Saturday, June 7, 2008
they just keep bugging me, they just keep bugging me...
Oy gevalt, the past couple of weeks, y'know, well...I've had better. For one thing, I got let go from my job. Is it even worth talking about? I'm tired. Somehow, lying in bed last night, just on the verge of falling asleep, I came up with this whole thing I wanted to write here, some kind of confession or just, something illuminating, y'know. But of course I fell asleep after that and forgot the whole fucking thing and now here I am with nothing much to say. Fucking life, fucking world, fucking everything, huh? Or whatever...
Meanwhile, I finally got a chance to see the horror film "Teeth," which I really wanted to check out in the theatres but missed my chance, as sometimes happens. Reviews of this flick tended to be kind of dismissive, oh, y'know, it's a b-movie, it's a horror picture, no sense in giving it too much thought, or whatever, some snobby bullshit (this is all from the same idiot critics who are praising "Iron Man" and "You Don't Mess With the Zohan"- seriously, read the reviews of this shit, money=being taken seriously by idiots). Too bad, because this is a decent flick. Granted, it is a b-movie, but it's a good B-movie, and alot more thoughtful and thought provoking than most of the more mainstream flicks that are out there.
In a nutshell, Teeth is sort of the more lightweight version for fans (such as myself) of body-oriented horror films like "May," "Ginger Snaps," or David Cronenberg's earlier work. "Teeth" is a bit more geared towards comedy than scares, though it maintains a respectable tone of uneasiness throughout, and doesn't overly rely on the gross-out factor inherent in its' scenario, though when it does, it's willing to go nearly all the way. That said, it isn't scary, exactly, or really at all, and the humor, though uneasy, isn't hilarious, not exactly.
That said, there's nothing really wrong with "Teeth," which follows the horror of a religious teenager's discovery that she possesses vagina dentata. Dawn's failure to discover her own abnormality until she is nearly adult can be blamed on her own pledge of abstinence, as well as her school (and parents) unwillingness towards sex education or even proper anatomical education (Dawn's sex ed book sports a large sticker covering the illustration of the female reproductive system, which the school board has deemed too obscene for study). It is her own burgeoning sense of sexuality that finally unleashes the proverbial beast here, as sex play leads to sexual assault and her internal organs reveal themselves to be kind of a built-in self-defense system.
The film relies heavily on Jess Weixler's performance as Dawn and fortunately the actress is quite good. She doesn't push the religious fanaticism in earlier part of the film too far, and does a great job with the character's discomfort in regards to her body and sexuality. Later in the film, as Dawn begins to view her body as less of a curse and more of a weapon, she plays up her sexuality and menace with some subtlety. It's a good turn and I look forward to seeing Weixler in more interesting roles like this. Equally good is Hale Appleman as Tobey, Dawn's sort of boyfriend, a " born again virgin" whose hormones get the better of him, leading to Dawn's initial discovery of her powers, and the first of many severed penises to grace the screen in this flick. There are also some nice turns from character actor Josh Pais as a gynecologist (loses fingers) and "Twin Peaks" co-star Lenny von Dohlen as Dawn's good-natured stepfather.
Teeth's one true failing is probably the sub-plot involving Dawn's stepbrother, Brad, played by John Hensley. I'm not sure if it was the character or the performance, but something about this portion of the film didn't really work for me, didn't ring true in either a realistic sense, or withing the reality of the film, a slightly tweaked version of real reality, if you know what I mean. Movie reality. Or whatever. The ideas in this sub-plot were interesting, but somehow the filmmakers gave them more weight than was necessary, this became more of a major plot point than the ultimate revelation of whatever it was supposed to be really revealed. Which is to say, it wasn't that interesting.
But, whatever, that still leaves like 80% of the film at genuinely pretty awesome, and that was enough for me. Horror and B-movie enthusiasts with some taste and general distinction will find "Teeth" to be generally quite effective and satisfying. Suckers and dumbasses better stick to their Marvel comics and Zohan movies. Or they can just go to hell. See if I care.
Meanwhile, give me a job!!!! I'm smart, really I am, educated, ambitious, driven- why not hire me to write some shit? I'm also good at filming things. Or writing things to be filmed. Or just come up with ideas for stuff. Anyway, fucking hire me already. And try not to abuse me too much this time, I think we've done enough of that, right?