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Tooth and Nail

Directed by Mark Young

Written by Mark Young

Starring Rachel Miner, Rider Strong, Robert Carradine, Michael Madsen

Produced by Jonathan Sachar, Patrick Durham

Rated R

94 minutes

****

Now, I’ll confess openly that I was looking forward to Tooth and Nail only slightly less than the last film in the rotation. I am, and longtime readers will be able to back me up on this, terribly, terribly fond of dystopian fare, because I believe it’s pretty much just a matter of time until we’re actually in a scenario like this so it pays to have some idea of what to do. And Tooth and Nail is dystopian with a capital D-Y-S, so I was ready.

Indeed, in Tooth and Nail, the world has just gone all post-Apocalyptic-y, and that’s given rise to warlords and downtrodden folk and all sorts of unpleasantness. If the opening montage is any indication of what went wrong, it’s almost certainly energy-related. Lots of footage of traffic jams and oil derricks and such in here—they’ll even tell at the end that what did it was, plain and simple, we just ran out of gas.

Which doesn’t exactly make a lot of sense as the impetus for a global slaughterfest, but okay, I’ll allow it. In fact, they make a pretty decent case for it, so I don’t feel like I’m allowing anything intolerable.

And of course, they’ll bludgeon you with the symbolism—just about everybody in the movie, or at least the good guys, was named after a car.

There aren’t a whole lot of shocks or scares in Tooth and Nail, and frankly, that’s all right. It watches a lot more like an action movie with horrific elements than an actual horror movie, and that lends it a lot of good old fashioned heart-pumping adrenaline.

Perhaps the most interesting part about Tooth and Nail is how, in the time leading up until the climax and ending, it’ll pretty much be the ladies responsible for the defense against the evil warlordish types. That’s abundantly clever, and right out of left field. Top marks.

The ending will have a couple nice twists leading up to it, including the ever-popular “acid to the face.”

The special features include Miss Horrorfest contest webisodes, audio options, and English and Spanish subtitles.

All in all, a spectacularly clever addition to the 2007 After Dark Horrorfest. I’m very pleased with how this one turned out, and the extra twists made things all the more exciting. Tooth and Nail is an insane, gut-wrenching blast of horror.

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


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