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Potty humor

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The vajay-jay with teeth, Oprah might call it. The fanged vag, perhaps, to the ever-so slightly less reserved Apatow tribe. However euphemized, Vagina Dentata is scary.

Ha — maybe for you, havers of penises! I’m feeling pretty comfortable with the winking eye of god, thanks, deathtrap or no. These separate feelings we have make sense, of course, seeing as the global myth almost certainly has its roots in the male fear of female sexuality. It’s just your way of blaming us for the spread of VD and the expression of your angst over the journey back to the cavern o’ mysteries that is the womb — but hey, I don’t think any less of you.

When I think of Vagina Dentata, I imagine kind of a built-in rape vindicator, a sort of primitive and more lethal Rapex, if you will. Apparently this is what Mitchell Lichtenstein, director and writer of the indie-exploitation-horror-comedy Teeth envisions also. His hero Dawn (Jess Weixler) is not an infection-proffering sexual predator, but an abstinence-education (cough) activist and high-school student who happens to possess a fatal cunt. Adaptation’s a bitch.

This movie almost played here. And I can see why folks might have reservations: It is pretty graphic. Upsetting, even. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t see it when it reaches DVD shelves in May.

I myself am on the fence. On the one hand, I love that Teeth subverts the mythology, making the female character the hero-conqueror. On the other hand, you do kind of spend the whole movie waiting for someone to rub Dawn the wrong way so she can assume this role. And since I’m not planning on absolving Eli Roth for throwing feminists a proverbial bone with the severed cock that wrapped up Hostel II (yeah, that makes up for cinema’s history of female-butchery), well I’d be a big, fat hypocrite to let this one slide. I’m sorry, did I say one? There are three detached dongs total.

When you aren’t grimacing with horror — you might actually laugh. How Lichtenstein captured the inanity of a visit to the gynocologist (“Scoot down. Scoot down. Scoot, scoot, scoot. Scoot down, please.”), seems almost a mythical thing itself.


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