J.B. Spins

Jazz, film, and improvised culture.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Even Lambs Have Teeth: Going Grindhouse

It turns out organic farming can lead to abductions, white slavery, and murder. Granted, the hippy farm was not a party to such crimes, but they never raised any alarm when expected girls fail to turn up. Sloane and Katie are the predators’ latest victims, but they aim to be the last in Terry Miles’ Even Lambs Have Teeth (trailer here), which releases today on VOD.

After Katie’s Uncle Jason dropped them off at the bus stop, the free-spirited students accepted a ride from two backwoods pretty boys. Soon thereafter, they find themselves chained up in two shipping containers out in the middle of nowhere. Their captors’ plan is to use, abuse, and dispose of them. Of course, they did not anticipate Uncle Jason snooping around. After all, he is a “detective with the FBI.” Whatever. Its Sloane and Katie they should really worry about. When they get loose, all bets are off.

Fresh from their escape, Sloane and Katie swing by the hardware store to pick up a few staples, like axes, baseball bats, hammers, nails, rope, chains, and a weed-whacker. Then it’s time to get down to business. You can just hear the pedantic hobgoblins complain Katie and Sloane’s sudden metamorphosis into stone-cold vengeance seekers is not “realistic,” but what do you want from a film like this? Depressing naturalism or country-fried payback served up pipin’ fresh?

Kirsten Prout and Tiera Skovbye are more than convincing in first act scenes of victimization and all kinds of fierce in the second and third act revenge sequences. Michael Karl Richards is almost engaging as the not completely clueless Uncle Jason, the film’s only redeemable male character, which is more than adequate. The rest of the dudes come across as thoroughly vile predators, who deserve the karmic reckoning coming their way.

Considering how unrepentantly grindhouse Teeth is, it is surprisingly polished and professional. Miles and the cast understand the cathartic retribution required from exploitation vigilantism and they deliver accordingly. Consider it a more up-market and respectable I Spit on Your Grave. Recommended for fans of unabashed payback thrillers, Even Lambs Have Teeth is now available via VOD platforms, including iTunes.

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