Leaning against the window, picking idly at the paint all flaking and peeling on the underside of the sill, Talbot clears the throat and recites: “This woman has just cut, chopped, broken and burned five men beyond recognition… but no jury in America would ever convict her.” He tilts the head back, purses the lips a time. “Knife in the hand,” says, “bare-backed and bloodied. Tattered garment pulled down o’er the right shoulder. Arse half out. Daylight through the trees up ahead, and yet the full of every night that ever was it is that she’s prowling...”
I nod, fishing from the corners of the pouch in the paw the last few tendrils of Golden Virginia tobacco. “Aye,” saying. “An image and a half, is what it is.”
“Is what it is, is right. And one that the picture itself could never hope to live up to, whatever the number of its merits. And a fair few, I suppose, is the number of them.”
Camile Keaton, granddaughter of Buster, is the woman, and Meir Zarchi’s infamous - and iconic - I Spit On Your Grave (aka Day of the Woman, I Hate Your Guts, or, simply, The Rape and Revenge of Jennifer Hill) the picture in question.
“For as grubby and sleazy and begrimed a thing as it was, there’s no doubting that a thing in possession of A Point it was, also.”
Four nights prior, Talbot and I are sat shivering afore a screen on the suitably dank ground floor of The Horse Hospital - “a three-tiered progressive arts venue in London providing an encompassing umbrella for the related media of film, fashion, music and art” - listening to Bizarre Magazine’s Billy Chainsaw, sleazepert of some renown and one-time P.A. of Siouxsie and the Banshees, introduce what will henceforth be known as ISOYG 2010, director Steven R. Monroe’s game attempt to wrench something halfways relevant to the Here and Now from out the guts of what Roger Ebert once famously described as “a movie so sick, reprehensible and contemptible that I can hardly believe it’s playing in respectable theatres.”
“You know what you’re getting with a film like this” says Chainsaw. “I don’t really need to say anything.”
That the crowd do indeed know what they’re getting, or at least what they hope they’re getting, is confirmed by the low murmur rising then from the cobbles, wafting about the Morbid Angel pendants and the Suspiria tattoos and the facial accoutrements of those present, ascending to the rafters as a great plume of excitable, anticipatory babble flush with misremembered atrocity. Giddy accounts of bits out Deodato’s House On The Edge Of The Park, or Vibenius’s Thriller: A Cruel Picture, or indeed Wes Craven’s Last House On The Left zigzag about the room, fragments of savage scenes now attributed to Zarchi’s “vile bag of garbage” (Ebert again), and with little in the way of rebuttal or riposte for that.