Monday, October 28, 2013

Movie Review: The Haunted Mouth

The Haunted Mouth (1974, Dental Scare Film) - 8.5
The Haunted Mouth, made by the American Dental Association, takes place in a spooky house and is narrated by Plaque. You hear the voice of Plaque, but you don't see it. It's rocking in a rocking chair, though, and picking stuff up, so it’s kinda like a plaque-tergeist.

Plaque walks you through all the destruction it’s going to do to your teeth and gums, and it’s so confident in its evil abilities that it’s like “I’m even gonna show you EXACTLY what you need to do in order to defeat me, and you’re not gonna do it.” At first, I was defensive, like “You don't know me, fucking plaque, you don't know what I'm capable of.” But then it shows a close-up of someone flossing, and it’s like, “Oh, yeah, I'm not gonna do that.” I can’t even look at it happening to someone else. And Plaque is just all cocky. Like, “Seriously, I will stop haunting your mouth if you just floss for a few minutes every day. But you won’t do it… Will you?” No, absolutely not. Flossing is hard. The movie is clearly written by frustrated dentists, who are like “We keep telling you! All you have to do is cut down on sweets! But you won’t do that either… Will you?” Nope. Chocolate is my favorite food. You win, Plaque. And at one point, Plaque actually tells us, “You know, even if you do all this shit, I’m still probably gonna get you. Your teeth are fucked, they are going to rot, there’s nothing you can do. Go to a dentist already.” And it is terrifying.

This is a ridiculously scary movie. Plaque is a way more effective horror movie villain than Freddy or Jason. This is for real. It’s meant to scare you into taking better care of your teeth, but instead, it’s just a reality check that everything rots. Our bodies are not built well. We cannot fight death.

I really love the idea of your mouth being haunted by decay. And a dentist comes in like Zelda Rubinstein in Poltergeist, as Dr. Tangina DDS. She does an exorcism of your cavities, takes off her sunglasses, and says, “This mouth is clean.”

10/02/13: 16mm

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