Savage Vengeance is the unofficial, unauthorized sequel to I Spit on Your Grave. It was shot on video in 1988, a decade after Meir Zarchi’s original, but wasn’t released until 1993. It takes place five years after the first film. Camille Keaton returned to her iconic role as Jennifer Hills under the pseudonym Vickie Lahl. She didn’t do a good job, and ostensibly walked off the set before all of her scenes could be wrapped. One confusing aspect of this pseudosequel is that it revises and re-enacts the core events of the first film with newly shot footage, like the beginning of Evil Dead II. During the opening sequence — a flashback, effectively — Jennifer is attacked on a waterfall instead of a river. Four men just walk up and rape her, without even taking her pants off, let alone theirs. Two women are raped three times by six men in this movie; not one pair of pants is ever pulled down. I’d call the rapes dry humps, but there’s not that much thrusting. They’re more like oppressive wiggles.
Later on, the rapists’ causes of death are retconned from (in this order) hanging, penile amputation, axing, & being ground up by a boat propeller to shooting, two unspecific hackings, & penile amputation. That last one was too novel not to reuse, I guess.
According to legend, writer/director/actor Donald Farmer never actually obtained the rights to produce this sequel, so Meir Zarchi threatened to sue when he caught wind of the outlaw production. As a result, all instances of the last name “Hills” were cut out or dubbed over in obvious ways to avoid litigation.
In a legal theory class (Farmer should have taken one), a student asks, “What about the Jennif—hercase?”
The instructor answers by recounting how Jennifer killed her attackers and was found not guilty of all four homicides. “If I’m not mistaken,” he recollects, “I believeNENNIFERwas a student in this class…”
The word NENNIFER sounds like it was shouted in by a different person entirely.
While talking to a friend, Jennifer tells her side of the story. “There was a little bit of a scene in my law class.” she explains. “Somehow the professor found out I was the Jennif—”
“He wanted to set me up as some kind of legal curiosity.”
These edits are my favorite part of the movie. They’re little things that should have been seamless, but stick out like a boner in b-ball shorts.
My second favorite part is a death toward the end where Jennifer roars through a guy’s head with an SOV-brand chainsaw. It’s gruesome, awesome, and fake looking, all at once.
I could go on, but let’s just say I had fun with this movie. To be clear, Savage Vengeance is bad, even by SOV standards. It’s padded with far too many shots of its characters traipsing around in the woods, one of the corpses blinks, the music is earsplitting at times… it ramps into these siren-like DOOOOOTs that made me want to barf out my organs. Add to that the problems I already talked about and it’s easy to see why most people shit on it. If you’re like me and you get off on bad movies, though, you may find it surprisingly watchable. I enjoyed it for what it was. If this were a full review, I’d probably give it 2 or 3 NENNIFERs out of 5.
I caught up with it for the first time last week on Exploitation TV, which sadly shut down on Tuesday. Exploitation TV was a special interest streaming service run by the film preservation and distribution company Vinegar Syndrome. It offered everything from early 70s porn to Massacre Video’s library of SOV horror flicks, which includes this and one earlier Don Farmer flick called Demon Queen (1987). RIP. I watched some weird movies on there.
Have you seen Savage Vengeance? Sound off in the comment section below.