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Teeth (2007)

DVD Cover (Dimension Extreme)
Genres:
Coming-Of-Age, Horror, Horror Comedy, Sex Comedy, Sex Horror, Teen Drama
Director:
Mitchell Lichtenstein Mitchell Lichtenstein
Starring:
Jess Weixler Jess Weixler
John Hensley John Hensley
Josh Pais Josh Pais
Hale Appleman Hale Appleman
Lenny von Dohlen Lenny von Dohlen

5.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: May 01, 2008
Last year, I picked up a copy of Sexual Parasite (or Killer Pussy as it's titled on my import copy) and really enjoyed the entire affair. Granted, it was a sleazy, trashy little film that focused more on gore and T&A than on an actual storyline, but when dealing with a vagina that mutilates and kills people, who really expects any semblance of a rational storyline? Now we've got Teeth, a film that deals with a similar subject but approaches it from an entirely different angle. I really didn't expect it to work; again, how can you have a "legit" film revolving around this subject matter and actually make it work? However, being a fan of this oddball shit, there was no way that I was going to skip a movie that dealt with this sort of thing, so I decided to go ahead and check it out. The results... well, let's get the synopsis out of the way first.

We begin in a Rockwell-inspired small town setting, where we discover that a man and a woman are contemplating marriage much to the chagrin of their young children. Yes, both of them have a kid of their own, and as a matter of fact, they're both playing together in the pool while their parents sit around in lawn chairs sipping lemonade and chatting with one another. Did I mention that there's a touch of Norman Rockwell going on here? This town has the type of small town charm that would inspire any artist to pick up his brush, except for the fact that there's a huge power plant looming over the town, and of course, it'd be easy for these parents to overlook their precious little angels playing a game of "you show me yours, I'll show you mine" in the pool. It's all innocent fun and games though, until little Brad decides to take the game a little further by sticking his finger in Dawn's vagina. That doesn't last long though, as... well, the movie is called Teeth, so you do the math.

Skipping ahead to present day, we find that those two parents did indeed get married, and both Dawn (Jess Weixler) and Brad (John Hensley) are still living at home with them. We also learn that the two kids took two radically different paths in life: Dawn is a firm believer in abstinence who lives by strict morals, while Brad is a tattooed loser who basically sits around the house all day when he's not banging his equally-loser'ish girlfriend. However, things change when Dawn meets Tobey (Hale Appleman), the new kid in school who will have her questioning whether or not her "sacred vows of abstinence" are really worth it. From there... well, the movie is called Teeth, so you do the math.

It's really hard to place a genre on the film at hand, as it mixes together a lot of different elements and truly defies classification. It's not really a drama, but it does feature a lot of moments that wouldn't look out of place in an episode of Dawnson's Creek. It's not exactly a comedy, but there are plenty of laughs to be had at key points in the film as well as some "biting" satire. It's also not much of a horror flick, but it does have plenty of violence and some particularly nasty scenes. See what I'm getting at here? The filmmakers mixed together a little bit of everything throughout the running time, and although it doesn't always work, the end result was pretty damned satisfying in my book.

While most of the material found here worked nicely by itself, one has to give leading lady Jess Weixler a huge amount of credit for her outstanding performance. This lady may not have a big chunk of experience under her belt (her biggest break prior to this film was the role of "TV cowgirl" in Little Manhattan), but you honestly couldn't tell it by watching her here. Her character has to go through a range of emotions and mind states as the film progresses, and not once does she fumble with the material she's given. Awkwardly shy, goody two-shoes high school girl? She nailed it. Confused, desperate for answers? Again, no problems. Borderline hysterical? Bingo. Then there's the turn towards the end of the film, and once again, you won't hear a complaint out of me. If this movie was any indication, this is a lady to keep your eye on.

The rest of the cast doesn't fare as well, but this isn't exactly a knock on anybody. You see, John Hensley is great as the obnoxious asshole, but his character is given little to work with and it's hard to make a judgment on him as a result. Lenny Von Dohlen is appropriately cast as the father and does fine with his role, but again, he only shows up at key moments in the film and doesn't have a lot to work with. Everyone else either fell into the same category or was just sort of there: you can't complain about anyone, but nobody really turned in a performance worth gushing about either. Weixler is definitely the star of the show here, and I was perfectly fine with that decision.

So, at this point in the review, I think it should go without saying that I loved the film. However, this comes with a bit of a warning: Teeth is not a horror film regardless of what the marketing would lead you to believe, nor is it a film like Shaun of the Dead that mixes together a variety of genres but is still basically a horror flick at its core. It's a bizarre little film, but sometimes, bizarre works just fine. 9/10.
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grain of sand #1: grain of sand - added 05/09/2008, 03:08 AM
Holy shit this was cringe inducing.. Wish the movie as a whole was a little better though.. It kind of felt like a bunch of ideas and scenes were just thrown together to explore this myth and it felt like it never reeeeally went anywhere.. But hey, where could a film dealing with a pussy with teeth go? Guess I should see Killer Pussy.

6/10 For catching my jaw hang open a few times and beautiful Dawn showing that upper half..
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 07/20/2008, 12:54 AM
This movie was pretty good, but really, it was just the same thing over and over again. Wasn't as funny as I hoped it'd be, and it also wasn't as gory or horrific as I thought it would be. So overall, it was a letdown. 7/10
George Snow #3: George Snow - added 08/09/2008, 09:44 AM
I found this to be one of the best character studies I've seen in a long time.

Each encounter leading to the fabulous lead actress learning more about her body and life in general.

For a low budget flick it was excellent.
Optimus Prime #4: Optimus Prime - added 01/28/2009, 03:09 PM
I have basically the same exact same to say about this movie as Tristan. 6/10
Nirrad #5: Nirrad - added 01/28/2010, 11:48 PM
Wow, I thought this was terrible. Everyone in it was a moron. I didn't pick this movie to watch, so when it was done I got an apology.
Greg Follender #6: Greg Follender - added 01/29/2010, 01:02 PM
A lot of missed opportunities in this little film... ended up being a bit gimmicky to me in the end.

It just seemed half-baked... a lot of what drew me to the film was completely glossed over in favor of stereotypical teenage shenanigans.
The acting isn't half bad... but it really doesn't venture into the other half of the spectrum either...
It just seemed like the story was holding back a great deal... if you're going to do a film about "vagina dentata" then fucking DO IT... don't dance around the edges of the thing for dramatic effect. We all know what young teenagers are like when they awaken sexually... and yet this film only dips its toes into a well that could be fascinating to explore given the storyline. There is a wealth of interesting character building that could have been done... even without showing the "goods".

A great, edgy concept with all the bite taken out of it... unconvincing.

I give it a 7/10 only because the last reel had some of the "teeth" the rest of the film lacked.
walters #7: walters - added 08/17/2010, 10:02 PM
That movie made me grab my cock in fear!
axle parker #8: axle parker - added 11/12/2010, 02:38 PM
this movie shows what happens when u rape a girl but too bad its only a movie
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