Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pulling 'Teeth'

So I walked into my local Movie Gallery yesterday afternoon all stoked to rent Teeth, the horror movie/cautionary fable about a teen girl with a toothed hooha (seriously). I couldn't find it on the shelf among the new releases, so I asked the clerk. She instantly knew what I was talking about. "Nobody has it," she informed me. "They've pulled it." It's certainly up for sale on Amazon, so I'm wondering if this is a regional thing -- I couldn't find any references on-line to stores pulling the title. Apparently the subject matter is too hot to handle, at least here in the puritanical South, where no one has ever seen, touched or thought about a female's hooha. Better to be thinking about guns and some more ways that we can divide ourselves by race, religion and eye color.

The clerk hit the nail on the head: "It makes me want to see it even more." You go, girl. I'll be placing my order soon.

View the trailer for Mitchell Lichtenstein's Teeth, which received uniformly positive reviews, here: TEETH TRAILER

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Books: The Water's Lovely • Ruth Rendell

Genre: Mystery, psychological suspense
Released: July 17, 2007
Verdict: &&&

Having read about two dozen novels by Ruth Rendell and her alter ego, Barbara Vine, I've never felt I could sense the old master pulling the strings of her hapless characters until The Water's Lovely. At the heart of the plot is a dark family secret — no surprise there — involving the death of a stepfather-to-be of a pair of sisters. It's not giving anything away to say that one of the sisters had a hand in his death, and it casts a shadow over the rest of their lives and drives their mother to madness. Repercussions of that murderous act surface later in life as the two court prospective mates. Meanwhile, Rendell's wicked, deadpan sense of humor is in rare form, and she's having nearly too much fun with a character who is consumed with hypochondria, a young lady who sits with the elderly while plotting to get in their good graces and then kill them for their fortune, and a character who encounters the miseries of dating in late middle age. It's all spun with her usual skill and elegant prose but feels a tad contrived when measured against late-period peaks such as A Sight for Sore Eyes.

Incidental >> Rendell's next novel, Not in the Flesh, an entry in the venerable Wexford series, is due June 10.