Morbidly Beautiful

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Though difficult to categorize — part dark comedy, part twisted morality tale — “Teeth” is more than worth a watch for how different it dares to be.

This week’s recommendation is one of those films that may leave you scratching your head as to whether it’s meant to be a comedy, or just accidentally hilarious. With a bizarre premise about a girl suffering from a rare medical condition called Vagina Dentata, it’s truly hard to say.  This week’s Tubi Tuesday is the one and only Teeth.

Let’s examine the case for this being an accidental comedy first.

The film was directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein, a man whose career is not defined by horror or comedy. In fact, until the release of Teeth in 2007, he hadn’t been part of any film that falls into either of those categories.  Most of his films as an actor and producer fell into the realm of family drama and artsy indie gems.

That brings us to the star of the film, Jess Weixler. Her role as Dawn O’Keefe, the head of her high school’s chastity club who has a secret between her legs, is one of her first. Since Teeth, her acting has been limited to art house dramas and indie films that win plenty of awards at Cannes but often leave the average viewer confused.

In spite of the twisted and rather comical premise about a toothed vagina, the film plays out like an intense moral dilemma. 

Dawn has a creepy step brother who tried to touch her when they were kids and is still super horny for her. She meets a cute boy at her chastity club. When they get close and he tries to rape her…chomp! Later in the film, when dealing with the consequences of her rape and her feelings of impurity, her mother collapses and is put in the hospital.

At her absolute lowest, a hero arrives, soft and sensual, caring about her feelings and emotions. She willingly gives herself to him. Turns out, he was only sleeping with her because of a bet, so, obviously, chomp.

The film seems to want to portray a deep, philosophical message about female sexuality and the pitfalls of men behaving very badly.

At the same time…

We can’t forget it’s also about a girl with teeth in her vagina.

Being a member of the chastity club, Dawn promotes innocence and modesty, even going so far as using big stickers to cover up all the pictures of vaginas in the school textbooks. When she thinks there is something wrong with her, she heads to the OBGYN for an examination.

Her toothed vagina ends up biting the problematic doctor, and hilarity ensues as he fights to get his hand free from the clutches of her monstrous vagina — all while yelling, “Vagina dentata! It’s real!”

The scene is absolutely insane and will have you on the floor doubled over in laughter at the absurdity of it all. 

There are numerous scenes that focus on the dismembered dicks that her vagina chews up and spits out while some sad sap stands around screaming, holding his bloody crotch in panic.

At the end of the film, Dawn decides to use her curse to her advantage, taking revenge on those who have hurt her. During one scene, when she chomps off the pierced dick of someone who definitely deserves it, it’s hard not to laugh when the dog eats the member as the boy cries. It is scenes like this that make me believe, in spite of the film’s often serious tone and message, it was meant to be a dark comedy.

Overall, it’s a very good film; something unique and interesting in a horror world that sometimes seems oversaturated with zombies, demonic possessions, and creepy dolls.

Check out Teeth now streaming for free on Tubi and let us know what you think.  Intentional black comedy or accidentally hilarious?

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 4

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