Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Teeth: Vagina Dentata as Dark Comedy Cautionary Tale

Teeth is a giddy mish-mash of genre monikers, from female empowerment movie to coming-of-age saga to black comedy-horror to rape and revenge drama to Lynchian suburban melodrama. Pop artist fil Mitchell Lichtenstein gives us the story of Dawn, a white picket fence pretty young girl coping with growing up "pure and virginal" in a world obsessed with sexual innuendo around each and every corner. This includes her own house as her lecherous big bad wolf epitome'd stepbrother sniffs after her with tongue a-flicking. After a date gone horribly, horribly awry, Dawn finds out that she is cursed with the mythical mutation known as "vaginal dentata" - aka she's got razor sharp teeth in her pussy, yo! The result is that Teeth ends up being a quirky (how could it not be?), sunnily macabre work of neo-candy pop gyno-horror that can in no way whatsoever be watched by anyone of the male gender without constant squirming and shuffling about in what are suddenly very uncomfortable seats.

Opening in the suburban shadow of a nuclear power plant with towers billowing ominous grey choke from their own gritty teeth, as if a nod-and-a-wink absurdest homage to The SimpsonsTeeth struts right out of the gate with a creeping small town menace overlying pretty much anything and everything, and proceeds down a winding road of desperate reciprocatory acts of the most bizarre and unnerving nature. With the perils of male violence festooned within every darting-eyed nook and cranny moment, Teeth takes place in a world completely ensconced within one of those old sex ed filmstrips made to keep junior high school girls legs clamped shut until their eventual and inevitable wedding night - and first-time director Lichtenstein tosses this all at us with the sincerest kind of camp style and ballsy (ha!) chutzpah. A cautionary tale of imminent woah woah woah woe.

Dawn, played with a scared forest animal comic frenzy by Jess Weixler, looking every bit the girl next door on the verge of bad girl in the basement, is spokesperson for a promise ring wearing teenage purity movement - a movement lampooned on Family Guy but given real "teeth" here. Dawn is seen as the ultimate sexual goal-cum-prize by just about every male classmate in her school, as if every teenage boy is some sort of licentious lycanthrope ready to pounce and deflower every pretty girl they come across at the drop of a hat - or any article of clothing. Dawn sees herself as such as well, and fights even her own naturally budding urges (a scene showing our intrepid heroine in bed "thinking" about a boy she longs for attests to such) to keep her vow of chastity upright. That is until one fateful swimmin' hole romp that ends with the lake being dredged for the body of Dawn's unfortunate date sans one pretty important body part.

Once the newly deflowered Dawn throws away the moniker of cursed hoo-hah and looks upon her mutation as a rightful empowerment to avenge her becoming the victim of the seemingly rampant male violence of this strange new world, the film goes from anti-sexual to proto-sexual. With Dawn going from Little Red Riding Hood to the Big Bad Wold herself, the film here turns from strangely charming fantasy to something straight out of a seedy dogeared pulp fiction paperback. It is at this point that Teeth philosophically joins in with such rape & revenge films as Abel Ferrara's Ms. 45 and its more recent counterpart The Brave One from Neil Jordan. Teeth though is a much less mature, more light-hearted film that the aforementioned. After all, horror-edged or not, Lichtenstein is going for laughs here. Leaving a hilarious slew of severed penii (as well as four fingers of a rather over-amorous gynecologist) in her wake, Dawn strews her victims "better halves" across the landscape like discarded cigarette butts in the early dusky morning after a concert in the park.

One scene, inevitably choreographed, involves Dawn's salacious step-brother (played with a grim concupiscence by snarky Nip/Tuck regular John Hensley), his pet rottweiler and his freshly decapitated member half eaten with its pierced tip discarded like so much gristle. Though obvious in its outcome, this scene is certainly the pièce de résistance of this giddily twisted fairy tale of female empowerment overtaking a male dominated society of sexual despotism. On a whole, Teeth is funny, though a little bit crotch-writhing for those of us so engendered. Lichtenstein's film is a delight of, albeit stereotyped caricatures, fumbling their way through a darkish suburban nightmarescape that combines the punchy humor of a youthful Almódovar with the clean efficiently disturbed Middle America of a budding David Lynch. This critic for one, looks forward to what will come next. 

[Originally published as a DVD review at Plume Noire on 02/04/09]

37 comments:

  1. Well that answers my pap smear question. Now I wonders if she herself has lost any fingers...Just saying...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Actually, the hapless Dawn can have sex as long as there is love involved. Somehow the teeth know. So, as long as she loves herself...

    Thanx for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Teeth is an underrated piece of film. I greatly enjoyed it for many of the reasons you mentioned. Great review.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The climax in the loose vagina herbal treatment is that Aabab tablets has to be in use along with a better understanding between partners on the sexual gratification issues.
    v-tight gel

    ReplyDelete
  5. Result of The Himalaya Drug Corporation, V-Gel can additionally address different types of vaginitis which are activated by yeast disease or by protozoan. read more

    ReplyDelete
  6. The prominent figure that we all know as Charlie Chaplin was one of the famous clown-style actors of the silent era. It was through Charlie Chaplin that the Hollywood comedy movies became famous and soon came the Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd.
    movies123

    ReplyDelete
  7. The film gave an additional sound/video perfection in the photo. In any case, things have changed at this point. galaxy cinema

    ReplyDelete
  8. Stimulation factor - B I felt Book of Eli with Denzel Washington and Mila Kunis was justified regardless of the watch.megashare9

    ReplyDelete
  9. This teeth brightening system works. Albeit, numerous dental practitioners say that you get a more white grin by rehashed plate applications on the grounds that the teeth brightening peroxide remains in contact with your teeth for longer timeframes.allwhite3000

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free downloading site with hd quality movie and tv show more info visit on sockshare movies download

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow! Amazing online tv shows site, full High Quality Blu-ray Print Available here visit on "icefilms" to watch Canada Movies online in HD. I always found this site entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Perhaps you've watched all the popular Christmas movies.watch series free

    ReplyDelete
  14. Awesome review, I am a major devotee to remarking on web journals to educate the web journal scholars realize that they've added something beneficial to the internet!..  gomoviesfree

    ReplyDelete
  15. Most of the times it depends on person who is interested in similar stuff.Watching entertainment is a nice time pass especially during these holiday times.watch Biography Movies online

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for sharing helpful information, I really like your all post. I will bookmark your blog for future updates. Send Gift To Pakistan

    ReplyDelete
  17. Very efficiently written information. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work. For sure i will check out more posts. This site seems to get a good amount of visitors. instasmile

    ReplyDelete
  18. Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! Dental Implants Philipines

    ReplyDelete
  19. When you're going to download the HD video, it is going to take a whole lot longer based on the information exact same downloading speed.

    ReplyDelete
  20. What you do as you watch may vary based on the sort of movie. find this

    ReplyDelete
  21. Rotted territories will appear as little dull hued zones in the furrows and hole on the gnawing surfaces. They likewise show up as dim hazy areas between the teeth. In these little breaks and gaps, sustenance is here and there pressed and can be hard to evacuate.London Emergency Locksmith

    ReplyDelete
  22. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. veneers

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yes, the very first episode ends with an interrogation that determines his capacity to come to the USA. Find more information about it you may visit on this site.

    ReplyDelete
  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Distract from the hustle and wide range of different frustrations. Learn more about it on movie4kfree.org

    ReplyDelete
  26. It's possible it's the consequence of an animal bite to watch on 123 movies, but it's hard to identify because the status is very (decayed).

    ReplyDelete
  27. Which makes a great deal of folks question the future for movie theaters. Learn about 123 movies on yemoviesonline.co.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Unfortunately, there really isn't any alternate to the enormous packages satellite and significant cable TV networks force you to register for if you prefer to use their services on 123movie .

    ReplyDelete
  29. There's broad range of totally free kids movies online.Click here for more interesting information on this site www.xmovies8free.net.

    ReplyDelete
  30. If it says particular information can be found on a particular page, make sure it is there. It should include a link to each article that is posted with a paying site. Site has various tutorials related to streamingmovies free.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Also, as a way to stream from Netflix's database, you must be connected to the internet with a fairly fantastic connection in able to stream. visit here for more interesting information on solarmovienet.

    ReplyDelete
  32. David has the capability to listen and watch the dreams of the remainder of the crew on Watch full movies online - 123movies. Google Assistant Samantha is a very long way off.

    ReplyDelete

  33. You can also buy a Blu-ray disc player with wireless online access. Know more about putlocker.cash in this url.

    ReplyDelete

  34. Synthetic hair is considerably less expensive than human hair and is offered in various color and textures. Learn about
    x movies8 on xmovies8.accountant.

    ReplyDelete