Saturday, June 21, 2008

Teeth Move Lacks Bite...sorry, couldn't resist

This past week I watched the movie Teeth, a horror/black comedy flick directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein and starring relative newcomer Jess Weixler. It's been out for about a year and has been making the rounds of various film festivals across the country. It's also been getting talked up a lot on a bunch of blogs and horror-related websites I read so I added it to my Netflix list.


Weixler plays Dawn, a pretty, perky high school girl who's obsessed with keeping her virginity until marriage. I say obsessed because it's all she talks about. Dawn's also part of group that preaches and pulpit-pounds like the most ardent Christian Revivalist Minister. But being a high school girl she gets led astray anyway. Dawn is the victim of date rape when she discovers she has Vagina Dentata, or a set of teeth down inside her genitalia. The rapist is mortally wounded when he loses his own genitalia mid-coitus; things then speed up and get stranger as more people die, an OBGYN loses a hand and the story takes some odd turns into matricide, fratricide and incest.

While I love the concept, the delivery left me a bit bewildered. What I think they were going for was a horror/comedy in the same vein as Kentucky Fried Movie, while also poking fun at things like teen comedies and having a bit of fun with social mores. But it just didn't work for me.

I blame it partly on the cheesy dialogue and partly on the acting----there really was no discernible talent in anyone save with some small moments with Weixler. But mostly I blame the direction. After the first incident you can see the jokes and the scares coming from a mile away. The bar is never really raised and the joke stays pretty much the same throughout the movie. Some more accomplished techniques and a tighter plot could have at least raised the tension level a bit. But when Dawn's dates are wounded and they start screaming I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be horrified, shocked or amused. In the end I wasn't any of those things. If I was anything, I was bored.


1 comment:

Affordable Teeth Whitening said...

Actually, the movie doesn't ever use the word "rape" -- I used it for one moment in the film, because that's clearly what it was. Yes, the nature of Dawn's mutation requires vaginal penetration for her to be able to effect her revenge/justice, but it's a bit of a leap to then say it assumes that all rape is vaginal penetration, since the story is neither about all types of rape nor is it only about rape.