Based on Clive Barker’s The Body Politic and Stephen King’s Chattery Teeth
Starring: Christopher Lloyd, Matt Frewer, Raphael Sbarge
Budget $4M Box Office N/A
IMDb 4.9/10 Rotten Tomatoes N/A Metacritic N/A
This film had a nice Creepshow,Tales from the Darksidekind of feel to it. While this film doesn’t quite qualify as an anthology (there’s only two stories) it still has that anthology quality that makes it feel like a couple cozy little campfire bedtime stories.
In this movie, we have a constant character in Quicksilver, played by Christopher Lloyd. He introduces himself as a collector. In his own words, “a collector of stories and tales, seeking to view and collect for humanity, the darkness of the country.” (What a philanthropist!)
So, we have two tales in this film. The first is based off of a Stephen King story called Chattery Teeth. The second is based off a story from Clive Barker called The Body Politic. I liked both stories in this movie. I vaguely remembering reading Chattery Teethyears ago when I travelled for work. I think I read it while sitting at an airport waiting for a flight. The Clive Barker story I’ve never heard of until this movie.
Our first story is basically about a salesman, Bill Hogan. Bill is trying to get home in time for his son’s birthday that night. However, a serious windstorm is impeding his progress. The wind is so hardcore it’s hard to even see the road right in front of him, let alone the hitchhiker on the side of the road that he almost flattens. He decides he should pull over at a diner. While he’s there he sees a set of novelty chatter teeth and decides to buy them for his son for his birthday. These teeth are way bigger than the tiny fit-in-your-palm sized ones we are used to seeing. This particular set are at least as tall as a can of soda and and probably a good six inches wide. They actually remind me of one of those huge models of the mouth that dentists used to have in their offices. He also sees the hitchhiker he damn near killed trying to buy a pack of cigarettes but he’s short some change. The salesman gives him enough money to complete his purchase. As Bill is leaving the hitchhiker, Bryan Adams (I know, it’s hysterical) asks for a ride. Bill reluctantly agrees.
Now, Bill is kind of an ass. He’s very tense, he’s got anger issues. He’s wound tighter than a snare drum. Apparently, he’s been having problems at home AND he’s a reformed smoker. Bryan Adams, our friendly roadside rambler, is an artist, an asshole and a smoker. Just by what I have told you, do YOU think these two should be road-trippin’ it together???
Anyway, things between these two fellas go awry and the chattery teeth, belonging to Bill, intervene on his behalf in a very interesting way. I’ll let you find out how.
Let’s motor on along to story two. (Yes, I said motor. Gen Xers know what I’m talking about. Showing age again, so…moving on.)
Here we meet Charlie. A sneaky little pickpocket at a carnival that darts into a “Tent of Horrors” in order to avoid detection. While in this tent, he not only takes the time to look around and eyeball something labeled “The Hand of Glory”, he also meets Quicksilver, who yet again espouses himself as a collector and gives Charlie the schpeel.
Then, they start discussing this “Hand of Glory” thing. Basically, it is a dried and pickled hand of a man who has been hanged. It is used as a protective device, having been dipped in the dead criminal’s body fat and made into a candle. (Whoa! Talk about some morbid wicked stuff! And I bet that candle smells nasty as hell when it’s lit, eeewww!) So, Quicksilver offers up a quick little tale.
Enter Dr. George, an arrogant and greedy plastic surgeon whose living is made from his hands and his life is nothing but dollar signs. This is a doctor of questionable morality as it is clear he performs surgeries that every other reputable doctor would turn down. No risk is too great and no reward high enough to satisfy his need for wealth and extravagance.
And life, for the most part, is pretty normal (I know, it’s a relative term) for this surgeon. Until one night when he discovers his hands have taken on life of their own, apart from his and seem to have their own agenda…and it doesn’t include being attached to HIS body. These diabolical hands start communicating with each other and hatch a plan to remove themselves from the doctor’s anatomy.
After suffering a number of attacks upon his person by his hands (that just sounds funny to me) the dear and frightened doctor starts to come a bit unglued. He even seeks the advice of a shrink, telling him that he feels his hands have turned against him. And they really kind of have. The hands (I say THE rather than HIS because it is clear by now that the doc has no control over the appendages) have attacked him while he’s driving and now, they strangle his wife while he is sleeping. He wakes just in time to see it happen but, not in time to save her.
His entire life begins to unravel. He’s starting to lose it, his career is over, he’s been telling his shrink that his hands are conspiring against him, his wife is dead and he is looking like the prime suspect for her murder…life is just really REALLY starting to suck.
And it seems like the hands are trying to ignite some sort of revolution. HANDS EVERYWHERE UNITE!
So, what happens to the doc? And the hands? I’ll let you watch and find out.
I enjoyed this film immensely. Christopher Lloyd is just wacky enough to pull off the Quicksilver character beautifully. The guy that plays Bill in the first story, Raphael Sbarge, I have seen him in a number of things and he’s very good at playing the neurotic jackass. I wonder if they type-cast him. He had a role on a CSI (Vegas) episode as an Actuary (a risk assessment manager) and he ended up being the killer and the guy was one of the biggest jerks ever! He plays it perfectly!!!!
The stories are actually quite good and they both have a little comedy thrown in for balance. I am interested to know how the film versions of these twisted tales stack up against the written ones. I’m sure the written ones are good too, I mean, Stephen King and Clive Barker? I wish I remembered Chattery Teethmore than vaguely.
I think I can safely recommend this flick to any horror lover. It’s not that it’s full of blood splatter and gore, nor is it full of foul language and violence. Yet, to me, it is still a good old fashioned kind of horror movie. And I think real horror fans will get a kick out of it.