Monday, June 16, 2008
This film's subject matter is about as depraved and decadent as any in motion picture screen history. This naturally makes TEETH something we at Needtovent couldn't wait to see and comment upon. Be advised, however, that we fully understand that a certain segment of society should not read any further. Consider yourself warned...
(There is simply no explanation why this long-shot of a nuclear power plant appears forty-seven times in this movie...)
Not since the Comet Kohoutek has there been such disappointment. A motion picture based upon the multi-cultural, age-old folklore myth of vagina dentata has to be the best "high concept" idea since SNAKES ON A PLANE. (For those of you in the dark, dentata is Latin for "teeth"). As a filmmaker myself, I have to admit that the minute I heard a movie was being made with this as its underlying premise I found the idea growing on me faster than a Serbian nose hair.
After all, how hard can this be -- just get a can or two of cocktail wieners, some Heinz 57 and a throbbing music score and you have a certifiable, can't miss, cinematic cult classic. Admittedly the title could be better -- Needtovent's very own Jerry L. Nelson suggested PENIS FLYTRAP as an example -- but such a small detail surely would not harm the box office bonanza awaiting Writer/Director Mitchell Lichtenstein, son of Roy, the prolific painter who pioneered "pop art."
Heck, I can even envision the pitch Mitch made to the producers -- it had to go something along the lines of "JAWS meets CHATTERBOX." For those of you unfamiliar with CHATTERBOX, this was a most enjoyable little indy flick released in 1977 that featured a talking cunt -- and I ain't referring to Roseanne Barr. If you haven't seen CHATTERBOX, please do your best to do so -- it is arguably one of the most memorable talkies since THE JAZZ SINGER.
The same cannot be said for TEETH, quite possibly the worst first-date movie ever -- and for more reasons than the obvious.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of this failed film is a screenplay that is so limp the entire world's supply of salt peter had to factor in. Part black comedy, part surrealism, part B-grade horror, part allegory, this campy, quasi-feminist fable has more parts than a space shuttle. And like the Columbia, these parts are disasterously scattered beyond recognition.
Jess Weixler is quite good as a rather cute, angst-ridden high school girl confronting her own sexuality, winning the Special Jury Prize at Sundance in 2007 for what Mr. Redford called "a juicy and jaw-dropping performance." She's by far the best thing in the movie. Unfortunately, one of Needtovent's all-time favorite thespians, Lenny Von Dohlen, is wasted as the father. The same can be said for all of the other actors, including John Hensley, of NIP/TUCK fame, who gets both -- nipped and tucked -- in a sullen portrayal of Jess' lascivious step-brother. So do two other "dicks" and one overly aggressive OB/GYN, although in his case it is four fingers and not Mr. Red Top that hits the floor.
When the end credits mercifully appear they proudly proclaim that "No men were harmed in the making of this film." The same cannot be said for seven of Hormel's finest.
"I think it was the sausage."
(George A. Hormel)