It would be faint praise indeed to say that I Spit on Your Grave III: Vengeance is Mine is a bit better than I Spit on Your Grave 2, the even more horrible sequel to a horrible remake of a horrible seventies original that made the number two spot on my worst films of 2013 list. But yes, part III is a (very) mild improvement, though that’s not to say it isn’t also completely horrible, because it very much is.
This miniscule improvement is probably down to the fact that it doesn’t just repeat the same rape-revenge formula that the last two movies (and the original) used. Instead it’s a direct sequel to the 2010 remake (part 2 featured unrelated characters) with the same lead. That film’s victim/avenger Jennifer Hills (Sarah Butler) is now working in a Los Angeles office (under a new identity) and regularly attending therapy sessions and a group for rape survivors. This film isn’t interested in actually exploring the difficulties rape survivors must go through, but instead uses these sessions to tell us a variety of stories of different victims; one attendee is the father of a rape victim or later killed herself, one a teenage girl who is still living with her rapist stepfather.
At one of these meetings, Jennifer meets Maria (Jennifer Landon), a charismatic and tough young woman with whom she bonds over their desire to punish the sexual predators around them. The few scenes of the girls together are the one aspect of this movie that comes unexpected. The best thing I can say about I Spit on Your Grave III is that it doesn’t require you to endure another extended brutal rape scene in the first act, though it still peppers in plenty of brief flashbacks to the first film’s one . It’s not being raped again that inspires Jennifer to take revenge this time around but instead the fact that Maria soon winds up murdered at the hands of her ex-boyfriend.
The film tries to make up for the lack of violence in the first half by having Jennifer experience numerous fantasy sequences in which she violently murders anyone who accosts her, but these cheap fake-outs soon become quite annoying. In the latter half, when she starts actually torturing and killing people, the film attempts to outdo the level of violence in the previous movies. I’m not quite sure if it succeeds in this but there are a couple of sequences showcasing mutilation and torture that might induce a fair few winces.
There’s no artistry or invention to be found here though, it’s just trying to be as nasty as it possibly can get away with being. There’s no entertainment or catharsis to be found either, she’s basically just being a homicidal vigilante. The therapy and police subplots just seem to ultimately be there to pad out the time. I’ll leave you with this; the big set-piece in I Spit on Your Grave III involves a chair, a metal pipe and a sledgehammer, you can use your imagination as to how they are put to use, because it’s not worth watching this wretched movie in order to find out.