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Teeth

An uncomfortable horror/comedy hybrid
By BRETT MICHEL  |  January 23, 2008
2.0 2.0 Stars
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TEETH: Horror and toothless laughs.

"Let me see your grill: The origins of the vagina dentata." By Greg Cook.
Actor and first-time filmmaker Mitchell Lichtenstein goes where few directors have dared (in mainstream movies, at least), opening up a sticky subject for an audience unprepared for the nasty bite that awaits. In creating an uncomfortable horror/comedy hybrid based on another hybrid –– the vagina dentata –– his film from his own script is as clumsy as first-time sex, but not without its pleasures. Chief among them is the performance of Jess Weixler as Dawn, a chastity-promoting high-school student who begins to wrestle with her pent-up sexuality when hunky Tobey (Hale Appleman) transfers to her school and joins her abstinence group. Portentous shots of their town’s nuclear reactors and a damp, mysterious cave waiting to be entered (wink!) at the local swimming hole elicit nervous laughter, but Lichtenstein blows his load early. Nearly 45 minutes of expectant foreplay culminates in an unsatisfying, messy anti-climax that’s, well, toothless. 88 minutes | Kendall Square
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