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Teeth




2007
Directed By Mitchell Lichenstein 
Starring Jess Weixler, John Hensley and Josh Pais

Dawn (Weixler) is young high school student on the verge of discovering her sexuality. She is awkwardly unaware of her own body and the power that she possesses. Raised less than a mile from a nuclear power plant Dawn discovers that she has "adapted" and can defend herself from male predators in a gruesome but highly effective manor.

I really can't go any further without heading into spoiler territory, so I'll give you a really vague overview of the film. This is a B Movie. A B Movie that when you consider the subject matter has no right to be as good as it is. The movie has an over the top premise but is grounded and thoughtful in its execution.  The film is funny, shocking and at its heart a cautionary tale to young men and a story of empowerment to young women.

Have you heard of "Vagina Dentata?" Neither had I. Basically its a condition where someone has a set of teeth in her nether regions. Yep, that's the level of story we are dealing with. A teenager with a snapping pussy. Some people might consider the concept of this film to be sexist or anti-women but anyone who feels that way completely missed the point of the film.

The men in this film are deplorable. They are disgusting creatures who view women as objects and sadly are not nearly that uncommon in the real world. With close to 20% of woman in the US reporting to have been raped this part of the film is in no way an exaggeration. But with that being said I don't feel this film is ant-men either. I in no way saw my self reflected on screen and didn't take any of the jabs at men personally.

You might not expect to expect a film about a teenager who attacks sexual predators with her toothy vagina to be restrained but this film is understated and in many ways it is absolutely a subtle film. Something like the way the film handles nudity comes to mind. You might expect a film like this to have a healthy amount of nudity, but the sex in this is never gratuitous. In fact the only time we see our protagonist naked is a scene where she masturbates. All of the other sex in the film is violent and never played played for titillation. We see her disrobe because she is becoming comfortable with herself and the scene needed to feel different than the other "sex"  scenes. This is a subtle choice that was clearly thought out.

If you like your social satire with a little John Waters give this one a shot. I know its in not a film for everyone but if you like midnight movies that aspire to be something more than their B Movie limitations might allow for this might be the movie for you.

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