May 5, 2008

I Interviewed Mitchell Lichtenstein About Teeth And All I Got Was This Lousy Pencil-Sharpener

Maybe you already saw Teeth, maybe you didn't... but either way, you've probably already cracked a joke about it. Mitchell Lichtenstein's vagina dentata movie rode a wave of one-liners to the top of many people's 2007 must-see movie lists, and is virtually guaranteed a happy life on DVD starting this week. Rather than write a reheated news piece for AMC to celebrate the occasion, I got in touch with Lichtenstein personally to see whether fans of the radiant Jess Weixler can look forward to more Teeth turns in the future. Something tells me we haven't seen the last of Dawn and her underbite.

(It looks like I'm not going to get a chance to say "Go-Go-Gadget Gynosaur!" in this post, am I? Oh, wait. Check!)

[Click here for the interview!]

TB: Teeth was gratefully received by horror fans, and they have a long memory. Do you have plans to return to the genre anytime soon?

ML: I'd like to. I don't currently have any ideas, but I enjoy the genre so maybe I'll come up with something...

TB: Teeth has often been described as a sort of superhero (or villain) origin-story. Is there a possibility of your revisiting this story?

ML: Conceivably. It's left sort of open-ended so that there could certainly be the further adventures of Dawn, but I don't quite know what they would be yet. I don't want her to turn into Aileen Wuornos...

TB: The special effects were pretty graphic. Did capturing an R rating impose constraints on your creativity?

ML: No, because I didn't have any obligation to get an R rating. It just luckily did get one.

TB: Did that surprise you?

ML: Yes, it did! We all thought it would be NC-17, but the ratings board was really behind the movie. They thought it was a cautionary tale and that parents should bring heir teenage sons to see it... it's made clear that if your intentions are honorable, things will go well, and if not... [laughs]. They really latched on to that aspect, and I was thrilled, because it is part of the movie. There was one specific shot I had to plead for, which is the one near the end where [details omitted that would spoil the movie and your lunch]. That was the only shot they had a problem with, so I was surprised.

TB: Last question. This is a genius merchandising opportunity; can we look forward to a video game tie-in? Action figures?

ML: I would love that! It could be sort of like Ms. Pac Man, gobbling up... uh. [laughs] We had some big ideas at one point, we were thinking about things like Dawn pencil-sharpeners--

TB: Surely by the time the trilogy wraps up, it will all be out there.

ML: Yeah, I hope so!

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