July 16, 2010

Tacky Movie Poster for Sleazy Movie

The poster for the upcoming film I Spit On Your Grave, yet another unnecessary horror movie remake, lowers the bar for tacky exploitation in movie posters and suggests, perhaps, that we've actually moved backwards in terms of sexploitation of women in films in the 32 years that have passed from the original to the remake.   The film is a update of cheesy, violent 1978 rape revenge film that likely spawned from the original The Last House on the Left and Deliverance, two 70's movies that use a rape sequence as the set up for the catharsis of the "hero's" revenge.   I Spit On Your Grave tells the story of a writer from New York that heads to a secluded cottage to work on a novel and soon catches the attention of some local men who abduct and violently gang-rape her, leaving a mildly retarded member of their crew to murder her.  She survives her horrifying ordeal and hunts the men down and violently dispatches them.   The movie was heavily criticized upon it's original release for the lengthy scene depicting her rape and and drew harsh remarks from film critics, including Roger Ebert, who said "attending it was one of the most depressing experiences of my life."   The director of the movie, Meir Zarchi, tried to defend this piece of trash by pointing out that the story is told from the woman's vantage point rather then the men, indicating the audience are intended to identify with her.  This is a horrifying remark, as if it needed to be pointed out the audience was to identify with her rather then the gang of men that raped her. Did he think that if he told the story from the point of view of one of the assailants the audience would identify with the rapists rather than the victims?  How sick is this man?  His original title was Day of the Woman, suggesting, that perhaps he thinks this movie is a "female empowerment" story because she ultimately gets her bloody revenge but overlooking that film spends a tremendous amount of its running time showing her brutal and repeated sexual assault in order to "set up" that revenge.

One only need to look at the poster for the original film - and, depressingly, the poster for the remake as well - to see the filmmakers (and I use the term loosely) have no issue with sexualizing the female lead, even though she's portraying the victim of a violent sexual assault.   They don't even bother showing the face of the lead actress, Camile Keaton, the grand-niece of Buster Keaton, instead opting to focus on her ass, barely contained in a torn, tiny, tight pair of shorts and her bare back from her ripped shirt that barely covers her body.  This is a rape victim.   It seems pretty clear the intention was to lure movie goers into the theatre for a sexy horror film, and once they take their seats, all of the sexual content - and the sexualization of the lead actress - comes in the form of a long, drawn out gang-rape sequence.  What kind of creepy fucks make a movie like this?   So here we are, nearly thirty years later, and Anchor Bay Films is remaking this piece of trash and yet again, the film is being marketed in the exact same depressing manner.  The new poster, pictured to the right, by way of "progress" shows even more of the buttocks of the films lead actress, Sarah Butler, and once again has her shirt torn off her body suggesting the front view would expose her breasts.  This time you get a slight glimpse of her face, but it's clear the intention is for movie goers to focus on her ass.   They even placed the title treatment at her waist so in order to read the title you have to stare and her half-naked butt.   I also find it creepy that the title is I Spit On Your Grave Unrated, which is common in horror movies, though usually the "unrated" is used to market the fact that the movie will have all of the gory special effects uncut, but when the unrated is plastered across the naked ass of an actress, it certainly could be implying the movie contains unrated sexual content which is a deplorable marketing strategy in a movie who's plot hinges on a gang rape.  This is really, really sleazy stuff.