Director: Mitchell Lichtenstein
Cast: Jess Weixler, John Hensley, Josh Pais,
Hale Appleman, Ashley Springer, Vivienne Benesch, Lenny Von
Dohlen, Nicole Swahn, Julia Garro, Adam Wagner
RunTime: 1 hr 35 mins
Released By: GV
Rating: R21 (Sexual Content)
Opening Day: 3 April 2008
High school student Dawn works hard at suppressing her budding
sexuality by being the local chastity group's most active
participant. Her task is made even more difficult by her bad
boy stepbrother Brad's increasingly provocative behavior at
home. A stranger to her own body, innocent Dawn discovers
she has a toothed vagina when she becomes the object of violence.
As she struggles to comprehend her anatomical uniqueness,
Dawn experiences both the pitfalls and the power of being
a living example of the vagina dentata myth.
The ultimate fantasy chastity belt, the bane of those who
incur her wrath.
a title like teeth and a subject like vagina
dentata, I'd have to admit though I was half expecting
this to be like any typical B-grade movie in its
pacing, cutting through the chase and getting directly
to the point, the blood and plenty of gore. However,
writer-director Mitchell Lichtenstein plays it
extremely cool, and takes his time to get the audience
all chummy with the character of Dawn (Jess Weixler)
who unfortunately cannot enjoy the pleasures of sex.
doesn't actually disturb her though, since she's
one of the beloved preachers of abstinence in a
cult-like evangelistic group which preaches no sex
before marriage, and have its members wear reminder
bands on their fingers, together with the usual
exaltations and proclamations which ring hollow when
in the face of ranging hormones. Much of the first act
dwelled on the hypocritical nature of such groups,
where peer pressure and temptation usually get the
better of everyone. And here Dawn discovers her true
prowess, albeit accidentally.
of the movie focused on her confusion as she
tries to make sense of this mythical curse she got
hexed with, and even suggests some inevitable
mutational effects no thanks to possible radioactivity
that could be coming out of the smoke stacks of the
neighbourhood nuclear power plant. And it's easy too
for an audience to root for Dawn as she tries to
protect herself from horny men trying to get into her
pants, and discover the rude shock that awaits them in
their desperation in getting their rocks off.
those expecting significant body counts and
victims will be a tad disappointed. While the premise
offers boundless of such cliche possibilities,
Lichtenstein takes the foot off the pedal and doesn't
load up on the victim count, lest Dawn loses her
sympathetic nature and becomes like an avenging angel
toward all evil men who think with their other head.
There are plenty of comedic moments instead, some of
which are really hilarious either through the
characters actions, or dialogue.
easy to see why Jess Weixler snagged the Special Jury Prize
for a "juicy and jaw-dropping performance" in last
year's Sundance Film Festival, as she portrays a coming of
age character who at first finds it truly perplexing about
this protection mechanism she possesses, before ultimately
knowing that with great power, comes great sense of satisfaction
in dishing out revenge.
could have bitten a lot more to chew)
Review by Stefan Shih