(The gist: A horror movie about a vagina with teeth. Going in, I was fairly confident that Teeth was going to be bad. However, I was delighted to discover Teeth is so bad that it is awesome.)
Sigmund Freud said that every man’s greatest fear is a vagina with teeth, the vagina dentata. And honestly, who could blame them? And who could blame someone for tackling the fearsome subject in a horror movie?
Teeth is about a virtuous high school virgin named Dawn, who discovers her unique physical adaptation when she is sexually assaulted by her first boyfriend. The film, however, is not scary. At all. Perhaps I would feel differently if I had a penis to empathize with Dawn’s series of victims. Rather, the movie is hysterical. Teeth is the epitome of horror so bad that it is good.
The premise, I suppose, could be frightening, especially if I had a penis. However, the execution is so exquisitely comical. With my (fortunate/unfortunate?) viewing partners, our living room transformed into an R-rated version of Mystery Science Theater 3000. We found a quip and a comment for every scene, for every line. I laughed hysterically from opening to closing credits.
Watching Teeth was genuinely fun for me.
I was rapt through the movie. I had so many questions about the toothed vagina. Did the teeth retract? Did she control them like the teeth in her mouth? Did they chatter or chomp at will? Did the vagina only bite when threatened? How did it spit the penis nub out after biting it off? So many questions! I was just fascinated.
Teeth is also quite graphic, which is startling in a culture where showing penises is still somewhat taboo. Teeth has an abundance of penile shots but none that are flattering or not traumatic. Horrible things happen to penises in Teeth, and the filmmakers ensure you see each gory detail. This made me cringe on multiple occasions but also made me laugh all the harder as well.
Yet the plot line eradicates any sympathy you may have for these men as they lose their appendages to the fanged vagina. The entire movie is cast only with horrendous men who deserve all the dismemberment they incur. From her creepy step-brother who is infatuated with her since her vagina nipped him when they were kids to her first boyfriend who tries to rape her to her gynecologist who molests her to another guy who drugs her to win a bet.
Chomp those penises, girl! They had it coming.
Teeth is completely worth the watch, as long as you approach the film expecting something wonderfully awful rather than spellbinding horror or well-crafted terror. I may watch it a second time when I bring it to our monthly awful movie face off. I feel that Teeth is a real contender to win best of the worst.