Amarillo Sam's Drive-In Round Up
Sunday, July 19th, 1981
***Sam’s Mail Sack***
On your recommendation, I went with my mother this week to Alvin’s Drive-In Safari to see “I Spit on Your Grave”. While we thoroughly enjoyed it, we were flat out mortified at many scenes involving the young female hero being taken advantage of by that group of mad hillbillies. I know you have a strict policy of impugning graphic violence unless it is necessary to the plot, so I must ask you this: at what point does violence (against women, especially) stop being necessary to the plot and become just plain gross and needless?
Elizabeth Q., 14 years old
First off, thank your mom for exposing you to such fine art at a young age.
You and your mom being women, a lot of your own kind have been comin down pretty hard on “Spit” for the very thing you mention; unfortunately, most of em aren’t like you and don’t choose to inform themselves with the facts before they start shoutin at whoever is guv'nor to ban the flick from the state of California altogether. If one of those ladies gets in your face and starts accusin’ you of betrayin your own sex, here’s a few simple rebuttals you can use. Don’t say I never did nothin for you.
- If this movie only wants to glorify violence on women, then how come most of the rape scenes focus on the faces of the mad hillbillies rather than what they’re actually doing to the hero, Ms. Camille Keaton? It seems like the director, Meir Zarchi, is more interested in the emotional violence of the perpetrator than the physical scars of the victim.
- If this movie wants to “punish” women for putting themselves in vulnerable situations (as some of my limousine liberal lady detractors have suggested), then explain to me why the camera is never at one time placed in a subjective manner, as if Ms. Keaton’s bein spied on and plotted against. Instead, the camera is at all times objective. The camera never gets up close and personal: never sneaks up the lady’s leg while she’s sunbathing; never follows her into the shower and spectates. These are not the same choices a lot of your recent hack n’ slash flicks have made, where it looks the killer is filming victims for his or her own future snuff pleasure.
- If this movie has no plot for the violence to be necessary to, then consider this: “A young writer comes to the country to finish her book, and finds that no one can get a little peace without breaking a few eggs.” Makes you wanna salute a soldier next time you see one, don’t it?
And speaking of the summer of woman empowerment, that tiny little flick I accused last week of being “I Spit On Your Grave with a conscience” has come to Alvin’s this week for the challenge. You all be the judge and tell me: does Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left still have the chops, or have its hands gone soft after a few years of more grotesque imitators? Let’s see what we got:
--Nubile suburban flesh out on the wrong side of town to score some grass -- what could go wrong, and how badly?; David Hess as “Krug”, the boss psycho and master svengali, who’d be a great wingman the next time you’re in the can at Alvin’s with three guys bigger than you waiting for your nervous bladder to commence its biness; and home invasion chicanery and a chainsaw diet courtesy of one peeved-off parental.
Sam says check it out -- a great family film if your family’s name is “Manson”.