2015 / Director. R.D. Braunstein.
Review by Shaun Crawford.
The I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE franchise was always gonna' be a tough watch. A rape-revenge film set in the lawless backwoods and backroads of America had a premise which was inherently controversial to the core. Regardless of its boundary-pushing content it always felt like a missed opportunity. Instead of exploring the depths of rape attacks and the psychological effects on the victim it instead focussed on simple bloody, violent retribution. Shock tactics and graphic violence with next to no point.
The idea that the 2010 gorenography remake was so successful it has spawned two sequels is a curiosity. The first instalment's necessity was questionable at best so by the time part three rolls around one can't help but wonder what new point of view the threequel may be presenting? -- The answer is nothing. There's nothing new here.
Sarah Butler returns to the part of Jennifer Hills and she is, understandably, still quite tormented by the beyond-brutal sexual assault she endured at the hands of a group of backwater hicks in the series' first instalment. She's changed her identity, moved cities and at the behest of her psychologist joined a support group where she begins to piece together a new life. But when her new friend's murderer goes free and she hears tales of a serial child rapist she mercilessly hunts down the men she believes to be responsible (with nary a shred of ACTUAL evidence) and does what she believes the system won't.
We'll leave it to your imagination to conjure the scenarios Jennifer gets involved in, then reassure you your imagination is only one-tenth of the brutality you'll watch unfold. Much like its two predecessors, ISOYG3 is a gruelling tidal wave of hatred with no balance and next to no redeeming features. It's viscous, acidic and vitriolic and when all its nonsense, hate-fuelled bullshit reasoning is said and done it is still, 35 years after its first incarnation, right-wing vigilante nonsense which loses potency with each new instalment.
The biggest issue, believe it or not, isn't the horrendous violence, but instead lies with the inept sexism the film(s) present. Every man in the feature's ninety minute running time is a predator, a sexual fiend, a rapist, a potential rapist, a violent offender, a pedophile or a psychological terrorist. If a man poses no threat to a woman then he is completely incompetent and ignorant (this character also happens to be a policeman... so it's a slant on the judicial system as well as the entire male gender). Another male is a victim by proxy and aligns himself with the vigilante violence and her abhorrent behaviour. There is only one genuinely nice guy in the film and he's treated like dirt every time he appears on screen.
On the other side of the spectrum, however, there are no ordinary women in the film either, and the ones that are present are all victims of men and their violent tendencies and when these women retaliate with grievous bodily harm on their male victims they laugh and giggle about it afterwards like innocent schoolgirls. Of course there is the point to be made that perhaps the film exists in a space of complete hyperbole to help drill a point home but we don't need to be hit in the face with a hammer to understand how to to use a nail.
See it if you hate all men and like watching them suffer but if you have a shred of understanding of the world give this one a wide berth.