Teeth

Smart, twisted satire bites into taboos

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DIR: MITCHELL LICHTENSTEIN
ST: JESS WEIXLER, JOHN HENSLEY

This bizarre blend of dark comedy, gory horror and socio-feminist statement explores the vagina dentata myth. It’s a true one-off – ludicrous and inspired, like a John Waters shocker scripted by Camille Paglia. It provokes thought, but by showing bloodied severed penises wriggling on the ground while men shriek in agony, it plays fast and loose with any desire to be taken seriously.

To its credit, it builds ominously. Student Dawn (Weixler) leads the local chastity group. However when she succumbs to lust with a classmate, she discovers she really is unique. So does he, painfully. Before bewildered Dawn can get a grip she’s taken the fingers off a gynaecologist and the manhood off another horny student. Warming to her powers, she gives sleazy stepbrother Brad (Nip/Tuck’s Hensley) an overdue surprise. Farcically now, she goes rogue…

In its quieter spells, with the cast deadpan, Teeth recalls Ginger Snaps and borders on (black) magic realism. Then it goes completely mental.

CHRIS ROBERTS

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The Velvet Underground, The Black Crowes, Bunny Wailer, Richard Thompson, Nick Cave, Rhiannon Giddens, Laurie Anderson, Blake Mills, Postcard Records, Mogwai and The Selecter
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