Sunday, March 23, 2008

After Dark Horrorfest 2007: Tooth and Nail (Review)

Tooth and Nail

Tooth and Nail (2007)

Directed by Mark Young

“Laws are the only things that separate us from savagery. Because the beast is there inside all of us watching…waiting. When civilization is no longer there to protect us, when the beast is the only thing standing between us and death, we will absolutely fight tooth and nail to survive.”

I love when they mention the title of the movie in narrated dialogue. Doesn’t it always justify a cool sounding title? But in this case, it’s really just filler for a mediocre stab and jab movie.

A couple of questions popped into my head after watching Tooth and Nails.

Why does post apocalyptic Philadelphia look like modern day Philadelphia?

So when the world runs out of gas we somehow turn into blood thirsty cannibals?

Can an abandoned hospital setting dictate every scene in your movie?

Well the answer to that last question is yes. And that’s the setting of Tooth and Nails.
So if you were looking for a Mad Max America, you’re out of luck dude.

When the world runs out of gas in 2012, the world is consumed into anarchy; chaos and destruction the opening narration tell us. Smart survivors all head south but a few remain behind in good ole Philly (really? Philly?) We meet a group of survivors who are living in an abandoned hospital who are intent on rebuilding society.

Director Mark Young wasn’t being very subtle with his car/gas analogy. The characters are initially intriguing as they all have car like names. We meet Ford (Rider Strong, “Cabin Fever”) who is the loose cannon of the group, Viper (Michael Kelly) the muscle, Torino (Alexandra Barreto) the sexy vixen, Nova (Emily Young) the mute kid, Darwin (Robert Carradine) the professor and de facto leader and finally Dakota (Nicole DuPort) our Buffy-ish heroine.

They rescue a young girl Neon (Rachel Miner, “Penny Dreadful”) who has been attacked by “Rovers” who are packs of humans that have turned to cannibalism to survive in this hellish doomsday world. Neon tells them the Rovers have murdered her family. The Rovers wait until night to hunt their prey but only kill one at a time so their meat is fresh. Of course this begs the question, why don’t they just capture all of them and just lock em up. But then you wouldn’t get 90 minutes of stalk, hide, stab/shoot, run.

As the story progresses, our little 90210 group gets picked off one by one by the Rovers. Included in this group is Mr. Blonde himself Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones in various extended cameos. The Rovers are of course dressed in your standard issue Mad Max, Road Warrior, Hills Have Eyes attire. They are also armed to the teeth with a variety of weapons that were picked up at the Medieval Times gift shop.

And there you have it. The gore factor kills are a plenty but sort of predictable and boring. Hatchet chopping, cleaver through the head, sliced throats, spear through the chest, arrow in the eye, acid dissolving face and battle axe through the head (not necessarily in that order).

There are some added sex scenes that seem very out of place (but alas because it is a horror movie they do have to follow some “Scream” rules). As the group fights for survival, an obvious twist is inserted that can only be summed up by one word: Yawn.

We conclude with Dakota outsmarting the Waterworld rejects and in an out of character bizzaro finale she goes all Braveheart on the remaining Rovers.

Logic here is totally thrown out the window and this movie should have been as well. The movie never defines what it wanted to be. I watched a Discovery channel show about the possibility of the world running out of gas and it was never this dire. Are we to believe that when we can’t fill our SUV’s anymore, we will become all become Dahmers in waiting?

Tooth and Nail is so preposterous its only redeemable value is that it’s MST3K worthy. So if you’re looking for a post apocalyptic world filled with cannibal hunters, go rent the cult classics instead. You’ll be spared this tooth and nail torture.

The Extras:

Included in all of the After Dark Horrorfest DVDs are the Miss Horrorfest Contest webisodes. Think Surreal Life meets the Misfits. It’s a VH1 version of the Suicide Girls.

Rating: 1/2

The Trailer:

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  1. My question about Tooth and Nail is this. What is that skeletal winged creature on the DVD cover? It has a human skull for a head. Does this creature appear in the movie? What does this creature represent? From what I see it represents death degeneration and decay.