Horror Favourites – David Maguire

To coincide with I Spit on Your Grave: The Complete Collection which is out next week we spoke to author David Maguire, who wrote an acclaimed book on the history of the film.

When the original 1978 film was banned in the UK upon release, this notorious revenge movie helped launch the “video nasty” craze of the 1980’s and inspired a generation of genre directors through its provocative, no-holds-barred filmmaking. 32 years later, a bold and shocking remake reignited the franchise and spawned a series of sequels which pushed the envelope even further.

Available in the UK as a complete set for the first time, this unique collection contains the previously banned, X-rated original I Spit on Your Grave, the infamous 2010 I Spit on Your Grave remake, powerful sequels I Spit on Your Grave 2, and I Spit on Your Grave: Vengeance is Mine, plus the final chapter in the franchise, new UK release I Spit on Your Grave: Deja Vu, the highly anticipated, direct sequel to the original film. Furthermore, the boxset contains feature-length documentary, Growing Up with I Spit on Your Grave, the first ever in-depth analysis of the 1978 cult classic, helmed by Terry Zarchi, son of franchise creator and director Meir Zarchi.

Both DVD and Blu-ray editions are jam-packed with bonus material across 6 discs, including UK firsts,
exclusive commentaries, featurettes, behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scenes, TV spots, radio spots and
more.

In his book David Maguire examines why the film still continues to provoke fierce debate forty years on, not only investigating the historical, social, and political landscape into which the film was first released–and condemned–but also examining how it is has inadvertently become ground zero for the rape-revenge genre because of its countless imitators. The book explores how academic study has reevaluated the film’s importance as a cultural statement on gender, the conflicting readings that it throws up, the timeless appeal of its story as examined through folklore and mythology, and its updating to reflect contemporary issues in a post-9/11 world of vengeance and retaliation.

Below David tells s all about his favourite horror film:

“God, it’s impossible to narrow down just one favourite horror film! It really all depends on the mood – if I’m looking for classic suspense expertly shot with no gore and an excellent soundtrack then it has to be the original Halloween hands down. If I’m looking for nostalgic horror comedy, then maybe some of the early Phantasms or House films. But for the film that first scared the pants off me and which I still revisit on a regular basis then there’s only one – The Evil Dead (1981).

I first saw this aged 11 on Betamax (remember them?) in 1983. Living in Bahrain at the time, all the video stores back then rented out pirate videos and you picked films from a book on the counter – there were no cassette boxes to look at; all you had to go on was the title and a one line premise. Watching this alone during the middle of the day I had to pull the curtains to keep out the sun so the entire living room was pitch black. Thirty minutes in I was so petrified that I paused the film, went into the kitchen, pulled out the largest carving knife I could find from the drawer, checked and promptly unlocked the front door, perched myself on the edge of the settee – and promptly pressed play again. That way, if the demonic creatures unleashed by the Necronomicon suddenly slipped forth from the screen, I had a fighting chance as I lunged for the front door (see – I was pre-empting Demons 2 by three years!).

I loved it! Despite being absolutely terrified by the carnage enfolding, I loved how the film affected me on such a visceral level – it was like being on the equivalent of a horror film roller coaster. And I wanted more – soon after I discovered Lucio Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters and City of the Living Dead and haven’t looked back since. It wasn’t until a few years later, when watching a TV news report on the video nasties scandal in the UK, that my parents discovered – and were horrified to learn – that I’d actually been renting most of these films years earlier, totally oblivious to their notoriety.

As much as I was dreading the 2013 remake – most horror remakes tend to be very disappointing – I was pleasantly surprised at just how much that version affected me too, invoking similar feelings of dread and unease.”

Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment presents I Spit on Your Grave: The Complete Collection out now on Blu-ray and DVD Order The Complete Collection on Amazon HERE and Order the book by David Maguire HERE

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Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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