Hatred for two groups of people can manifest in different ways. Along with Stanley Kubrick 's A Clockwork Orange, Straw Dogs stands as a transgressively violent, deeply '70s film; one that still retains its power to shock after all these years. The most important bonus feature in the characteristically thorough extras component of the Criterion Blu-ray is an interview with Linda Williams, a film studies professor at the University of California, who explores the gender politics of the film.
In March a partially edited print of Straw Dogs, which removed most of the second rape, was refused a video certificate when the distributor lost the rights to the film after agreeing to make the requested BBFC cuts, and the full uncut version was also rejected for video three months later on the grounds that the BBFC could not pass the uncut version so soon after rejecting a cut one.
David allows himself to be humiliated for an unpleasantly long time—for so long that he becomes quite unappetizing.
However, on the basis that the BBFC could not very well pass a more complete version of the film so soon after rejecting an edited version, this version was also rejected. Williams never outright calls the film feminist or anti-feminist; her thoughtful yet at times opaque commentary amounts to the claim that Straw Dogs provides a forum where people can talk about the issues of misogyny and sexual violence against women.
These changes were incorporated into the finished version, which was classified X without further cuts for cinema release.Dustin Hoffman viewed David as deliberately, yet subconsciously, provoking the violence, his concluding homicidal rampage being the emergence of his true self; this view was not shared by director Sam Peckinpah. The film climaxes with a pitched battle in which Dustin Hoffman's weedy academic picks off each of the villagers one by one, after realising that violence is the only language such people understand. In fact, the plot of the former and the final scene of the latter share a single filmic referent: the unrelentingly bleak Straw Dogs , a thriller that to this day remains one of director Sam Peckinpah 's most controversial films. The goal of the movie is to demonstrate that David enjoys the killing, and achieves his manhood in that self-recognition. It represents—superficially, at least—a resolution of his conflicts, but in a spiritually ugly way. Working from a script that he wrote with David Z. I would have walked out of 'Straw Dogs' at several points if I'd been anything but a professional critic. Not long before the Sumner's home is ransacked, Charlie and Norman enter the house after fooling David into being away and rape Amy. Another girl in the movie—the teen-ager who gets the gentle simpleton in trouble by making advances to him after David, the only other gentle person in town, rejects her—sustains the image of Eve the troublemaker. Author Melanie Williams, in her book, Secrets and Laws: Collected Essays in Law, Lives and Literature, stated, "the enactment purposely catered to entrenched appetites for desired victim behavior and reinforces rape myths ". Above all else, their relationship seems to lack respect. Sensing David's weakness, Charlie and his men leer at Amy with impunity. The film was heavily cut for theatrical release in the US, and the pressinspired furore in the UK led to several local councils cutting or banning it outright. Another ambivalence in Peckinpah is his contempt for the brute yokels and his respect for David for using brains to kill them.
The standout in the film is undoubtedly Susan George.