Director: Mitchell Lichtenstein
Starring: Jess Weixler, John Hensley, Josh Pais, Hale Appleman, Lenny von Dohlen
Every rose has its thorns
Dawn O’Keefe is a young teenager who has found joy in staying pure. She has even become the spokesperson for an abstinence group and has also found a few friends of both genres that share her thoughts on sex.
Dawn is a bit different from the other ones though. She is not only keeping herself pure out of faith or choice, but also out of fear for what will happen if she does let a male get “close” to her. And her fears are not what will happen to her, but rather what will happen to the male…
Teeth sure is different. I have seen a lot of strange stuff during my years as an active cinephile, but I’m confident that I’ve never seen a film about a killer vagina before this. And not only that, it is done from the perspective of the young girl who to live with this condition and we get to see how it is affecting her life from her childhood and now up to her young teenage life.
Teeth has its share of comedic satire and it works pretty well, while the horror part of it is always present due to the sheer terror of something like this actually being a possibility of happening to anyone that has… well, a penis. It is handled with way more care and finesse than what you might expect from a film that deals with a subject matter like this and it is easy to see that director and screenwriter Mitchell Lichtenstein wanted to create something more than a schlocky b-movie.
The film relies on Jess Weixler making Dawn come to life as a sympathetic and curious girl who the audience, both male and female, will identify and/or find interesting. Weixler is very impressive and can handle both the innocent and cute aspect of Dawn, but also succeed in making her believable when she turns deadly. It is not an easy task to carry the movie like she has to do and she deserves all the praise she can get for her work here.
John Hensley, mostly known for his role as Matt McNamara in the TV show Nip/Tuck, plays her brother Brad. Brad has also been deeply affected by the gift and curse that her sister has received and it is interesting that we also get to see what type of effect this has had on his life aswell. Hensley plays him excellently, making him into a believable antagonist for Dawn.
Teeth sure is a unique feature and while I’m sure the synopsis alone will make people dismiss it as a stupid b-movie comedy, I do hope that people will give it a chance since it does have both intelligence and charm and it is probably going to be the best killer vagina movie that we will ever see.