Friday, April 15, 2011

Netflix Stream This:

     You see that movie poster to the left? It's a bit misleading. When I came across Teeth (heh) on my Netflix Watch Instantly page, I knew that I should make a post about it (and not solely to make the previous joke). I knew because Teeth bites you and doesn't let go. It's a coming-of-age story for the horror-humor generation: Dawn is a girl that is just starting to experience her budding sexuality. She tries to suppress this urge by being an active member in a chastity group. Unfortunately, life at home isn't quite as easy: her step-brother, Brad, is vulgar and weird, and he seems to have an unhealthy attraction to Dawn. When Dawn is the victim of a sexual assault, she realizes that she's not like other girls; she has a set of teeth growing inside of her twat that likes to bite unwanted objects. She then experiences the ups and downs of having a set of deadly beef-drape dentures. (The ups and downs being, mostly, severed penises.)
     What sicko could dream up this sort of thing? Well, it's actually based upon real mythology: the vagina dentata myth. Numerous cultures have different tales and stories about women with toothed pink tacos. It's usually used as a cautionary tale warning the dangers involved with sleeping with strange women and to prevent the crime of rape. According to the always-useful Wikipedia, 

"The vagina dentata appears in the myths of several cultures. Erich Neumann relays one such myth in which 'a fish inhabits the vagina of the Terrible Mother; the hero is the man who overcomes the Terrible Mother, breaks the teeth out of her vagina, and so makes her into a woman.' The legend also appears in the mythology of the Chaco and Guiana tribes. In some versions, the hero leaves one tooth. An Ainu language tale containing this element was published as "The Island of Women" by Basil Hall Chamberlain, where it was described as a well known Japanese tale by E. B. Tylor. In his book, The Wimp Factor, Stephen J. Ducat expresses the view that these myths express the threat sexual intercourse poses for men who, although entering triumphantly, always leave diminished."

     Not that Teeth plays the myth in a serious tone. Unlike other older cautionary tales about strange and lustful women, such as Basic Instinct or Fatal Attraction, this film plays the poon pearlies angle to comedic gold. Also filled with horror and women's empowerment, Teeth is truly about a young lady coming to grips with womanhood--even if that womanhood involves a muff that munches.

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