilt cunt have an x-factor style audition to choose who's worthy of attending his public ego-inflation, I realised that i was actually shouting at the TV. Yet during a the ten minute rape scene in I Spit On Your Grave you could of looked at my indifferent emotionless counternance and assume I was watching something as emotionally vapid as TV static or an episode of Scrubs.

I am a little concerned about the complete lack of effect the film had on me; after all the film is a bunch of violent reprehensible acts strung together with a script less nuanced than a Tesco's Value ham sandwich. Maybe my video nasty marathon is finally taking its toll and I was inadvertently proving Mary Whitehouse right by becoming a desensitised degenerate who is more upset by some spoilt kid than a woman being raped. Or maybe I Spit On Your Grave is so badly made, scripted, shot and generally realised that any emotional attachment I may of had to the ghastly acts were constantly destroyed by the fact I couldn't watch a minute of the film without expecting a boom-mike to fall in shot or one of the actors to start laughing.

There are some potentially interesting elements in the film, but somewhere between the original idea and script the original intention was lost and absorbed by the pulpy dumbness of the final product. For example, one of Jennifer's attackers is mentally handicapped and forced into raping her by his so-called friends. The fact that Jennifer chooses to kill him first is a deliberate decision by the script writer, asking the audience to consider if revenge is justified in extreme circumstances, even when it is ambiguous whether the target understood the crime they committed in the first place. Unfortunately, the director decided the character should be played full-retard, complete with comedy glasses and fishing hat. The ridiculousness of this offensive caricature detracts from the issues the character was meant to raise.

There's a good, interesting and intelligent film in the idea behind I Spit In Your Grave, it's just not delivered in the 1979 film. Maybe, and i'm amazed that i'm actually saying this, the upcoming remake will actually deliver where the original could not.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Photo Diary : LDN

Visiting Kim and Brother-In-Law (weird saying that) this weekend. Still obsessed with Hipstamatic.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Photo Diary : BBQ in Sepia

I love 'Hipstamatic' for the iPhone. I love the perversity of making a photo taken on a state-of-the-art phone look it was taken on a thirty year old disposable camera. This weekend we had a BBQ, here's the Hipstamatic results:

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Photo Diary : Geocaching Shepshed & Grace Dieu Priory

This creepy tunnel is part of the Charnwood Forest Railway (GC10M51)

Viaduct near Grace Dieu Priory. No pictures of the priory itself due to family fun day in and around the ruins ruining the mood. We did manage to score some monk honey though. That is not a euphemism. (GC29VFC)

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Photo Diary : Crop Memories

I fear I may of been slightly exaggerating when talking to my friends about the size of the first courgette i've grown this year. It isn't really growing exponentially, and I don't really believe that if it gets any bigger I won't be able to open the door to the garden. But given the lack of success previous years I was genuinely excited to grow something that meets my expectations (i.e. looks like the stuff in the Sainsburys).

Eating something you've grown yourself is incredibly satisfying. Only now do I understand the pride in my Nan's voice when she proclaimed before a sunday roast that all the vegetables were 'fresh this morning from Gramp's garden'.