Anchor Bay Entertainment has acquired distribution rights in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. for Cine Tel Films’ remake of Meir Zarchi’s controversial 1978 revenge-thriller Day of the Woman, re-released as I Spit On Your Grave in 1980.
Directed by Steven R. Monroe, I Spit On Your Grave features newcomer Sarah Butler in the role of Jennifer Hill (originally played by Camille Keaton), a young novelist on a mission to maim, dismember, and murder the men who brutally and repeatedly gang-raped her while she was on holiday in the woods.
(See the Butler’s ass make a cameo in the NSFW trailer)
Movie critic Roger Ebert dismissed Grave as a “vile bag of garbage” upon its release, but the gory flick remains a cult favorite among aficionados of non-consensual sodomy and group sex.
Fans of Zarchi’s film are understandably skeptical about Monroe’s update, questioning if he can really get away with keeping the flick’s torture and rape sequences true to the original. Monroe has addressed those concerns by promising an even more brutal take on the material.
He tells Moviehole:
I know that fans of the film and haters of the film are already up in arms about the remake and already saying that I am going to screw it up and chicken out of doing this and doing that… But I hope that maybe they can at least wait till the film is released and make a educated decision then.
We upped the brutality and length of the tortures and kills – as they were quite short in the original – which was really a disturbing Thriller at heart not a Horror film. I also wanted to update the look of the film and give it a very voyeuristic quality and gritty realism.
To achieve his goals, Monroe needed a gullible courageous actress willing to believe his lies accept the challenges of the role. Monroe found his huckleberry in Butler, a 25-year-old fledgling starlet from Tacoma, Washington.
She took this role on fearlessly and nailed it like I don’t think anyone else could have. I can’t and will never say enough about her. There are also a lot of horror fans out there already complaining that the cast is all no names, I can personally guarantee you that no actress with a name would have had the guts to pull of what Sarah did or went through during shooting, no way. She is awesome.
Translation: She gets naked.
Butler, who had never seen the original film prior to being cast, put her trust in Monroe’s vision.
She tells Pretty Scary:
I tried to just remember my faith in our director, Steven (Monroe), and things that he told me. I was just really relieved by the fact that he was a completely normal guy. He came onto the project – he was hired by CineTel – and it’s kind of one of those things that if this had been someone’s “passion project,” I would have been a little bit questioning their personality, you know what I mean?
But everyone was so cool, you know, and that goes for the crew and the cast as well. Everyone was very protective of me while we were shooting and making sure that I always had everything I needed.
At one point, one of the prop girls gave me this huge Hershey’s chocolate bar after we finished filming one of the rape scenes. She says, “Here, I just thought this would make you feel better after today.” Which is sweet!
Wow, and all this time, I thought rape had to be followed with blunt force trauma to the head and ditch digging. Boy, do I feel foolish!
Anchor Bay will release I Spit On Your Grave in theaters in the fall. Home editions will follow during the first quarter of 2011.