10 Noteworthy Exploitation Films


I Spit on Your Grave

I Spit on Your Grave
I Spit on Your Grave
Courtesy Amazon.com

Revenge is a common theme in the world of exploitation cinema, and the best example of this subgenre may be director Meir Zarchi's 1978 classic "I Spit on Your Grave."

In the film, a writer leases a cabin in the woods of upstate New York to finish her novel. During her stay, she attracts unwanted attention from some local men who eventually attack and rape her repeatedly -- and annihilate her manuscript. After she recovers, she systematically hunts down and violently murders each of the men who brutalized her, which explains the alternate, original title, "Day of the Woman."

Because of the graphic and explicit violence, the movie was banned in some countries; in the U.S., the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) went to federal court in 1984 to seek an X rating on the movie [source: UPI]. According to the suit, the producers allegedly added more sexually explicit content after the film initially received an R rating.

In addition to the extreme rape and murder-based violence, the movie is notable for prompting Roger Ebert to write in 1980 that seeing "I Spit on Your Grave" was "one of the most depressing experiences of my life" [source: Ebert].