Wednesday, May 5, 2010

When Bad Posters Strike: I Spit On Your Grave

Firstly, I'd like to say that I wasn't even aware that this movie was being made. A remake of I Spit on Your Grave sounds about as enticing as actually being castrated like the character in Meir Zarchi's 1978 original. However, being a "video nasty" from 1978 and myself being a big fan of genre poster artwork from that time I will say that I think the original's poster is fantastic. It knows it's exploitation and it exploits well. Let's take a look.

My thoughts on the film are very negative - let's face it, it's trash pure and simple and poorly made, offensive, awfully written and directed trash while we're at it. It has none of the "grindhouse" fun that you might expect from a movie with this deliciously wicked poster. Yes, there's a woman on there wearing barely any clothes, but that tag line is classic vintage horror and with that big bloody knife and the hilarious title I sure know why I wanted to see it.

And yet now we come to the 2010 remake by someone called Steven R Monroe - director of other movies you've never heard of before like Ogre, Sasquatch Mountain, House of 9, Ice Twisters and Mongolian Death Worm - which, following the trend of remaking movies so as to be as likely to cause tetanus as possible, looks like it's been sitting around for years in a moist place gaining rust.

I want to vomit.

If you're going to remake a movie such as I Spit on Your Grave (otherwise known as Day of the Woman and keep that title then why would you go down this grungy, dank, repressive route. I am sure the quality of the remake is just as low as that of the original (the trailer suggests that it could even be worse, lo and behold), but what about this poster will make people want to pay money and sit down. It doesn't present anything new or even confronting in a you-have-to-see-what-we've-done sorta way. It just looks repulsive, repugnant and ugly. Not to mention the computer graphics used are very poorly executed.

The worst bit, however, is the tagline. What sort of low-IQ dolt came up with "IT'S DATE NIGHT"? Firstly, the movie is about the rape and torture, and subsequent revenge, of a young woman. What about that premise did the studio - Anchor Bay, ahem - think made it already to make, what I assume they thought was, a humourous gag. The original tagline, as 1970s retro comical as it may be, was blunt and would have made audiences sit up and pay attention. This "date night" crap makes the whole thing feel like a farce. A lark, if you will. I don't remember the lead character from the 1978 Grave sprouting witty remarks as she bludgeons a guy with a speedboat, or as she cuts off another man's penis before making him bleed to death in the bathtub. Nothing about that movie was funny and yet here is a remake that seems to be taking it as a joke. I can't think of any context whatsoever where this woman would say such a ridiculous line and yet there it is on the poster and in the trailer.

I wonder if Mongolian Death Worm looks this bad. Surely not!


Joel said...

Yeah that trailer was horrible. Part of the appeal of the original (if it had one) was the grungy look of it, and remaking it as a slick slasher type film is an awful idea.
I will say though that House of 9 was actually pretty decent. Similar story to Saw 2 but without the incessant gore.

Glenn Dunks said...

Yeah, as bad as the original Grave is - and make no mistake, it's bloody awful - it grew out of a time for horror movies that saw directors trying to show new things and do so on the smell of an oily rag. I don't necessarily think there is, but some could see some social commentary in that movie.

But, as you say, remaking it all glossy and slick and filled with Freddy Kruegerisms is just wrong in so many different and yet equally disgusting ways.