The Lens: Dental Work | St. Louis Public Radio

The Lens: Dental Work

May 14, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Compared to the current flings with torture and Asian-influenced weirdness currently dominating the horror market, Mitchell Lichtenstein's "Teeth," recently released on video, could practically be described as charming and innocent, though its content, the story of a teenage girl who has an extra set of teeth in the wrong place, is anything but that.

In his feature directorial debut, Lichtenstein (who may be better known as an actor, most memorably in Robert Altman's film "Streamers," or as the son of pop artist Roy Lichtenstein) has created a satirical view of sexuality and repression in which the current folly of feel-good abstinence programs runs smack up against the reality of human nature and produces a monster.

If "Teeth seems to be an engaging throwback to the horror films of the 1970s, where the monsters and mutations reflected the repressed values of a society even more horrific than the onscreen characters, it's clearly intentional. In its own modest way, the pointed humor of "Teeth" recalls De Palma's "Carrie" and "Sisters" (far more successfully than the recent muddled remake of the latter) or Larry Cohen's wonderfully wacko "God Told Me To" and revives the notion that horror can be about more than just body counts.

The film's trailer, official Web site, and the film's first five minutes.