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RAPE-REVENGE FILMS

By: Wynn

“It’s no longer a man’s world " -tagline for Ms. 45

Rape and revenge films (rape/revenge) are a subgenre of exploitation film that was particularly popular in the 1970s.Rape/revenge movies generally follow the same three act structure:

  • Act I: A woman is raped/gang raped, tortured, and left for dead.
  • Act II: The woman survives and rehabilitates herself.
  • Act III: The woman takes revenge and kills all of her rapists.

In some cases, the woman is killed at the end of the first act, and the “revenge” is carried out by her family, as in Last House on the Left.

The rape-avenger is a woman who is raped and kills the man, or men, who raped her. The subgenre is born from crossing rape as a motive with the vigilante movie, and its key scene is the protagonist’s transformation from victim to avenger.

The femme fatale rape-revenger is an erotic display with a just cause, a combination of the angry male vigilante and the murderous female femme fatale, a justified killer with the mission to educate men who have not adjusted to modern society. She doesn’t know where she is going, harldly knows what she is doing, but she knows that she has had enough.

Often considered the lowest depth to which the cinema can plummet, the rape-revenge film has been dismissed as exploitative and sensational, catering to a demented demographic.

 

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