Ah the sweet madness of horror movies from the 1970s. No political correctness. No limits. Small budget. Just roll with an idea and take it to the max.
Starring Camille Keaton, the grand-niece of Buster Keaton, and directed by Meir Zarchi, this 1977 cult classic is not your typical fare.
The film feels more like a home video than a Hollywood release. The most disturbing thing about it is you become convinced that the actions depicted in the movie are really happening. This is like watching a really horrible real life experience unfolding in front of you and not being able to do anything about it. This is the kind of movie that they were trying to emulate when they made The Blair Witch Project. The kind of disturbing tale told with a shaky camera and disturbing home video realism that makes your stomach upset at the end of the day.
Camille Keaton plays Jenny, a writer from New York who has published articles in "women's magazines" but has come to a little place in Connecticut, away from everything, to work on her novel. She rents a house in the woods and prepares to set to work.
On her way to her rented cottage she encounters three men at a gas station. They are polite and friendly and she tells them her story. There is no hint of danger here and we see Jenny feeling pretty secure in the quaintness of this very small town. Later, a somewhat mentally challenged delivery boy brings her groceries. He is very friendly, asks a lot of questions, and is impressed with Jenny's credentials. She even gives him an apple before he goes on his way.
Slow in developing, but creepily so, the story unfolds where the three men from the gas station and the delivery boy are all friends and rather frustrated with their lot in life. Jenny writes, sits out on the hammock, enjoys boating on the lake... and then the four boys come back. They taunt her by piloting their boat in circles in front of her house, and then, while she is out in a row boat, take her for a ride down the lake against her will. Soon after, a very long and disturbingly believable series of rapes occur until each of the men has "had a go" at Jenny. In the end, she is left bruised and bleeding at home, her novel torn to shreds, violated by a bottle.
The rest of the film is centered on how she will avenge herself and settle things. Jenny becomes more violent and obsessed with revenge than anyone east of Jason. How does it pan out? Well, I can't exactly recommend you watch the film. You'll need a strong stomach and the ability to handle a masochistic plot line. It was the master of low-budget horror films that pushed the envelope of what the audience was willing to accept. No other widely released film has ever come close to achieving what this film "achieved" and probably none ever will. It is vile and emotionally upsetting. Yet, it is, without any doubt a film you cannot forget once you have watched it.
There are different versions of the movie. One was edited for theatrical release, but the unedited version can also be found. It has also been released under the title "Day of the Woman". Much thanks to sid for additional information I was not otherwise aware of. Apparently, had it not been for a sound thrashing at the hands of Siskel and Ebert, it would long ago have vanished into the mists.