My good friend, director Steven Monroe (whose last film, â€œComplacentâ€, I was a producer on â€“ please check it out if itâ€™s playing in your city! Turkeyâ€™s are getting more expensive by the day, and Christmas is approaching quicker than a hair-beseeching magpie!) is knee-deep in a remake of horror classic â€œI Spit On Your Graveâ€ at the moment….yep, â€œI Spit on Your Graveâ€! â€“ and yes, heâ€™s quite aware heâ€™s got his work cut out for him.
Had a bit of a chinwag to Monroe about the flick this morning â€“ which again tells of an aspiring writer who is repeatedly gang-raped, humiliated, and left for dead by four men whom she systematically hunts down to seek revenge – and heâ€™s excited to get going on it, if only because he was such a big fan of the Meir Zarchi-directed original. And as a fan of the 1978 film, Monroe is determined not to put a contemptible, schlocky remake out in the market place.
â€œI always have a lot of respect for people who make films that push the envelope and I remember seeing the film in 1980 and even when re-watching recently that it disturbed me enough that each time it stayed with me for several days. So I feel that Meir Zarchi deserves a lot of respect and kudos for having the guts to make the film especially when it was made. I know that fans of the film and haters of the film are already up in arms about the remake and already saying that I am going to screw it up and chicken out of doing this and doing that… But I hope that maybe they can at least wait till the film is released and make a educated decision then, even if they still hate it, they have at least seen it.â€™â€™
Steven says the new version, which is being produced by Cinetel and distributed by Anchor Bay, will be updated a bit.
â€œWe wanted to stay as true to the original as possible while making sure it was updated in a few ways. There is one additional lead character, a Sheriff played by Andrew Howard, and of course we upped the brutality and length of the tortures and kills – as they were quite short in the original – which was really a disturbing Thriller at heart not a Horror film. I also wanted to update the look of the film and give it a very voyeuristic quality and gritty realismâ€.
The filmmaker says heâ€™s got a top-notch cast onboard including newcomer Sarah Butler, Rodney Eastman (â€œA Nightmare on Elm Street 4â€) and Chad Lindberg (TVs â€œCSI : New Yorkâ€), and that â€œthey were all so fantastic and believable that I was constantly blown awayâ€.
â€œI believe Sarah Butler is going to be a huge starâ€, Monroe says of the actress playing heroine, Jennifer. â€œShe took this role on fearlessly and nailed it like I don’t think anyone else could have. I can’t and will never say enough about her. There are also a lot of horror fans out there already complaining that the cast is all no names, I can personally guarantee you that no actress with a name would have had the guts to pull of what Sarah did or went through during shooting, no way. She is awesome.â€™â€™
So they can take advantage of the great tax benefits, the filmmakers opted to shoot the flick in Shreveport, LA.
â€˜â€™But the location actually fit this film very well. So this time it was actually a good thingâ€™â€™, he says, adding. â€˜â€™While we were shooting there was a very big budget film shooting in Shreveport, but the film was supposed to take place in Los Angeles… Figure out that one…â€™â€™