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“I Spit on Your Grave”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Do you like rape? What am I saying? Of course you do! Who doesn’t? No, really. You’re going to have to be really okay with rape scenes if you’re even going to thinking about seeing this movie. I Spit on Your Grave is a remake of the 1978 grindhouse exploitation film Day of the Woman, which was later re-titled and released as I Spit on Your Grave in 1980. The movie was very much one of those movies you hear about in high school, and know you shouldn’t see it, so of course you’ll do anything to get your hands on a copy. Much like those Faces of Death videos. I of course watched the original back in high school, but can’t remember anything about it, other than the fact that it, like everything else, did not live up to the hype. So, when Shady and I went to the advanced screening of the current re-interpretation of I Spit on Your Grave a few months back, neither of us had any idea what we were walking into. We’re talking about almost forty minutes, if not more, of hardcore rape. And, I mean rape. Which is then followed by graphically violent revenge torture. Shady and I both have a pretty high tolerance for all things wrong, and even we were having a hard time sitting through this movie. I’m not kidding, people were leaving the theatre in waves throughout the screening, and by the end of the movie the full theatre was easily half empty. You know it’s bad when you’re filling out the questionnaire at the end of the movie, and when you get to the “What would make this movie better?” question, you actually find yourself writing “less rape.” With that said, Sarah Butler, the actress who plays the young victim, is outstanding! The things that she had to do for this movie are unbelievable, and the fact that she not only did them, but also was able to give a performance that would make even Meryl Streep envious, is simply amazing! Butler plays Jennifer, a young female novelist who has rented a reclusive cabin out in the middle of nowhere to get some writing done, and quickly becomes the fascination of four local men. As you can probably guess at this point, they brutally and graphically rape her. The tension and discomfort of the first half of this movie is sure to bother everyone, and I mean everyone! I don’t care how much you say nothing bothers you. If you can watch this movie without getting upset or truly uncomfortable, you’re either a sick freak or a soulless bastard. How do I know this? Because I was sitting with someone who would normally fit that description, and even he was both bothered and uncomfortable. The revenge torture in the second half is equally graphic and unsettling. But, it does seem to somehow manage to even out the scales somewhat with Jennifer getting her revenge. But with all of that said, I still think that some of the movie was really well done, for what it was. It’s really hard to say you enjoyed a movie about really graphic rape, and at times one step away from an exploitation snuff film, but there are a few things worth seeing in this remake of I Spit on Your Grave. Just be ready. I mean really, really, really ready.

Rating:


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“Trick ‘r Treat”
a review by Darby O’Gill

It’s Halloween night, a night full of tricks and treats. Well, mostly tricks. But, the real treat is finally getting Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat released. I know it’s not the theatrical release we were all hoping for, but it is finally out on DVD. In the spirit of Creepshow, Trick ‘r Treat takes four tales from one Halloween night and intertwines them into one fantastic story. It’s like Robert Altman and Wes Craven had a baby, and named it Trick ‘r Treat. Take a high school principal moonlighting as serial killer, a young woman searching for the perfect date, a childish prank that ends with disastrous consequences, and an old man that learns the true meaning of trick-or –treat, and what you have is one hell of a ride. Trick ‘r Treat was made in 2007, and spent two years just trying to get into theatres. It was receiving rave reviews at all the horror festivals, but for some reason Warner Brothers just didn’t believe in it enough to put it in theatres. It’s sad really. Great movies like this have to fight to see the light of day, but pieces of shit like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, have no problem finding their way into theatres. You know, there was another little horror film that was made in 2007 that couldn’t seem to find distribution. It was a little movie called Paranormal Activity. Ever hear of it? Maybe this will finally make Hollywood wake up. Most likely not, but it would be nice if other little movies like these would finally be given the chance they deserve, and not have to fight for two years just to see the light of day. I know. I know. It’s never going to happen. But, let’s get back to subject at hand. Trick ‘r Treat is a must see. With an amazing story, some brilliant cinematography, and fantastic performances, Trick ‘r Treat is a guaranteed Halloween classic. Oh, I haven’t even mentioned little Sam, the trick-or-treater demon that oversees the night’s events. He is a greatly welcomed addition to the Freddy and Jason’s of the horror community. I really hope they make more of these. I can’t wait to see Trick ‘r Treat 2! I just hope next time it’ll be in theatres on Halloween night, and not just a straight to DVD blow-off. Warner Brothers is sitting on a goldmine. They could make a new Trick ‘r Treat movie every year like the Saw franchise, but I guess we’ll just have to wait for them to realize that on their own. Until then, we’ll just have to keep fighting the good fight.

Rating:
5 Little People


DVD Special Features:

Sadly, that’s it. One bonus feature, if you can call it that. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool to see the animation short that became this movie, but come on! This movie had an incredible journey for two years, and you’re not going to do a commentary track for the feature film?! How about some behind the scenes footage, or maybe some deleted scenes? Hell, I’d be happy with even a trailer at this point! My only guess is that Warner Brothers was really on the fence about putting it in theatres, but at the last minute pushed it to DVD, and wanted to get it out before Halloween. If that is the case, we’ll hopefully get a Special Edition DVD at some point, but until then it’ just sad.

DVD Special Features Rating:
1 Little People


“Saw VI”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Well, it’s that time of year again. No, not Halloween, it’s time for another installment of the Saw series. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Darby, do we really need six of these movies? And the answer… These are not really movies. Okay, I know I can’t see you reading this, but I’m willing to bet most of you have a puzzled look on your face right now. Let me explain. The Saw movies are more like a TV show. Instead of getting twenty – four one hour episodes over the course of a year, you get one two hour movie every year around Halloween. Believe me, I wish that were the case for a few TV series out there. Now, the first Saw movie was fantastic! And, Saw II… Well, that one was a train wreck. But luckily Saw III was able to save the series, and it also started the ongoing storyline that is now the Saw franchise. The only problem with that is, if you haven’t seen the previous installments, you may be a little lost on who’s who. In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that I personally know the writers that took over the series from Saw IV to Saw VI. So, with that being said, I will not be pulling any punches; but this was my favorite of their three installments. I think the most impressive thing about their writing, is their ability to write movies for a main character that died three movies ago. Sorry if I ruined it for you, but come on it’s the sixth movie! It’s been six years, why haven’t you watched these movies yet? Getting back to comparing Saw to a TV series, I think the best comparison would be LOST. Much like LOST, the storyline is always being moved forward by telling you about things from the past you didn’t know before. That style of story telling definitely sets the Saw series apart from the other slasher flicks out there. Also, they  have stepped up the gore over the years. A friend of mine was saying last weekend, that the thing he liked most about the first Saw movie, was that they didn’t really show the gore. You thought they were going to, but it was the thought of it that seemed to bother you the most. In the later installments they just seem to show you more and more, leaving less to the imagination. With all of this said, I think the Saw series still works. I’m not sure how much longer they’re going to be able stretch this series out. If I didn’t know that Saw VII was already written, I might have thought this could have been the last one, but I guess we’re just going to have to wait and see what’s next.

Rating:
3.5 Little People