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In the film's lead female role Jess Weixler plays Dawn, a high school student who's involved in a Christian organization that urges abstinence. She meets Tobey (Hale Appleman), a fellow sexual teetotaler, but as the pheromones begin wafting about it is not long before the two succumb to their inescapable biological yearnings. Unfortunately for the innocent Dawn, their innocent teen tryst at the local swimming hole becomes something more sinister when Tobey forces himself upon her. In no time at all, Dawn's second set of chompers goes to work on the would-be rapist, leaving a howling Tobey - in a scene that doesn't shy away from showing the bloody, dismembered member - a bit less of a man.
While the film offers a critical take on the self-righteous Christian youth movement, it seems that all of the men in Dawn's life, with the exception of her father, are pretty much assholes and sexual deviants. Her stepbrother is a misanthropic nü-metal fan who has harbored secret desires to get in her pants ever since they played doctor in a kiddie pool and he nicked his finger on her fanged hoo-hah. The one nerdy boy she thinks might actually have a real crush on her turns out to be a douche-bag, after he basically drugs her and the two do the deed. Not surprisingly, he's rendered dickless in a flash of labial incisors. While a bummer for Dawn, this scene features what is possibly one of the best lines of pillow talk ever after having sex: "I can't believe you're still alive." How romantic.
Although the last third of the film pours on the processed cheese and handles the concept in a manner that is perhaps a bit too jokey, rendering Dawn's vagina as more of a weapon and less of a mysterious power, Teeth is an enjoyable if cringe-inducing effort for most of its 90 minutes. The dialogue is spare but snappy, and the action moves along at a satisfyingly brisk pace.
The Teeth DVD - released on Tuesday and supplemented with a commentary with writer/director Lichtenstein, deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and the film's trailer - might not be the most inspirational material for your average novice would-be teenage Lothario. After all, sex is complicated enough when you're 17. Still, it might serve as a wake-up call for any pubescent who's taking the fairer sex for granted.
TRAILER: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yH8yuld4DUE SEE ALSO: www.teethmovie.com
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.
See other articles by Jonah Flicker.
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