Writer-director Mitchell Lichtenstein's feature debut is a horror comedy combining elements of atom-age 1950s horror films with mythology and feminist theory. The result is a smart, sassy B-movie satire--funny, gross, and with a high squirm factor. A risky idea that could well have turned into a lower-tier Troma production, TEETH is a unique and surprising creation. Dawn (Jess Weixler) lives the life of a normal suburban teenager, except for the two nuclear reactors looming over her house. A goody two-shoes by any measure, she leads the local chapter of a chastity group, lecturing younger children on saving themselves for marriage. She finds herself stirred in unexpected ways, however, by new member Tobey (Hale Appleman). Dawn lets herself get closer to him than she has to anyone else, but when he rapes her, she discovers---in the most grisly way---that she is a true incarnation of the vagina dentata myth. As Dawn attempts to come to terms with her emerging sexuality and her second set of choppers, more men with bad intentions fall victim to their worst nightmare.
Lichtenstein, sometime actor and the son of artist Roy Lichtenstein, reportedly first heard of the vagina dentata myth while studying under Camille Paglia, and his take on it proves to be as frightening (and bloody) as one would expect. As Dawn, Weixler is winning, and watching her transformation from meek to empowered bitch is a blast to watch. A handful of wincingly gory sequences will have horror fans howling, but there are layers to the film for those willing to peel them back. Cult favourite GINGER SNAPS, which examined menstruation as a metaphor for lycanthropy, is an obvious cousin and great candidate for a double feature, but TEETH is completely its own.