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  Publicity Stills of "Teeth"
(Courtesy from GV)

Genre: Thriller
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)
Official Website:

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.

Movie Review:

The ultimate fantasy chastity belt, the bane of those who incur her wrath.

With 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.

Which 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.

Much 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.

But 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.

It's 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.

Movie Rating:

(Teeth could have bitten a lot more to chew)

Review by Stefan Shih


. Juno (2007)

. Hard Candy (2006)

. Havoc (2005)

. A Cinderella Story (2004)


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