A film was recently released on DVD called Teeth, and you’ll never guess where they’re located. I’ll give you a hint…vagina. I saw the premiere of this film at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. The film description said little more than a synopsis about a high schooler who runs a purity campaign begins going through some changes. No shit. It then concludes saying that if you don’t know what the vagina dentata myth is, then you will. It’s true. So the premise is pretty simple. A girl is born different. She gets a crush on a guy. They kiss. He wants to go farther and she doesn’t. Unfortunately, when he forces himself on her, those sneaky teeth kick in and kick out his little guy. Some idiots still believe that most women had it coming when they get raped. Welp, this guy definitely had it coming. Use your penis for evil and you lose it. The girl then learns to control her newfound power. When she’s happy, it doesn’t bite. But if you piss her off, get ready for something really, really fucked up.
I remember watching this film with a large group of people that cringed, shouted, and laughed in unison. The film was definitely a mix between comedy and horror. Also, it really wasn’t that good. Bad acting. Ridiculous music. Superficial plotline. It really only had shock value. But that’s more than most horror films have these days. I remain convinced that this film, while trying to become a girl-power film, actually doesn’t do anything new. It simply allows women to enter male-dominated film with the same aggression and bloodlust as men. This isn’t something new, but the old reversed. With that said, the vagina dentata myth still speaks loudly to Western culture—and world culture for that matter. Culture truly forms around the dominating ideology of penetration as the ultimate form of power. What is a knife if not an extension of the penis, spreading its power to whatever victim, male or female, it seeks out. There’s a reason most serial killers in movies use knives and go after women. Teeth serves as an alternative to penetration as power. The vagina becomes a weapon that can engulf the penis. The foreign object is at a disadvantage on the home turf.
There’s part of me that wants to buy this film even though I may never watch it again. Though I am curious to see the rated-R version as I saw an unrated one. Three castrations will stick with you. The subject matter is intense and easily ignorable to many, but when I left that many, there were a lot of 45-year-old female viewers talking about how the chick flick was just redefined. There’s something powerful in this crappy movie. Just imagine the possibilities of such a concept or similar ones, thematically, maybe not just conceptually, in the hands of a film master