Lame Sequel

Note: This release is exclusive to Ronin Flix

Director Meir Zarchi made a lasting mark on exploitation cinema with I Spit On Your Grave. In 2010, he sold off the remake rights. Infused with cash from the sale, Meir Zarchi is back with I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu. Having dismissed the possibility of a sequel to his grindhouse classic for decades, Zarchi has finally made a true sequel to the original movie.

I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu brings back star Camille Keaton. That may be the movie’s only saving grace. The new sequel is a failure on almost every level. The wait hasn’t been worth it. There are good reasons why it took almost four years for I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu to find distribution. It’s a total disaster.

There are good reasons why it took almost four years for I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu to find distribution

Handling writing and directing duties, Meir Zarchi brings back Jennifer Hills (Camille Keaton). Now a mature women, Jennifer is the mother of supermodel Christina Hills (Jamie Bernadette). Jennifer has written a book about her traumatic ordeal, becoming a minor celebrity in the process.

History soon repeats itself when the mother and daughter are abducted by a group led by the deranged Becky (Maria Olsen). Becky is the wife of Johnny, one of the men who raped Jennifer in the original. Becky has gathered together surviving relatives of Jennifer’s assailants, looking for revenge.

Rehashing many of the same beats from I Spit On Your Grave, the screenplay meanders all over the place with hapless dialogue and illogical developments. Most assuredly made on a small budget, the sequel reflects a director in love with his own screenplay. Running nearly two hours and thirty minutes, there’s over an hour of material that should have been cut.

Beyond the inane dialogue, there’s a rash of hilariously poor acting. Maria Olsen practically screams her lines. Jamie Bernadette is about the only cast member turning in a professional performance.

No one sets out to make a bad movie. Meir Zarchi likely had good intentions in following up his underground classic. Like the saying goes, sometimes you can’t go home again. I Spit On Your Grave hit the zeitgeist during the rise of grindhouse cinema in the late ’70s and made a lasting contribution to the genre. All this sequel does is undermine the original’s haunting power.

Fans of the original classic may be better off watching this sequel with the included Joe Bob Briggs commentary, which mercilessly mocks the movie’s shortcomings.

Video

Meir Zarchi eschews the gritty cinematography of the grindhouse original for a pristine digital aesthetic common these days on low-budget projects. The main feature runs almost 150 minutes, encoded in adequate AVC on a BD-50. It’s a clean-looking 2.39:1 presentation with razor-sharp definition and bright clarity.

The 1080P video displays excellent detail in close-ups, though shaky camera syndrome occasionally robs focus and delineation in several scenes. The overall contrast and color palette are fairly neutral with healthy flesh-tones. While lacking the polish of big-budget cinema, the HD video is crisp with vivid colors.

Audio

5.1 DTS-HD MA and 2.0 DTS-HD MA options offer serviceable audio design. The low-budget movie has a limited soundstage with few immersive elements, though a couple of neatly discrete effects are fun. Dialogue is cleanly reproduced, dominating most of the soundtrack. No one will confuse the surround mix with a Hollywood production.

Optional English SDH subtitles play in a white font, remaining inside the scope presentation at all times.

Extras

Available exclusively through Ronin Flix’s website, the new collector’s edition box set includes a deluxe chipboard slipcase with original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Stothard, two collectible fold out 16″x20″ movie posters, two replica VHS box-style refrigerator magnets, and a new 44-page book featuring exclusive archival photos and extended liner notes by writers Michael Gingold and Meagan Navarro.

The entire package comes in a special box from Ronin Flix. It’s attractive and looks classy on the shelf.

The three-disc package contains three clear Amaray cases with reversible covers. One case each for I Spit On Your Grave, I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu, and feature-length documentary Growing Up With I Spit On Your Grave.

There’s no reason keeping the 2011 Blu-ray edition from Anchor Bay/Starz after purchasing the Ronin Flix box set. They’ve retained both original commentaries and all the special features from the 2011 BD.

Audio Commentary with Director and Writer Meir Zarchi – This 2004 commentary, pulled from the DVD edition, is a stiff but largely informative discussion by the director. Mostly covering screen-specific anecdotes, he covers his inspirations and more technical details.

Audio Commentary With Genre Expert Joe Bob Briggs – Another 2004 commentary pulled from DVD is a wonderful and engaging deconstruction by the always personable Joe Bob Briggs. The cult television personality knows genre filmmaking like the back of his hand. His laid-back style both attacks and defends the film.

Jennifer’s Journey: Locations (11:08 in HD) – The locations of I Spit on Your Grave are visited in this featurette hosted by writer Michael Gingold.

The Values of Vengeance: Meir Zarchi Remembers I Spit on Your Grave (29:01 in SD) – A 2011 featurette has the director covering many of the production’s tortured history and distribution issues, among other topical subjects.

Alternate Opening Title (00:16 in HD) – Day of the Woman title is used.

Theatrical Trailers (06:22 in HD) – Two separate original trailers.

TV Spots (01:39 in HD)

Radio Spots (01:15)

Rare Photos From Set (09:32 in HD)

Still Gallery (01:51 in HD)

Disc Two: I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu – 2019 sequel by director Meir Zarchi

Audio Commentary With Joe Bob Briggs – This new commentary is the only reason to ever watch I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu. The television host of trashy exploitation and horror has a fun time picking the film apart and its many flaws. Briggs hangs in there for the entire movie with little silence. Mocking the new sequel, he often uses its duller moments for bringing back discussion of the original classic.

2019 Cast Interviews (11:04 in HD)

Behind The Scenes Footage (02:44 in HD) – Appears to be leftover footage from the making-of documentary.

Theatrical Trailers (03:00 in HD)

“The Making of I Spit on Your Grave: Deja Vu” Documentary (43:51 in HD) – Behind-the-scenes footage from the set and interviews with cast members round out this inside glimpse into the sequel.

Disc Three: Growing Up With I Spit On Your Grave (5.1 DTS-HD MA audio)– 2019 documentary by Terry Zarchi, Meir’s son. It covers Terry’s formative years and living with his father, the notorious director of the original classic. Candid footage is mixed with a variety of archival clips and the cultural response to the film. Terry provides a comprehensive analysis of the film and its legacy.

Deleted Scenes (09:26 in HD)

Terry Zarchi’s 8mm Film (02:50 in HD)

Home Movies: Camille and Meir’s wedding (01:53 in HD)

Original Trailer (01:29 in HD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review by the label. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

I Spit on Your Grave: Deja Vu
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
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Meir Zarchi finally follows up his disturbing grindhouse classic decades later with a disastrously poor sequel that fails on multiple levels. The sequel is a complete turkey.

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