Friday, February 5, 2010

Love In The Time Of Toothpicks

Teeth(2007) Directed By Mitchell Litchenstien
A smart, funny, gory, symbolically high charged film, that will be sought out by those interested in "weird tales" and uncommon horror. Teeth is the story of a teenage girl (wonderfully performed by Jess Weixler), who is part of a teen abstinence Promise Ring program which consumes most of her free time (I went/was taken to abstinence events at my church back in the day, and they were actually much more cornball than this film depicts. Let me tell you have never seen images of gonorrhea or herpes until you've seen them on a movie theater sized screen, Clockwork Orange style, but I digress, excuse me). She meets a boy just as devout, just as pure, and everything seems perfect, until well...."Vagina Dentatta it's REAL!" screams a maimed gynecologist as he bleeds from his hand all over his white coat. Yes the film jumps between moments of sincerity and tongue in cheekiness, but does so surprisingly well. The myth of vagina dentatta or to use a charming phrase from the Ebert "as Juno might call it, "Vaggie D." ", is as the film says, one which can be found in texts from early Christians, Greeks, Egyptians, Papa New Guinea, Native Americans, etc all concerning a young male hero who conquers an evil demon women. "Teeth" follows one girls story and manages to capture sexual development and awakening in all it's primal terror, the loathing, hatred, fear, shame, excitement, lust, and even sweetness is all there. While in the film's class rooms vagina's have been removed from text-books so as not to offend modesty. I'll be honest I didn't expect this to be anything but a "Troma" movie (Toxic Avenger and co.), and was really surprised and impressed, and oddly moved by this. It's gory and not for weak of stomach, but it does at least attempt and is mostly successful in striking a primordial nerve. "Teeth" does what "The Decent" did for dark, deep, cramped, hell holes, this film does for the "historically terrifying" mysteries between women's legs). Not for everyone but horror comedy fans will enjoy a good dose of each, and a helpful peppering of unconscious male (and maybe female too) but definitely male sexual anxieties. A perfect Midnight Movie. More revealing of the sexual anxieties exploited in "Jennifer's Body" and easier to swallow than "Anatomy Of Hell's" stark theatrics. Also the American answer to the penis/drill from "Tetsuo: Iron Man". It's perverse over the top and fun, like David Cronenberg re-working "Saved" for the "Twilight" set.

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