Two Front Teeth – USA, 2006 – reviews

‘Forget milk and cookies… this Christmas he wants blood!’

Two Front Teeth is a 2006 American horror feature film directed by Jamie Nash  (ParaAbnormal; co-writer of The Night WatchmenV/H/S/2 segment ‘A Ride in the Park’) and David Thomas Sckrabulis from a screenplay written by the former. The movie stars Johnny Francis Wolf, Megan Pearson and Michael Brecher.

Plot:

It’s the night before Christmas and Gabe Snow, a tabloid writer haunted by the Ghosts of Christmas past, is investigating a Yuletide conspiracy.

Gabe knows that Flight 1225 was brought down one foggy Christmas Eve, by a flying creature with a “glowing nose”. Now, a bloodsucking vampire – Santa Claus – has put Gabe on his list and unleashed the demonic fury of the North Pole.

An army of zombie elves, who have no interest in toys or pointy hats or dentistry, are about to turn Gabe’s white Christmas blood red. Will Gabe find the true meaning of Christmas? Can he stake a heart that’s two sizes too small? What will he find under his tree?

Review:

Two Front Teeth is Jamie Nash’s horror/comedy contribution to the passing Holiday parade. The time period of the film seems to be whenever-modern with just a touch of the generic middle-western feel and set appropriately enough in the depths of a frigidly cold winter.

The film opens on Noel, Gabe’s wife, sneaking a lusty tryst with the man who plays Santa at the mall where she works. After the rather blood-gushing dispatch of the crotch-scratching Kris Kringle, the scene fades into a montage of over the top front page stories from The Xmas Files, the tabloid Gabe works for; headlines range from “Anatomically Correct Ginger Bread Men” to “Santa Gave Me Crabs: The Gift That Keeps On Giving” and most significantly the story concerning Christmas flight 1225; you know it’s supposed to be significant because it begins the montage and is, at first glance, serious – until you read the caption below the photo. Was it the result of fruitcake poisoning? it reads.

Well, you have to go through quite a bit of sword fighting, evil elf-fu, crazy Vatican-employed hot nun assassins, western gunplay, elf beheadings, throat-ripping, neck-biting, chest-skewering, Clausferatu-fu, bickering, back-stabbing, and tongue-in-cheek jokes to find out.

Jamie Nash, who wrote the script but co-directed with David Thomas Sckrabulis (which I’m convinced is a fake name), presents a highly creative scenario filled with plenty of original and provocative ideas, the Silent Knights to name just one, and packed with so much wisecracking, it could put Henny Youngman’s joke file to shame. Unfortunately, this plethora of tomfoolery is also its drawback.

While Nash does an admirable job of keeping the story moving and keeping it relatively coherent, it does feel immensely bogged down and dense at times, almost as dense as a fruitcake. Everything comes in on a fast and furious freight train, layer piled upon wacky layer, until the viewer feels a bit bloated and overwhelmed, ready for the ride to stop. This humour overplay also results in a lot of comedy misses; many of the jokes fall flat and feel as if they were personal favourites that the writer simply couldn’t leave out because they were so precious to him.

Sckrabulis’ cinematography and editing are absolutely perfect for this budget and genre. The lighting set-ups, camera angles, and general visual composition mitigate the low funding and garage filmmaking limitations which were unavoidable. Several scenes, while obviously not as well produced as they could have been due to cost, seem deliberate and seriously considered from a genuine craftsman’s point of view.

Its apparent, sincere attempts were made to be as professional as the narrow financing would allow; set-up was taken into consideration, prep-time was given its due when possible, and staging was well thought through; the lighting was rich, and it frequently made up for most of the flimsy, closed-in sets and gave the movie a design depth it wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Though at times overdone and relying too much on zany humour, with several of the jokes necessarily washing out, and the hit or miss attempts to fill the screen to the gills with sparks and ideas, Too Front Teeth does actually work pretty well for a low-low budget effort. It’s not a great film by any means, but it is better than many similar efforts and is well worth your time if you’re looking for something filling but still on the light side. It could almost be described as a diet fruitcake, if such a thing exists.

Ben Spurling, MOVIES & MANIA

Other reviews:

Two Front Teeth is certainly a silly feature, but it delivers some funny moments and didn’t bore me at any point. There are some good lines, though there is a lot of stuff that requires a good working knowledge of Xmas pop culture.” Digital Retribution

“The acting is in line with what you’d expect from a movie like this one.  I could have done without some of the computer FX; maybe because that took me away from the 80s feel of the movie, but other than that, I really did enjoy this one!” Film Apocalypse

“So the movie isn’t as gory as people claim and the faulty storyline maybe a bit of concern […] The only thing I think that came off as particularly bad were the CGI effects and some truly bad camera work. Regardless of that Two Front Teeth still manages to be a very entertaining and a fun watch…” Film Bizarro

Cast and characters:

  • Johnny Francis Wolf … Gabe Snow
  • Megan Pearson … Noel Snow
  • Michael Brecher … Ed (Chief Editor)
  • Joseph L. Johnson … Pete
  • Eric Messner … Mall Santa
  • Lisa Oberg … Frost (as Lisa N. Oberg)
  • Monalisa Arias … Evil Elf
  • Annika Backstrom … Evil Elf
  • Tara Chiusano … Evil Elf
  • Melissa Dunphy … Evil Elf
  • Jessica Perkins II … Evil Elf
  • Katie Lawson … Evil Elf
  • Alexxus Young … Silent Knight (Evil Nun)
  • Kelly Cardall … Silent Knight (Evil Nun)
  • Jamie Wozny … Silent Knight (Evil Nun)
  • Seth L. Herzog … Tiny Tim
  • Theo Franz … Young Gabe
  • Lily Franz … Gabe’s Sister
  • Josh Buchbinder … Clausferatu
  • Trent Gates … Gabe’s Father
  • Colin Barnhill … Santa Claus
  • Leanna Chamish Leanna Chamish … Gabe’s Mom, Mrs. Snow

 

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