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Teeth (Ws Sub) (2008)

A movie directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein

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WOW! You'll Have to be an Orthodontist to Get Pass this Banana Cutter!!

  • Mar 21, 2009

TEETH is a satirical horror film that explores the mythology of vagina dentata (toothed vagina in latin), the myth created by men that plays on the fears of impotency. Supposedly, a "hero" must arise to return to the womb, his origins to conquer and neutralize the female's power. In this modern age, the film is more a comedic cautionary tale for men to take care in their treatment of women. While I have seen a very similar Japanese film in 2006, this film is a whole different experience since its Japanese counterpart is a lot more exploitive when it comes to visual blood and gore. 

Dawn (Jess Weixler) is a very pretty but prim high school virgin who unknowingly has a set of mutant teeth between her legs. When a supposedly like minded boyfriend forces himself upon her, Dawn's "vagina dentata" start chomping in her defense. Caught between her emerging sexuality and a host of oversexed young men, including her twisted half-brother, Dawn eventually gives in to her freakish powers in this morbidly funny and gutsy piece of horror-comedy...

Director Michell Lichtensen knew exactly what he was going for when he made this film. The filmmakers give a somewhat critical view as to why the conservatives treat sex as something to be avoided and sinful, a theme that says that teenagers should understand their bodies, an accusing finger at the smoke stacked refineries and nuclear plants, and that the "weaker sex" have to be respected. "Teeth" is more comedy than horror with its very humorous hints as to the mutated vagina as shown with the tree trunk's base and the mouth of the cave. You don't actually see the mutated culprit but you will see a lot of bitten off penises with blood spewing out, some nudity and mild sequences of intercourse. Even a dog named "mother" gets to have a "hotdog" for a snack and the film has the most twistedly funny scene of vaginal examination.

The film has a lot of potential for exploitation, but the blood and gore is very mild. The filmmakers opted to just create a culture wherein the consequences of uneducated teenagers can turn out fatal if they don't have the understanding of one's body. Lichtensen goes to the myth of "vagina dentata" to express this idea, it's not that Dawn cannot engage in intercourse, but she has to be relaxed and perfectly willing. "Vagina Dentata" may well be saying; "you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.." and "No means no". Try to violate Dawn in any way and you will lose your manhood literally. The film is pretty much a social metaphor about woman empowerment instead of going for exploitive scares. He sidesteps the plot's very erotic and exploitation potential to present a satirical horror drama that revolves more on teen problems and perverted teenagers.

I'm not exactly sure just exactly how I felt about "Teeth". The film is very amusing to watch and it did manage to keep my interest for its entirety, I was never bored but I wasn‘t exactly entertained either. I guess I was just very curious to how everything would turn out. Anyway, much of the plot is left unexplored, the police's investigation of Tobey's death has left unanswered, (it was very funny and scary that they found a shark-like tooth embedded on the severed penis) and Dawn's parents seem more like plot devices than anything else. The editing isn't really that solid and the pace is very slow-moving which makes the tension-building music a little unnecessary. Brad (Dawn's step brother) is severely underdeveloped and there were no hints of him being irrational aside from the hints that he likes doing it in the backdoor to avoid being nicked by a vagina. He had a very traumatic episode in a game of "show me yours and I'll show you mine". I think the film would be funnier and more entertaining if it added shots of the mutated culprit like its Asian counterpart.

I don't know, while I truly commend the film's ambition, I think this film would be better with a hint of supernatural elements mixed in to express its social issues. "Teeth" isn't a bad movie at all, but the direction felt like it was being held back by something and stopped short in its execution. I couldn't really figure out if the director is strengthening or criticizing the male anxiety or whether it was just making fun of itself. It does have a very interesting premise; a very peculiar take on puberty. Have you heard of the age-old adage that penises have a mind of their own? Nonetheless, "Teeth" is worth a look, I'm very curious as what other folks think of this comedy-horror.

Recommended! [3 Out of 5 Stars]


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March 26, 2009
For some reason all this has left me thinking about Cronenberg's film RABID although I'm sure no one would ever consider it to be a film about female empowerment.
March 23, 2009
I could see how this could make an interesting horror film and an interesting comedy, but I'm having trouble seeing how it would be able to succeed as both. Often in horror-comedies the violence undermines the comedy and the humor feels flat and uncreative. I love the film's teaser poster though!
March 23, 2009
I know what you mean. The majority of the amazon friends we've had loved this flick but I really felt very conflicted as Karen says. I saw the Japanese take a few months before this one--truly exploitive and silly, but a lot of fun. I think this movie tried to be a wanna-be "Ginger Snaps" but fell a little short. The poster is very cool.
March 25, 2009
Still haven't seen the "Ginger Snaps" movies. It has something to do with a menstruating girl turning into a werewolf, right?
March 25, 2009
Well, she's a bit older than that. You'll really like it though. Its one of the most original werewold movies in years.
March 21, 2009
I've read several reviews of this within our ammie circle and they were all very positive. I'm fairly certain the Chris reviewed it but I can't recall off-hand. I know I've read at least 3. Your's is the one that's making me put it on my Netflix list though. I like the fact that you're conflicted about it. Makes me curious.
March 21, 2009
Yep, Karen. I reviewed this a day after Chris did. His was a very positive review; but you know me by now, I always try to keep things balanced, pros and cons. I think you may like this one. It is different, and although it missed some opportunities, it was still quite good.
March 21, 2009
With Chris you get naked chicks and lots of blood and he's happy as can be. I think the idea alone was enough to get a positive out of him. =)
March 24, 2009
agreed! LOL
March 25, 2009
Do I detect a nom de plume?
March 26, 2009
wait till I review "vagina dentata" Japanese style!!
More Teeth (movie 2008) reviews
Quick Tip by . July 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A good horror movie in a way, and one that makes men protect the family jewels.
review by . August 02, 2010
A while back, Megan Fox & Amanda Seyfried starred in JENNIFER'S BODY, a "horror" film that wanted to be funny and observant at the same time. What it ended up being was a mess. The "horror" wasn't even remotely horrifying and humor only worked if your idea of wit involves Fox making double entendres. It was a failure and a flop.    The other day, I watched 2007's TEETH, a film that combines genuine creepiness & dread with some sharp if a bit obvious social observation and humor. …
Quick Tip by . June 03, 2010
This movie appealed to every twisted bone in my body. Never have I seen a topic so utterly disturbing and entertaining all in one.
review by . September 08, 2008
This movie is more comedy then horror in my eyes. Seeing the previews months before hand I couldn't wait to grab hold of this and thanks to my Amazon friends who had already watched and rated this reminded me how anxious I wanted to see this. If films couldn't get any more bizarre imagine a strain of VD so powerful that one encounter with a carrier essentially kills you. The rub is that in this case, VD stands not for venereal disease but rather for the Latin " vagina dentata," e.g. "toothed vagina." …
review by . May 04, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
"Teeth"    Comedy or Horror?    Amos Lassen    Dawn is a high school student who works very hard at suppressing her sexuality. She is the most active person in her local chastity group and has an even harder time because her stepbrother, Brad, acts in quite a provocative way. Dawn is completely innocent regarding her own body and when she discovers that her vagina has teeth, she becomes the object of violence. As she struggles with this …
review by . June 23, 2008
There's not much you can really say about this film to try and justify its content, it's simply a film about a girl who took a vow of abstinence but through a bad incident with a boy she discovers that her vagina has teeth and accidentally castrates the boy. I can't really go into detail about the film as it is of a very explicit nature but the myth of vaginas having teeth is bigger than most people will first know. It's actually called Vagina Dentata and is a mythology based on female empowerment, …
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About this movie


A coming-of-age tale with a twist,Teethtakes a novel approach towards teen sexual angst. Sunny blonde Dawn (Jess Weixler, a Meryl Streep in the making) promotes abstinence at her high school. Her mother (Vivienne Benesch) is terminally ill, her half-brother (Nip/Tuck's John Hensley) is a tattooed sociopath, and her stepfather (Lenny von Dohlen) does what he can to keep the household together. When Dawn meets doe-eyed transfer student Tobey (Hale Appleman), her celibacy vow is put to the test. Simultaneously, she starts to realize her anatomy differs from other girls. Though Dawn's Austin environs recall the serene suburbs ofDonnie Darko--except for the ominous smokestacks behind the family's ranch house--her secret power brings her closer in line withCarrie. It's a particularlyfemininecapability. When Carrie felt threatened, she used her mind as a weapon. In Dawn's case, a certain physical anomaly comes into play: the vagina dentata of ancient mythology (Camille Paglia, author ofSexual Personae, served as a consultant on the film). At first, Dawn has no control over the situation and, like De Palma's anti-heroine, she's horrified. But actor-turned-director Mitchell Lichtenstein (Ang Lee’sThe Wedding Banquet), son of artist Roy Lichtenstein, ends his debut on a very different note. Along the way, there's satiric humor, squirm-inducing gore, and a star-making turn from Weixler, recipient of a special prize at Sundance for her ...
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Genre: Horror
Release Date: January 18, 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Screen Writer: Mitchell Lichtenstein
DVD Release Date: May 6, 2008
Runtime: 94 minutes
Studio: Weinstein Company
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"Comedy or Horror?"
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