Writer-director Meir Zarchi’s controversial story of rape and revenge has lost none of its ability to shock viewers since it first gained notoriety in the late ‘70s. Camille Keaton (grand-niece of Buster Keaton and, later, Zarchi’s wife) stars as a young woman who is terrorized and then brutally assaulted by four men while on vacation. After slowly pulling herself together, she methodically tracks down and butchers each of the perpetrators. Zarchi’s film has been consistently accused of celebrating violence against women, and while the rape scenes are graphic, they also lack the voyeuristic qualities that earmark other similarly plotted exploitation films. If anything, Zarchi is guilty of awkward scripting; the dialogue is leaden, and Keaton’s transformation from victim to avenger is too swift. But to label him a pornographer is wrong, and while the film is challenging—perhaps more than most audiences can bear—its depiction of the psychology of violence is undeniably powerful.
About I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
Starring: Camille Keaton, Richard Pace, Anthony Nichols, Gunter Kleemann, Alexis Magnotti, Tammy Zarchi, Terry Zarchi, Traci Ferrante, William Tasgal, Isaac Agami, Ronit Haviv, Eron Tabor
Director: Meir Zarchi
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