January 20, 2003

I Spit On Your Grave (1978)
Elite Entertainment

100 mins. · Not Rated
16x9 · 1.78:1

Format
DVD

Audio
E

Subtitles
None

Extras
Commentary Tracks, Trailers, TV Spots, Galleries, Reviews and more


Review by
Guido Henkel


Rating



(1978)

Previously released in 1998 with nothing but a trailer, Elite entertainment has recently revisited the cult classic "I Spit On Your Grave" and prepared it for release as a "Millenium Edition." Fans of this gruesome exploitation shocker will be pleased with the result, there can be no doubt, as the DVD features and entirely new transfer of the movie, complete with remixed audio tracks and a good number of supplements.

"I Spit On Your Grave" is the story of a young woman who secludes herself in a small hut deep in the woods where she plans to write novel. One day as she’s sunning herself in a boat on the river she is attacked by two men, who tow her boat into the brushes where two other men await. They group then rapes and violates the young woman, leaving her for dead. But the woman slowly recovers and begins forging a deadly plan of revenge. One by one she is the going after her attackers and turns them into mere piles of meat.

"I Spit On Your Grave" has never looked more vivid and real. It is quite simple. The story how this woman takes bloody revenge on her victimizers is coming to new life on this DVD in an anamorphic widescreen transfer that is THX-certified that belies the fact that we’re looking at a super-low budget flick. The image is absolutely clean and free of speckles and presents itself in almost pristine quality. A very high level of definition is evident and not a hint of noise or grain mars the presentation. Colors are absolutely faithful and recreate the minimalist, natural look of the film flawlessly. Black levels are well balanced, creating solid shadows that never break up or lose detail. No edge-enhancement is visible and the compression is also free of artifacts throughout.

In the audio department, the release comes along with a newly remixed 5.1 channel Dolby Digital and a DTS track, as well as the original mono audio track. While limitations are evident, the remixes show that quite some work and thought went into the remixes, as surround effects are used effectively without creating an overwhelming soundstage that would distract from the film itself. The frequency response of the tracks has been extended, giving it a better bass response than the original tracks and high ends that are free of distortion while remaining clear.

A commentary track by director Meir Zarchi is also part of the release, in which he allows viewers to participate in the process of making independent low budget films. It is an informative track that sheds quite a bit of light on the philosophies and approaches of the production.

The highlight of the supplements is no doubt, the commentary track by cult film guru Joe Bob Briggs. (What ever happened to his show, anyway?) With his no-holds-barred comments and wits, Briggs not only makes some hilarious comments about the movie and its inconsistencies, but he also manages to bring across interesting tidbits. Elite recently signed up Briggs to record more commentaries for a series of upcoming DVD releases, so we certainly have a lot to look forward to.
Although the DVD also contains a large number of trailers, TV Spots, photo galleries, reviews and art galleries and sparse filmographies as supplements, unfortunately there are no featurettes or documentaries to be found on the disc at all. Liner notes are also not included in the release, making the release a bit unbalanced.

This release is a case of "no one would have expected this!" "I Spit On Your Grave" is a cult film that caters only to a small audience and yet, Elite Entertainment has given it the red carpet treatment and made it look and sound like a million bucks! Hats off to that. It even helps to gloss over the fact that the extras on the disc are in fact lacking a bit of substance, but don’t let that get in the way of checking out this great-looking release.

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