British Board of Film Classification

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Type of media Film

Approved Running time 107m 45s

BBFCInsight Contains very strong terrorisation, sexual violence and bloody violence

Genre(s) Horror

Director(s) Steven R. Monroe

Cast includes Sarah Butler, Rodney Eastman, Jeff Branson, Chad Lindberg, Daniel Franzese, Tracey Walter

Cut This work was cut. The cuts were compulsory. To obtain this category cuts of 0m 43s were required. Details of cuts below may contain spoilers or plot details.

BBFCinsight publication date 05/08/2010

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is a US remake of the 1978 film of the same name. It tells the story of a young woman, Jennifer Hills, who rents a secluded cabin in order to work on her novel. She is terrorised, assaulted and brutally gang raped by a group of five men, including the local Sheriff. She then takes revenge on each of her attackers. The film was classified '18' for very strong terrorisation, sexual violence and bloody violence.

The BBFC's Guidelines state that 'In line with the consistent findings of the BBFC's public consultations and the Human Rights Act 1998, at '18' the BBFC's guideline concerns will not normally override the principle that adults should be free to choose their own entertainment. Exceptions are most likely [...] where material or treatment appears to the BBFC to risk harm to individuals or, through their behaviour, to society - for example, any detailed portrayal of violent or dangerous acts [...] which may cause harm to public health or morals. This may include portrayals of sexual or sexualised violence which might, for example, eroticise or endorse sexual assault'. More generally, the Guidelines state that 'A strict policy on sexual violence and rape is applied. Content which might eroticise or endorse sexual violence may require cuts at any classification level' and that intervention, even at the adult level, is more likely with 'sexual violence or sexualised violence which endorses or eroticises the behaviour' and with 'sadistic violence or torture which invites the viewer to identify with the perpetrator in a way which raises a harm risk'.

Before awarding an '18' classification to I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, the BBFC required seventeen individual cuts to its scenes of sexual violence in order to remove elements that tend to eroticise sexual assault (for example, through the use of nudity), as well as other elements that tend to endorse sexual assault (for example, by encouraging viewer complicity by the use of camcorder footage, filmed by the rapists, during the various scenes of sexual assault). With these cuts made, the film's scenes of very strong terrorisation and sexual violence remain potentially shocking, distressing or offensive to some adult viewers, but are also likely to be found repugnant and to be aversive. They are not credibly likely to encourage imitation. There are three scenes in which Jennifer is terrorised, humiliated and sexually assaulted by the men. She is verbally and physically abused, being forced to drink alcohol, dance in her underwear and behave like an animal. She is also beaten and pushed around by the men. Jennifer is then raped by each of the men in turn, although only two rapes are shown onscreen. In the cut version, the rape scenes feature only incidental nudity and are played largely off facial reactions. Although the scenes of assault are protracted, the most likely response to the cut version of the scenes is revulsion and disgust rather than excitement or arousal.

The second half of the film, which focusses on Jennifer's revenge, features a number of scenes of very strong bloody violence. Jennifer kills off each of her attackers in turn, using a variety of improvised devices and tools. These scenes include sight of one man being burned with acid, one man having his eyelids pulled open with fishing hooks so that his eyes can be pecked out by crows, one man having his teeth removed with pliers and his penis severed with a pair of shears, one man being shot in the anus with a rifle and another man being shot in the head. The scenes in question feature graphic close up detail of the mutilation and killing of the men. The scenes are also quite protracted and far exceed the terms of the '15' Guidelines where 'Violence many be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable'. Jennifer takes obvious relish in tormenting, mutilating and killing her attackers and displays a high level of sadism in her attacks. However, the scenes in question are justified as Jennifer's revenge on the men who humiliated, assaulted and raped her and the details of her own attacks often closely mirror the verbal and physical abuse she suffered earlier in the film. At '18', the BBFC does not regard these gory and violent scenes as liable to encourage emulation or pose a credible harm risk. Rather, they are in the tradition of recent strong '18' horror films, such as the SAW and HOSTEL series.

The film also contains frequent strong language, one aggressive use of very strong language, strong verbal sex references, discriminatory language (including 'retard' and 'homo') and scenes of nudity, before, during and after the rapes. One of the rapists in the film is portrayed as having a learning disability and some viewers may find the film's depiction of this character offensive.

Cuts information

Company was required to make a total of seventeen cuts during three separate scenes of sexual violence in order to remove potentially harmful material (in this case, shots of nudity that tend to eroticise sexual violence and shots of humiliation that tend to endorse sexual violence by encouraging viewer complicity in sexual humiliation and rape). Cuts made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines and policy.


Anchor Bay Entertainment UK Ltd
Classified date(s)
Main language
Submitted run time
107m 45s
Approved footage
BBFC reference
Registration number
The BBFC required 43 seconds of cuts to this film. The distributor made all the cuts, but in some instances substituted new material for the removed footage. This has resulted in a running time difference of 21 seconds between the original submission and the classified version.

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