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“Teeth”: A Pyrmont Movie Review

Pyrmont Movie Review Teeth Teeth: A Pyrmont Movie ReviewWhen I first heard about the film “Teeth” a dark comedy about the sexual awakening of a girl who has Vagina Dentata (Latin for toothed vagina) I expected to be in for a B grade treat.  I wanted something along the lines of “Bad Biology” the story of a woman who has seven clitorises and an insatiable lust.  However I was in for disappointment. The indie film “Teeth,” is part dark comedy, part horror and part bore festival. I didn’t expect that a film that featured penal carnage and teenage sex could drag so much.

The film is focused on teenager Dawn O’Keefe (Jess Weixler) a girl who grew up in the shadow of a nuclear power plant.  As a character who has pledged to remain chaste until marriage, she is a misfit amongst her peers and the subject of constant ridicule. This doesn’t stop her from wearing a ‘promise ring’ and preaching to teens about ‘purity.’ Through her abstinence organisation The Promise, she meets Tobey (Hale Appleman) and develops an obsessive crush. Tobey and Dawn find themselves struggling against their hormones to remain pure.

Dawn’s perspective begins to change with the disturbing discovery of sharp shark like teeth that come out of her vagina when she is under stress. Dawn becomes the target of sexual violence and the film turns sharply into a feminist revenge flick, leaving the promise of a more interesting story in the dust. We learn nothing more about Dawn or even about how one deals with this disturbing condition.

One would think this movie would be fascinating, what with the vaginal teeth scenario, but I found myself waiting for the story to happen. Interesting plots and subplots are dangled but never resolved and the majority of the characterizations remained half baked at best. The ill but benevolent mother, the psychotic and twisted Goth/metal step-brother, the gentle but ineffectual step father all deserved more back story and context. But most of all it was hard to understand the motivations of Dawn herself. There are many questions left unanswered. How for instance had she failed to notice there were teeth in her vagina? How did they get there? Where had this purity/religious perspective come from in a non-religious home? Teeth straddled the fence between a film to be taken seriously and camp horror. It would have benefitted from picking a side of the fence to be on.

Review by Denieal Williams

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