CineTel Films has purchased the rights to remake I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, the 1978 female revenge film reviled at the time for its depiction of sex and violence, per VARIETY.
Meir Zarchi, who directed, produced and wrote the original, owned the remake rights. Though the majority of CineTel's releases are straight-to-DVD, the company says it will make SPIT for a theatrical release.
In the original, a woman (Camille Keaton) is abducted, brutally attacked and raped and left for dead. She survives, hunts down her attackers and ends their lives in very graphic ways. Critics, especially Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel, hated the film, much to Zarchi's delight.
"The more the film was attacked, the more money shot into my pocket," Zarchi said. "The two persons who contributed most to that, especially in the beginning, were Siskel and Ebert...I wouldn't change a frame of it, and I hope the remake is just as controversial."
The remake will be produced by CineTel president and CEO Paul Hertzberg and Lisa Hansen, with Jeff Klein, Alan Ostroff, Gary Needle and Zarchi executive producing.
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, despite a sound walloping from critics and audiences, is generally credited as the precursor to a slew of female revenge hits, Hertzberg told VARIETY. Also, contemporary genre fare has become so graphically violent that the 30-year-old original has lost a little of its punch. Hertzberg is currently hearing pitches from writers hoping to ratchet up the shock factor.
"After seeing what was done with an R rating on films like SAW and HOSTEL, we think we can modernize this story, be competitive with what this marketplace expects and not have to aim for an NC-17 or X rating," Hertzberg said.
Ebert, when asked by VARIETY about his reaction, said only that his hope is that this time, the result is a better film.