Monday, October 5, 2009

Teeth (2007)

Directed by Mitchell Lichenstein
Starring Jess Weixler and her vagina
Rated R
USA

"Dentata."
"What?"
"It's Latin for teeth."

Dawn (Weixler) is the last American virgin. She’s a star speaker in her school’s weird celibacy club and thinks only pure thoughts. She’s also breathtakingly beautiful, in a fresh-faced, corn-fed sorta way, and so sexually ripe you can practically smell her pheromones through the movie screen. Obviously, something’s gotta give, and once she decides to get amorous with a deceptively harmless-seeming member of her Jesus-freak club, she finds out that her vagina is lined with razor sharp teeth that turn whatever is invading her personal girl-space into pulp. This is very bad news for all the men in her life, including her pervy gynecologist and her ass-fuck happy step-brother.

On the surface, Teeth seems like an 80’s gross-out horror-comedy in the Basket Case/Street Trash vein, but it’s actually much more subtle. Although it has more than its share of extremely graphic penis dismemberment, it’s a wickedly dark comedy, full of wry humor and just the right touch of social commentary.

The performances are pitch-perfect, especially Weixler, who exudes a wide-eyed innocence even after the third or fourth rape attempt. I don’t think there’s ever been a character as unlucky-in-love as our girl Dawn, and she shows considerable pluck in even the darkest circumstances. You will fall completely and totally in love with her by the time the film is over.

Which is bound to cause you considerable pain, given her condition.

Great stuff from first-time director Lichtenstein (son of painter Roy), who walks a thin line between John Waters and HG Lewis, without tipping too far over in either. Of course, you will probably never have sex again without demanding a full vaginal inspection, but that’s a small price to pay for art.



-Ken McIntyre

2 comments:

  1. I saw this in the theater and loved it. Very funny, frightening and sexy all at once. Jess Weixler is just adorable and you want to take care of her, and yet so very hot at the same time. Great sense of comic timing, too. I hope she goes far in the biz.

    I saw the dude who plays her stepbrother in another film recently, playing a different and much more likable character, yet I couldn't his portrayal of this sleazebag out of my head while I watched. His new character was creepy without even trying. I think he's typecast forever.

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  2. I enjoyed this movie too - a sort of progressive retelling of a misogynistic myth told from a woman's perspective.

    But holy hell - what is that terrible poster you have up there?? That's not the original. It makes it look like some kind of National Lampoon movie, and is rather similar to 18-Year-Old Virgin, no?

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