I Spit on Your Grave 2
Katie, a young woman, is trying to make it in the cutthroat world of modeling in New York. When Katie innocently accepts an offer to have new photos taken for her portfolio, the experience quickly turns into an unthinkable nightmare – Severely beaten, battered, bruised, and left for dead, she will have to tap into the darkest places of the human psyche to not only survive her ordeal, but to ultimately find the strength to exact her brutal revenge. The film was made by the same creative team as the controversial 2010 film: Director Steven R. Monroe, Producers Lisa Hansen and Paul Hertzberg, and Writer Neil Elman teaming up with Thomas Fenton (Saw IV).
I Spit on Your Grave 2 is an American rape and revenge horror film directed by Steven R. Monroe, who directed its predecessor, I Spit on Your Grave—which was based on Meir Zarchi’s 1978 film of the same name. The film was given a limited theatrical release at one theater and has been received negatively by critics.
About the Story
Katie Carter (Jemma Dallender) is an aspiring model from Missouri who works as a waitress in a New York City restaurant. Desperate to update her modeling portfolio, she answers an advertisement offering a free photography session. She then meets three Bulgarian siblings, photographer Ivan (Absolom) and his assistants Nikolai, known as “Nicky” (Aleksiev) and Georgy (Baharov), who becomes infatuated with Katie.
She leaves the photo shoot after disagreeing with Ivan about a topless shot. Georgy later arrives at Katie’s apartment and apologizes regarding the incident. Katie accepts his apology and is given a flash drive containing her photos. Before leaving, Georgy states that she can keep the pictures for her privacy, upload, or use the photos as she chooses.
Later that night, Katie wakes up to find Georgy filming her and shoots him with an electroshock gun. Although Kate tries to escape, Georgy binds, gags and sodomizes her. Katie’s neighbor, Jayson, arrives and tries to stop the rape but Georgy stabs and kills him. Georgy panics and calls both his brothers. Nikolai and Ivan later arrive and clean up all evidence of the crime. Ivan then force-feeds Katie ketamine, rendering her unconscious.
Katie wakes and finds herself naked and handcuffed to a pipe in an old basement. The brothers relentlessly rape and torture her. She overpowers Georgy and escapes, but discovers that she is now in an unknown city. When she approaches Bulgarian police, she is taken into safe custody by Detective Kiril (Zlaterev), who informs her that she has been abducted to Bulgaria. After an interview, Detective Kiril hands her over to Ana (Stockley), who claims to be from a rape crisis center but is really Nikolai and Georgy’s mother. Katie is returned to the basement and Valko (Silverleaf), a friend of the family’s father, electroshocks her genitals then brutally rapes her, leaving her bloodied. Ivan then beats her.
Katie is then placed in a box with her crucifix necklace and Valko’s electroshock gun and buried alive. The ground beneath the makeshift coffin breaks and she falls into the sewer system below. Naked and hungry, Katie steals from a nearby church and is soon caught by priest Father Dimov (Pelka), who recognizes her as a rape victim. He gives her food, clothing, and a Bible. Katie approaches the U.S. Embassy, but leaves before going inside. Back at the church, Dimov offers support. As Katie goes back to the sewers, she leaves her Bible open for Dimov to read. After reading the passage “vengeance is mine”, Dimov realizes that Katie seeks revenge against her rapists.
Interview with Jemma Dallender
How did you end up working on I Spit On Your Grave 2 – what drew you to playing such a tough role?
Well, initially my agent mentioned that she had an audition for me, and as soon as she said the role contained full frontal nudity, I was like, ‘No way! Not for me at all’- but she persuaded me to head along to the audition anyway and as I got into the process I realised I loved the character and the controversy of the film. It was a role I could get my teeth into and as an actress I’m always looking for new challenges. Also, the plot and the sentiment of the film, you realise why there are such graphic scenes, violence, nudity- it makes sense, it’s not in there just for pure shock factor. I of course watched the original film, and the 2010 remake and I loved the idea and the controversy surrounding this kind of role.
So you think that the audience has to see the character, Katie, pushed to the brink – that it gives reasoning for her behaviour so that you’re rooting for her when she exacts her revenge?
Exactly. She’s made to feel so small, and treated so mercilessly. They [the male characters who kidnap Katie] reduce the character to nothing and she kind of loses her humanity in all ways possible- in order to get to that stage of the film you need to see the graphic and intense stuff she experiences.
Your character goes through a major ordeal to say the least, but she ends up being pretty badass by the end- Do you have a favourite revenge scene?
It has to be the way she gets Ivan [let’s just say it involves a vice certain parts of the male anatomy]. It was so disgusting, but ended up being quite funny to film too… The prosthetics were too big so it had to be changed, and refitted so we had a laugh at that. Although I think Joe [Absalom] was quite uncomfortable by the end, laying there strapped to a table, half naked all day. I felt kind of guilty to be honest so saying I enjoyed them is a bit mean, and an overstatement. The guys felt so bad during their rape and torture scenes, and I was like, ‘it’s fine, we’re only acting’, and they said, ‘wait ‘til you have to do the mean stuff’, and they were right I felt awful! But the vice scene…It’s just the ultimate revenge a female character can get and I’m sure probably the worst scene for any man to watch…
I guess it was important to be able to have a laugh on set as the subject matter was so intense- did you have any other techniques to deal with the intensity of the role?
To be honest, most of the time I would avoid having a laugh and a chat on set so that I could stay in character. I had to be in a really deep and dark place and I find it hard to find that place and then switch between that and happy when the cameras aren’t rolling. I stayed pretty sombre whilst on set. But off-set of course we had a laugh and all got on really well.
You mentioned you watched the original 1978 I Spit On Your Grave and the 2010 remake; did you feel under any pressure following up these infamous female leads with the sequel?
No, not pressure really. I don’t think it’s good to place too much pressure on yourself when tackling a role and this is an entirely new film in its own right so I wasn’t trying to recreate something. Of course I watched them, and they are great- they made me interested in the role. I just tried to make it my own and put my own spin on the character. This instalment in comparison with the other two is a lot more brutal and intense so I was ready for the controversy. People are always going to have an opinion about films like this but I think that’s good- weather they like it or not. It’s better to provoke a reaction, rather than making a film that nobody wants to talk about.
Do you think the film could be described as a ‘feminist’ horror due to taking back control in an otherwise male dominated cast and wreaking rape-revenge?
I definitely think it’s a feminist film- strong female lead roles- lead roles in general are few and far between nowadays, particularly in horror. There is definitely a sense of empowerment. Katie is tough and pulls through, even physically and we don’t see that often in film so it was a really refreshing and challenging role to take on.
Are you a horror film fan?
This may surprise you, but I’m actually quite squeamish- so the blood, guts and gore isn’t really my thing. It wouldn’t be my first choice to watch something like that. But I do like psychological thrillers, and horrors and supernatural stuff too- like, ‘The Conjuring’, I saw that recently. That’s the kind of horror that would keep me awake at night…
I Spit on Your Grave 2
Directed by: Steven R. Monroe
Starring: Jemma Dallender, Yavor Baharov, Joe Absolom, Aleksandar Aleksiev, Mary Stockley
Screenplay by: Neil Elman, Thomas H. Fenton
Production Design by: Severina Stoyanova
Cinematography by: Damian Bromley
Film Editing by: Kristina Hamilton-Grobler
Costume Design by: Desislava Andonova
Set Decoration by: Rosen Stefanov
Music by: Corey A. Jackson
MPAA Rating: R for strong sadistic violence, torture and rape, graphic nudity, language and some drug content.
Studio: Anchor Bay Films
Release Date: September 20, 2013