Teeth is a horror/comedy film about the ancient myth of vagina dentata,
which would be a coochie with razor-sharp teeth that destroy anything which attempts to pass
through. The story is not related with the tone of either a comedy or a horror
film, but rather with the charm of a sensitive, offbeat coming-of-age film.
What would a girl's life be like if the worst thing about puberty were not her
first period, but rather how to control the teeth within her genitals? That
may be a far-fetched premise, but the writer/director followed it through its
natural course to its logical conclusion.
Dawn is a sweet, sincere girl, an honor student and one of those "vow of
abstinence" types. She forms her first crush on a nice boy, they go for a
swim, things progress nicely and they make out quite modestly - until she
wants to stop and he doesn't. Soon his dick is underwater, being eaten by the crabs. Not
much later, so is he.
Dawn can't quite figure out what's going on, so she goes to a gynecologist.
The medico is kind of a sleazebag, and it's not long before he's missing several
fingers. At that point Dawn figures that any penetration into her genitalia
will result in disaster, but it turns out that the teeth only appear during
unwelcome penetration. She warms to another boy, and when the mood turns to
romance, she warns him that he may not survive, or at least his dick may not.
Teenage boys being what they are, he's willing to take that risk, and Dawn is
surprised when they have tooth-free sex. She concludes that the teeth only
come out when she's not co-operating fully. Her theory is confirmed when she
goes another round with the same guy. During the second copulation he
takes a phone call which shows that he won bet with his best friend about
whether he could get into
Dawn's drawers. This news is not received well by Dawn nor by her shark-like coochie, which instantly claims another victim.
Dawn finally comes to the conclusion that she can use her mutation as a
gift rather than a curse. Maybe "gift" isn't exactly the right word here.
"Weapon" might be more like it. At that point the tone shifts. The film stops
being a sensitive coming-of-age film about a naive girl and jumps directly
into genre territory, but we don't really object when Dawn gets nasty because
the nastiness is brief and the victims get what they deserve.
I like this odd, sometimes almost surreal little film. Some good production
design gives it kind of a Doug-Sirk-on-acid look, and that combines with a truly odd sense of humor
to make this a very watchable, albeit eccentric movie. Imagine a cross between
Napoleon Dynamite and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.