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Teeth
Review written on: January 30th, 2008

Teeth Review

If there was ever something that could be construed as the ultimate use of sex as a weapon, the affliction that this teenager possesses would be right at the top.

As her high school’s most outspoken and proudest virgin, Dawn (Jess Weixler) gets some heckling from her classmates about her life choices. Overall, she’s not a bad person. She is studious and belongs to a pro-abstinence group, making speeches advocating her personal choice. Her home life is pretty average. She lives with her sickly mother, stepfather, and hellion stepbrother, whose true colors have been obvious since we see him as a tyke in a beginning sequence.

As many teenagers do, she’s trying to control her raging hormones. Encountering a classmate, fellow abstinent and potential boyfriend (Hale Appleman), she is pleased to know that he is just as steadfast in his own choice. When a private and innocent swim in a local lake turns into an unwanted affair, something in Dawn’s body erupts with rage. Let’s just say that the entire Bobbitt story comes to mind. However, the underlying cause isn?t obvious. Dawn believes she has a condition known as vagina dentata. Yes, folks, she thinks she has teeth in that area. Where can she get the proof? A visit to the old Ob-Gyn! This would be a good time to add that that whole thing doesn’t go well either?

Now, her stepbrother, Brad (John Hensley) has grown up into an ill-tempered, ill-mannered fiend who spends the majority of his time in his room doing drugs, getting it on with his girlfriend or fighting with the family. All along, he exhibits some not-so-sisterly thoughts toward Dawn, and he tells her so. He also has no conscience or empathy towards his ailing stepmother, berates his own father, and makes no qualms about any of it. In all of her distress, another classmate of hers (Ashley Springer) becomes sympathetic to her plight (so we think) and tries to help her the only way he knows how. Does Dawn succumb to all the pressure? You have to see it to believe it!

I did a bit of internet research about vagina dentata and learned that it is embedded in folklore and mythology, but as a warning to men about the woes of women. Dawn’s dentata is apparently the opposite, which for her serves as a guard for what she considers her greatest possession as well as the perfect method for punishing those who have done her wrong. Believe me, the people who she thinks deserve it, get it.

All in all, for me this film had to do with Dawn’s perception of sexual and emotional violation, followed by redemption. While the course of events that bring her from maiden to scorned female by way of roaring teenage nymphomania in a short period of time seems rather far-fetched, I can see how her mind became foggy.

I have to admit that the concept definitely deserves an A for effort, and is worth a trip to see, if that sounds like something you could handle. While there are some inevitable comparisons to other sexual revenge movies, those didn’t ask for a laugh. Not only were there some truly funny moments, but there was a disturbing and almost empowering quality in the fact that she has this. In this character?s head, a simple truth lies: if they try to hurt her, they won’t have any manhood to speak of. Literally.

 

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