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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Teeth (Note: Contains Spoilers!)

Well, we saw Teeth last night. Teeth is a dark comedy about a teenage girl who discovers, quite gruesomely, that she has vagina dentata (teeth in her vagina). The film is written and directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein, Roy Lichtenstein’s son.

The movie begins rather cleverly with the main character, Dawn, shown as a child sitting in a small wading pool with her also young stepbrother. The stepbrother tries to finger Dawn’s vagina, and his finger is badly bitten. The next scene shows Dawn as a teenager, leading the teenage chastity movement at her school. And her now grown stepbrother, played by creepy Matt from Nip/Tuck, is so traumatized by the finger biting incident that he will only engage in anal sex with his girlfriends.

I thought the film was a bit like Stephen King’s Christine, in that the teeth only attack the penises or fingers of men who Dawn doesn’t like. (There is one scene in the middle where Dawn enjoys the sex, and the teeth do not attack.) Her teeth attack intruders at first, including her boyfriend, who rapes her, and her gynecologist, who tries to molest her during the exam. However, towards the end, Dawn begins to premeditate her attacks, which I guess is supposed to show empowerment.

The movie is funny in places. I think my favorite scene is when the creepy gynecologist gets all five fingers bitten off, and screams “Vagina dentata! Vagina dentata!” as his severed fingers lay scattered on the floor. Or maybe my favorite scene is when Dawn seduces her now grown stepbrother, bites his penis off, and feeds his penis to the rottweiler. I also enjoyed the subtle detail of the nuclear reactors visible behind Dawn’s house, perhaps explaining her mutation. However, as Bob points out, the nuclear reactors were emitting black smoke from cooling towers which would only contain clean water. (Details like this really bother Bob.)

In short, I enjoyed the film, but you may want to wait for Netflix.

Yes, parts of this were a bit much. I think you'd like it, though. It's generally clever, and the Teen Purity meetings were funny.
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