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Sharp Teeth is salacious, campy fun
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

TEETH OPENING JANUARY 25

In the film Carrie, the heroine - a shy, physically repressed girl, raised by a religious zealot mom - is tortured into using her power of telekinesis, with horrific results for everyone, including herself and her mom. Then there's Fatal Attraction, in which the killer, a woman, kills men who are lured by her fatal sexuality. I could go on and on about how women and women's sexuality in particular have been trivialized by Hollywood. Ah, but now comes Teeth, a new thriller that is as much fun as it is gory and a perfect answer to all of the films (and myths) about the perils of female sexuality out of control.

The film - which is destined to be a classic of the midnight movie house lineup, I'm sure - is focused on one particularly gynophobic myth: that of the vagina with teeth, the vagina dentata so feared by many cultures for centuries (or at least feared by the men in many tribal cultures). This myth and its fear-based siblings could be said to be at the basis of all woman-hating violence, and was born of a profound attempt by many patriarchal cultures to suppress something they didn't understand and came to vilify over time. But, is this film, Teeth, which focuses on the woman bearing the vagina with teeth, an anti-female film? No, nope, not even close, and definitely not. In fact, this film ends up poking fun at the myth, while giving the audience more than a couple of salacious thrills.

Poor, misguided Dawn (hot soap star Jess Weixler) is determined to "save it for marriage" and is part of a chastity group at her high school. While trying to focus on only the positive, her stepbrother Brad (hunky John Hensley) has been determined to get into Dawn's panties since they were but wee ones. Her mom is dying of something (we're never told what it is), and she keeps trying to avoid her gnarly stepbrother and his frequent sexual liaisons with his easy girlfriend (Nicold Swahn), and all the while there's something inside her, something that won't be denied (and we don't just mean her crush on new guy, Tobey, played by Hale Appleman). Pretty soon she isn't denying it and instantly penises are getting lopped off after trying to get some of Dawn's stuff. Even a perv doctor (Josh Pais) who tries to turn Dawn's gynecological exam into something wicked gets his fingers snapped off.

Funny, campy and filled with some interesting cultural pokes at the whole "family values" movement trying to keep sex-ed from kids, Teeth is the perfect film in so many ways. Just be warned: If you're squeamish, or the thought of getting your "jewels" whacked off (or, girls, your fingers), this might be a bit much for you. But if you like films that are a bit out there, you'll love Teeth.

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