The Vagina Dentata Club Is Members Only…
Giving “noodles al-dente”
an entirely new meaning.
After seeing writer/director Mitchell Lichtenstein’s Teeth, I’m convinced that director David Cronenberg can peacefully retire, resting comfortably with the knowledge that someone has picked up the torch he dropped a while back. I make the comparison only because in Teeth, Lichtenstein masterfully does something Cronenberg honed to a science: take an implausible premise, and present it so implausibly that the viewer is forced into suspending disbelief against their wishes, almost in the manner of a stage play. In this case, the implausible premise is a virtuous and virginal high school girl who manifests the mythological phenomena Vagina Dentata. Teeth is brilliant because it so artfully misses every mark, and creates its own along the way. It’s a graphic horror film. It’s a coming of age story. It’s a comedy. It’s a cautionary tale about respecting your sexuality. If the film weren’t crafted with such clear intentions to be what it is, it would be one of the worst films ever made. And that’s part of the beauty of what this film does; it feels like it’s somehow self-aware that at any moment it might become incredibly bad, and thereby somehow ends up being quite good. If you hate Cronenberg, you might not care for this film. It’s also briefly rather graphic at points, so if you’re not into seeing the occasional “John Bobbit“, steer clear as well. But if you enjoyed, for instance, the stylish over-the-top-ness of Crash (no, the one based on J.G. Ballard’s novel, not this one) then give it a go. It’s worth it, if only to see the gynecologist screaming “Vagina Dentata! Vagina Dentataha-ha-haaghh!” View the trailer on YouTube or in HD at Apple.