may 11, 2018 -- Fifty years ago, director Meir Zarchi introduced us to poorly reviewed, hardly seen gory thriller called "I Spit on Your Grave", also know as Day of the Woman. It starred little known actress Camille Keaton as a woman who is savagely raped and beaten by several men in the backwoods, left for dead, but who returns with a vengeance to kill the men involved. Like I said, it was critically panned, though I personally found it entertaining.


In 2010, because the original did fairly well in video sales, Zarchi remade the film (as producer) with Steven Monroe directing little known actress Sarah Butler in the same role. Again it was panned and again it too did fairly well in video sales. Enough to make a third film.


I'm guessing that French director Coralie Fargeat saw the films and thought "Hey, if only this film were in French, it would be great." So she cast Matilda Anna Lutz in the lead as Jennifer, a sexy hot gal on holiday with her wealthy, married lover Richard (Kevin Janssens) in the Morrocan desert.

Initially, their rendezvous is quaintly erotic, seemingly romantic tryst. Fleshy scenes of a sexual encounter quickly changes when two of Richards hunting friends arrive. Stan (Vincent Colombe) and Dimitri (Guillaume Bouchede) intrude on the couples retreat baring their rifles for what turns out to be an pre-arranged annual hunting trip the three guys take.


It is agreed that Jen will leave on the next helicopter back home in a couple of days and not interfere with the boy's fun. But then there is a party of drinking and dancing and mixed signals. Those mixed signals are sent to Stan from Jen and, when Richard leaves to take care of some business. Stan acts on the mixed signals and rapes Jen while Dimitri ignores her screams for help. But when Richard returns he tells her to just forget about the incident and move on.


When she refuses, Richard... not Stan... pushes her off a cliff to what he assumes is her death. But naturally, if she were dead, there would be no movie. Instead, she begins hunting them, much like in "I Spit on Your Grave" save without grimacing tortures. But with quite a bit of blood.


In fact, Fargeat's film probably has fifteen times as much blood as all three of the "I Spit of Your Grave" films. Moreover, it shares the same scantily clad, bloodied woman scenes as the American originals. But it's French, so it must be better!


No, it's not better. The scenery is different and there is the premise of wealthy guys instead of backwoods hee-haws; but it is not better. The camerawork is marginally better with interesting close-ups and a ring-around-the-rosy cat and mouse chase in the end...but it's the same film. Gory. Improbable. Entertaining.


What is missing are those scenes that make men squirm and jump. And, the revenge isn't as inventive as either of the "I Spit on Your Grave" films. But bloody as hell!


"Revenge", while lacking originality will sate fans who appreciate blood and gore and hot chicks slinking around covered in blood and grime. It is, at the very least, thrilling and entertaining.   -- GRADE C --   GEOFF BURTON