Several weeks ago, on a monday evening home alone, I decided to entertain myself with a movie. I had heard from several feminist sites about this film called “Teeth” (with the subtitle: “every rose has its thorns” – gag). Apparently, for them, it was all the rage and an absolute must-see. Reading a little about what the movie was about from their comments, I really couldn’t see what all the fuss was about, especially from a feminist point of view. “Teeth”, you see, is a about a girl with a vagina dentata, a.k.a. toothed private parts. On her way of discovering sexuality, she OF COURSE takes this chance to get back at all those evil, evil men. More about background and my initial reaction can be found here.
Now since I did want to find out about the movie myself, I watched it. Whole. By myself. And I thought it was so insanely ridiculous that I made notes along the first 20 Minutes, to be able to share the absurdity with you. This is what I wrote:
The movie, as every movie, starts out with the generics. Here we see little cells swimming around, like under a microscope – with a horror soundtrack in back. Imagine something like Jaws. Then it proceeds to images of the cells actually eating each other. When that’s over and the main film starts, we see footage of an average american countryside, until nuclear power plants pop into scene. Again with the music. Beware of the power plants!
Then there’s a little kid in a play pool. A southern kid, with a thick accent, and one bucked tooth. Oh, the stereotype.
Further on, when the little girl who was sitting next to the hill-billy in the pool has grown up, she’s at some clean teen meeting, promoting abstinence, since pre-marital (thus fun!) sex is the root of all evil, as we all know. At this meeting she sees a guy, all pointed out to be the dreamy type, and – I kid you not – there is Disney-like music in the background, for crying out loud. On her way home from that she’s singing “my heart, my heart”.
At home we meet her disturbed (step-)brother – the little bucked tooth boy grown up. To make the point that he’s on “the dark side” whereas she is pure goodness, his room is all black, he’s dressed all dark, listens to heavy metal loudly and has tattoos. And fires a gun inside the house. She is all pink, blond and flowery.
Dreamy boy and pastel girl meet again and argh the puppy eyes they make at each other – barf.
Biology class. Students looking intently into their books. Teacher finishing up his lesson about penises. It would then be time to move on to the female anatomy, but the teacher can’t even get the words out of his mouth. They all turn the page in their books, and there is a big golden circle pasted over the supposed explaining picture. They all wonder what’s up, the teach can’t find a good explanation why a vulva is unholier than a penis. Then girly girl stretches her hand and explains: “because women have a natural modesty“. I feel like punching her – except that might not do well with the screen of my computer.
She and her “clean” friends want to go to the movies. But all they can allow themselves to watch is a cartoon, because everything else contains something EVIL. I sincerely hope at this point that the movie is meant in an ironic sense, but I’m otherwise good at irony and I can’t really see it here, alas.
Meanwhile, back home, the deranged brother is getting at it with his lady friend (EVIL!) and forces a bone(shaped dog treat) into her mouth (get it? bone / boner! hilarious.). He won’t “fuck her pussy”, only do it from behind, because – say it with me now – PUSSY IS EEEEEVIIIL.
Blondy and her righteous friends walk around a lake. There are trees with very specifically shaped indentations, if you know what I mean. And phallus symbols everywhere, of course. She and dreamy sit down to chat, it turns inevitably to the topic of abstinence and he says kind of shyly that he is a “virgin in His eyes” (meaning he had once done the deed, but has now repented). She gets all shocked, of course, and he looks all guilty. But then they say that he is “stronger now” since he has “seen the danger first hand“.
This was all in the first 20 minutes. And oh all the clichés that followed.
Dreamy and girly then decide to swim into the lake, towards a sort of elevated cave. They then climb out, are wet, and alone. Of course, and as if it were completely a given fact or standard procedure for these circumstances, he rapes her. The perfect prince turned sex maniac because, hey, really, aren’t all guys like that anyway?
It then gets to the main point. She is being raped, and (duh) doesn’t like it, wants it to stop, then the guy makes weird faces (but not the good kind, ya know watta mean), and then it gets really visually gross. I mean we all go into this movie knowing she’s gonna have teeth inside, but is it really necessary to show a severed, bloody, penis tip UP CLOSE?
This procedure occurs several times throughout the film. So I’m telling you people – for the love of whatever you just ate – DO NOT WATCH THIS. I’m known for having a really strong stomach. Hell, I’ve eaten stuff with mold on it so often I’ve lost count. But these scenes genuinely made me feel sick.
Or I should rather say: watch this flick if you would like to laugh at the absurdity of life, but NEVER FEEL COMFORTABLE ABOUT SEX EVER AGAIN. Besides that, I am totally going to freak out and/or puke at my next OB/GYN appointment (in the movie she went, and it was a male doctor, and he was brutal, and insensitive, of course).
The moral of the film is that the girl embraces her sexuality, which could be a good thing, if they didn’t make the point that her vagina dentata is an evolutionary adaption. So she doesn’t discover that sex can be fun (fun!) or pleasurable or whatever, but rather that she has the power to castrate men. Ah, the purpose of womanhood.
I have to add that at the end of the film (don’t worry, I’m not spoiling anything), she hitchhikes a ride with an old guy (really ikky old guy) to a gas station (I forget where she’s going). When she tries to get out of the car, it’s locked. I believe at that point the really ikky old guy gives her a slimy look and maybe smacks his lips or something. And then, realizing the situation, she looks at him like she’s going to seduce him! Ewwwww! I mean just because she has the ability of revenge or whatever doesn’t mean she should go happily into forced sex! I mean come on, she’s still gonna have his thing inside her! Ewwww!
And to think I put myself through 1h30 of this.
I did watch “The Dead Girl” after this, to get my mind on something else (a tip I read on Jo’s website – Hi Jo!), but it didn’t help. First because “Teeth” scarred me for life, second because this movie also contained very unpleasant visuals and one of the most disturbing sex scenes I ever saw (and it could have been so nice between Toni Collette and the marvelous Giovanni Ribisi!). Bad judgement on my part, I know. I’m sticking to series and Johnny Depp movies from here on out.