I Spit On Your Grave – 1978 (Blu-ray Review)

WhySoBlu is proud to present the original I Spit On Your Grave. Consider this a double whammy of sorts since we’ve already brought you a great review of the 2010 remake by our very own Gregg Senko (read here).  I’ll go ahead and introduce the film just like it says on the box. “This woman has just chopped, crippled, and mutilated four men beyond recognition…but no jury in America will ever convict her!” Now if that’s not great advertising then I don’t know what is. 


This is what horror legends are made of.  One mention of the film sends people into a sort of repulsion, but it’s usually men.  Why?  Well, the lone female main character is brutally beaten and gang raped by four scumbags and she exacts her revenge against them in full graphic style.  I Spit On Your Grave aka Day of the Woman does not hold back in its rawness, vulgarity, and violence.  Those previous descriptions aren’t a bad thing, but I will elaborate as we continue.

I Spit On Your Grave starts out with Jennifer Hills (Camille Keaton) driving to an isolated cottage in the countryside to write her first novel.  As she arrives at the local gas station she meets the gas station attendant and his friends who are loitering about.  Later on Jennifer gets her groceries delivered by Matthew who is not all there and she somewhat befriends him.  Matthew then reports back to the guys she met earlier that he caught a peek of her breasts.  This sets the men into a froth and they plan her assault.

Jennifer lays sunbathing in a cot and some of the guys go back and forth in their speedboat teasing her.  Later on while Jennifer is relaxing in her canoe in the middle of the lake when two of the men speed by her canoe and tow it to shore.  Jennifer tries to escape but is overwhelmed.  This is where it gets disturbing.  They all take turns beating her and raping her.  The scenes do run for a long period of time.  They finally leave her and she manages to make it back to the cabin only to be raped again and again.  Matthew is given the order to kill her, but he doesn’t.

If you were able to read the previous paragraphs while feeling very uncomfortable then my job is done.  I will not go any further with the pivotal turn of events.  I’ll leave it to your imaginations as to how it will end for the boys.  Now why the three star score?  The film does have its merits, but they’re more on the technical side of things.  I Spit On Your Grave was made for very little money and  it shows, but they worked with what they had.  The film was pretty much shot with “Master” shots meaning that most of the primary characters all share the same frame.  It’s film geek talk.  It was then edited using various inserts and creative edits to reach the final look.  Using Master shots is one way to make film on a limited budget.  The only problem is that if you have various characters talking at the same time your dialogue will be all screwed up. This happens, because all of the Master shots show the main character from a distance.  That’s where you have to go and fix it in the studio by re-recording or “loop” the sound.  I Spit On Your Grave suffers from this.  It’s very distracting and very obvious that most of the dialogue and effects were recorded in a studio.  That’s a peeve of mine.

At times, I Spit On Your Grave does come off amateurish and the acting is pretty weak and somewhat stiff.  I will say that the actor who plays Johnny (Eron Tabor) is the best of the bunch.  I Spit On Your Grave will continue to keep audiences talking for many more years to come.  Watch it at your own risk.


I Spit On Your Grave is presented in 1080p 1.78:1.  Having never seen this film before I cannot imagine what the previous DVD, Laserdisc, or VHS copies looked liked.  This Blu-ray looks surprisingly good considering the film is more than thirty years old.  The film does have some grain, some natural, some not.  Occasional dirt and specs will creep in here and there, and there was an unusual strobe pulsing effect in the early part of the film.  All of this combined would kill a video film score, but some of the scenes in the lake and countryside are pretty amazing and vivid.  The green of the grass and trees look great.  The blue of the water, the brown of the bark and dirt look awesome, and of course, the red of the blood.  It’s an odd pairing.


I Spit On Your Grave is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1.  This is an extremely dated source, but works well within its limited confines.  Certain sound effects do sound weak and processed, but the few natural sound effects that push through are distinguishable.  It’s a front heavy release and you will not have a problem understanding what is being said.  It compliments the video score quite well.

Special Features 

I Spit On Your Grave has a few special features.  Lots of dated material.  The most recent which was probably filmed for the Blu-ray release would have to be the interview with director Meir Zarchi.  He speaks of the original 1978 film and the 2010 film.  You would not know that it was a recent interview, because the interview is in standard definition.  This is the best of the bunch, though.

  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Meir Zarchi
  • Audio Commentary with Author/Historian Joe Bob Briggs
  • The Values of Vengeance: Meir Zarchi Remembers I Spit On Your Grave
  • Posters & Still Gallery
  • Radio Spots
  • TV Spots & Trailers
  • Alternate Main Title

Final Thoughts 

I Spit On Your Grave is exploitation at its best or worst.  I guess it depends on who you ask.  Having gone into this film without any pre-conceived notions, I will be playing the part of Switzerland.  I am neutral on the film.  I didn’t hate the film, but I did not like the film.  Does it have artistic merits?  Again, it depends on who you ask.  I’m an artist myself, so I can find artistic merits in anything.  I Spit On Your Grave is a very subjective film.  Maybe I need to see the remake?

Bring home I Spit On Your Grave on Blu-ray!


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

3 Responses to “I Spit On Your Grave – 1978 (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    It has a Joe Bob Briggs commentary! That’s actually enticing.

  2. Brian White

    Yes…I am very curious what you will think of the remake. Peeps say the 1978 film was better. I want to hear your opinion. I will be checking out this 1978 version in less than two weeks!

  3. Brian White

    Wow! This version sucked compared to the 2010 remake! Thank God for the Saw films!