MOVIE: Tooth and Nail (2007)

This movie is one of the annual “8 Films to Die For” series put together by After Dark Horrorfest.  The films are typically released into theaters for a very brief period of time (a weekend, I think), and then head straight to DVD.  I couldn’t swear to it, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever actually watched one of the movies from this series. I’ve seen them around, but to be honest, they always looked so awful I was kind of afraid to give them a try (oh stop — I know YOU think I have no standards, but the reality is I have very specific and exacting standards, they just happen to be much, much lower than yours!).

A couple of weeks ago, however, Dish Network was offering two of the movies from the latest incarnation of this series on Pay-Per-View for one low, low price.  I couldn’t resist a deal like that, so I recorded them both and only just got around to watching the first one this weekend.  And to be honest, though my expectations were extremely low, I have to say this movie was surprisingly not-that-bad!  I mean, it’s pretty bad, of course, but it was also fairly entertaining and had a few truly clever little moments scattered around here and there.  Color me astonished!

The story is set a few years in the future, after humans have depleted all stores and fixins for gasoline on the planet. Without gas, the world has completely fallen apart, and many people have either starved to death or died in violent attacks brought on by other people who are starving to death. So much for Thomas Hobbes being all glass-half-empty when it came to the human race, eh? 

A small group of survivors has holed up together in an abandoned hospital, where they’ve found a ton of food and supplies. One day, a couple of them are out scrounging when they come across a young woman who’s been injured. They take her back to the hospital and are horrified when she describes being attacked by a gang of people she calls “Rovers” — murderous human beings clad mostly in fur (that’s how we know they’re evil, naturally!) and wielding all kinds of Dungeons & Dragons-style weaponry, who kill anybody they encounter and then roast and eat their corpses.  Nom nom nom!  Yumsville!

Somewhat ridiculously, the good guys are all named after cars (Nova, Ford, Durango) and the bad guys are all named after carnivores (Lobo, Jackal, Dingo). Try not to hold this fact against the movie, though — it’s hard, I know, because that’s reallllllly stupid (and also the total opposite of my instincts when it comes to delineating good vs. evil in the modern world, I might add — I’m much more likely to want to root for the carnivorous wildlife than the SUVs, in other words).  But if you can get past the little moments of ridiculousness like these, the rest of the movie isn’t really as bad as it might sound.

Anyway, the Rovers, alas, have followed the young woman to the hospital, and that night, they begin their attack on the little group of survivors. Luckily, they only seem to attack at night, which leaves plenty of daytime for hand-wringing, panicked in-fighting, and scouting around for good hiding places.

The other good news is that it turns out the Rovers are also REALLY stupid. This is always helpful.

Unfortunately, the Cars quickly discover smarts are really no match for the swords when fighting with limited resources in a confined space (“Never fight a land war in Asia!”), and it’s not long before it becomes clear there’s no way they can really compete with the Carnivores.  By the final act of the film, only two Cars are left, though, luckily, they also just so happen to be the smartest characters in the whole movie and, coincidentally, the only two I was rooting for myself.  Oh, frabjous day!

The denouement of this movie was surprisingly clever, if you ask me, and while there were still some elements of it that made me roll my eyes, overall I was impressed with the method used to put the last of the Carnivores out of all of our miseries.  Not sure it would really work, but it was a cool concept that made it a lot easier to forgive some of the extremely silly lines in this movie, such as, “I don’t want to get chopped up by some two-bit ass clowns!” or, “Survival of the fittest: say hello to the winning team, bitch!” 

Actually, that last one’s not too bad, come to think of it. . .

And did I mention that Michael Madsen is in this? Michael Madsen, the Boyfriend whose write-up I still cite as one of my all-time favorites? THAT Michael Madsen!  Is in this movie! I wasn’t sure if I should be glad or disheartened by that fact at first, to be honest (dude, where did your career go, my man?).  Instead, I mostly just ended up being disappointed because clearly the filmmakers didn’t have enough money to pay his salary for more than an afternoon and seriously, they should’ve at least tried putting on a bake sale to keep him in the flick longer.  I would’ve gladly dropped a twenty on some cupcakes for an extra five minutes of Madsen onscreen, myself, and I’m SURE I’m not alone on that score.  Mike is one of the scariest mutha-fathas I have ever seen, and all he has to do to make me pee my pants with fear is simply glare sternly in my direction — frankly, I gots chills already.  Just think of how useful that could be in a film of this nature!  But instead he’s insanely underutilized here and eventually just kind of vanishes without a trace (I never did figure out what happened to him — maybe he got killed and I somehow missed it?).  Missed a bet on that one, fellas.

That said, the other actors do a decent job here themselves, and many of them were also recognizable faces as well (Rachel Miner is from Californication, Rider Strong is from Boy Meets World and Eli Roth’s movie Cabin Fever, Michael Kelly was on the Sopranos, etc.).

All in all, this was a pretty entertaining little movie.  Yes, most of it is kind of stupid.  I recognize that, I truly do.  But if you watch a lot of bad horror movies like I do, you start to appreciate the ones that have a few unique ideas sprinkled into their mixes.  This one had just enough elements that were original to make the parts that were supremely silly mostly forgivable.  For what it is, it’s surprisingly decent.  That’s hardly glowing praise, I realize, but fans of bad horror flicks might find this one worth the price of a rental.  You could do a lot worse.  And if you’re me, you probably already have!

[Netflix me | Buy me]

Genre: Horror
Cast:  Rider Strong, Rachel Miner, Michael Kelly, Robert Carradine, Michael Madsen

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36 Responses to “MOVIE: Tooth and Nail (2007)”

  1. Verna Says:

    “Only slightly less well known… never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line!”

  2. megwood Says:

    I wondered if anybody would do that! I now declare a QUOTE WAR!!

    “The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink, and find out who is right… and who is dead.”

  3. Verna Says:

    What are the rules of the QUOTE WAR? Do we have to quote the next line or any from the movie?

  4. Trip Says:

    This thread is inconceivable.

  5. Verna Says:

    “Anybody want a peanut?”

  6. megwood Says:

    Trip, I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    Verna, the rules of the quote war are that there ARE no rules of the quote war. And also, do not talk about Fight Club.

  7. Verna Says:

    “You mean you wish to surrender to me, very well, I accept!”

  8. Trip Says:

    No one would surrender to the Dread Pirate Westley.

  9. megwood Says:

    Rodents of Unusual Size? I don’t think they exist.

  10. Verna Says:

    “We know the secrets of the Fire Swamp. We can live there happily for some time.”

  11. Trip Says:

    Have you been chasing me your whole life only to fail now? I think that’s the worst thing I ever heard. How marvelous.

  12. Verna Says:

    Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to die!

  13. megwood Says:

    Sonny, true love is the greatest thing in the world. Except for a nice MLT, a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe. They’re so perky, I love that.

  14. Alisa Says:

    Ever since Prince Humperdinck fired him, his confidence has been shattered.
    Why’d you say that name? You promised me you would never say that name!
    What, Humperdinck?
    Aahaahh!
    Humperdinck! Humperdinck! Humperdinck!
    I’m not listening!

  15. megwood Says:

    It’s not my fault being the biggest and the strongest. I don’t even exercise!

  16. Alisa Says:

    It was ten days till the wedding. The king still lived, but Buttercup’s nightmares were growing steadily worse.
    See? Didn’t I tell you she’d never marry that rotten Humperdinck?
    Yes. You’re very smart. Shut up.

  17. megwood Says:

    You seem a decent fellow — I’d hate to kill you.

    YOU seem a decent fellow — I’d hate to die!

  18. Alisa Says:

    She doesn’t get eaten by eels at this time.
    What?
    The eels don’t get her. I’m explaining because you look nervous.
    I’m wasn’t nervous. Just a little “concerned”, but that’s the same thing.

  19. Alisa Says:

    SHOOT!!! I GOT THE LAST LINE WRONG.

    She doesn’t get eaten by eels at this time.
    What?
    The eels don’t get her. I’m explaining because you look nervous.
    I wasn’t nervous. Maybe just a little “concerned”, but that’s NOT the same thing.

  20. megwood Says:

    I’m on the brute squad.

    You ARE the brute squad!

  21. Alisa Says:

    You’re a silly girl.
    Yes, I am a silly girl. For not having seen sooner that you are nothing but a coward with a heart full of fear.
    I would not say such things if I were you.
    Why not? You can’t harm me. Westley and I are joined by the bonds of true love. And you cannot track that, not with a thousand bloodhounds. And you cannot break that, not with a thousand swords. And when I say that you are a coward it is only because you are the slimiest weakling ever to crawl the earth.
    I would not say such things if I were you.

  22. megwood Says:

    Okay, Alisa — now I’m beginning to suspect you’re just looking these up on the web, which is not nearly as sporting as only posting the ones you actually have memorized!

  23. Trip Says:

    Well, to be fair, I don’t believe that was part of the rules of Quote War…but perhaps it should be now.

    TK-421, why aren’t you at your post?

  24. megwood Says:

    “Great kid! Don’t get cocky!”

    As previously stated, the rules of Quote War are that there are no rules (along with “Do not talk about Fight Club,” of course).

    However, I’m far more impressed when I get the think the quotes are coming from actual memory and adoration of the movie, than from, say, Google or the IMDb.

  25. Verna Says:

    Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

  26. Verna Says:

    Meg: “Great kid! Don’t get cocky!”
    Ok, you got me on that one. Don’t know which movie it’s from.

  27. megwood Says:

    Does this help? “Let the wookie win!”

  28. Alisa Says:

    I PROMISE I know I can RECITE the movie by HEART in my sleep. Not kidding!

    I love the movie so much that one x-mas I got 2 dvds for gifts, and I read my copy of the book so much that the cover fell to pieces and I had to buy another copy.

  29. Verna Says:

    Star Wars! Woohoo!

  30. Trip Says:

    (Man, I could go all day with this one…)

    That’s no moon…it’s a space station!
    I find your lack of faith disturbing.

    If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine…

    Watch your mouth kid, or you’ll find yourself floating home!
    Oh, this oil bath is going to feel SOOOOOO good….
    An elegant weapon…for a more civilized age.
    Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, boy!

  31. megwood Says:

    Wow, Alisa! That’s amazing, in that case! I bow down to your awesome powers of movie memory!

    Trip: Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dustin’ crops, boy!

  32. Liz Says:

    (This one is too obvious.) “What we have here is a failure to communicate!”

  33. Liz Says:

    Okay, okay, I admit it! I went onto IMDb to look up “Pirate Westley.” I suspected you all were throwing out lines from “The Princess Bride,” but I wasn’t sure, so I – gulp – CHEATED (!) and looked it up. BUT I’M NOT SORRY! Because now I know for sure what you were all talking about. I only saw that movie once (maybe 1 1/2 times), so I don’t know the lines very well. I do know many of the leads, though: Mandy Patinkin, Carey Elwes, Andre the Giant, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane (but who played “Buttercup,” though?).

    Forgive me, but I wasn’t crazy about the movie when I first saw it; however, I’m definitely going to see it again, to try to appreciate it more! BTW those quotes from “Star Wars” were pretty recognizable! But here’s one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES, from a movie Meg turned me on to: “OH FOR THE LOVE OF THE LITTLE BABY JESUS WHO DIED ON THE CROSS!” Now, I am a church-goer, and a Xtian, but I see no harm in this quote; I HOPE I’m not offending anyone – I think it’s hysterical!

  34. megwood Says:

    Got your first one, Liz — “You got a real cool hand, Luke.”

    But the baby Jesus one you lost me on! How sad is that, considering it’s apparently from a movie I recommended! 🙂

    Getting back to Princess Bride, I just wanted to throw out one last one:

    “Unemployed? IN GREENLAND?!”

  35. Liz Says:

    Silly, silly Meg!! 🙂 It’s from “Men With Brooms” (about the curling team, and starring PAUL GROSS!). It was said by the sportscaster, when they were going to admit that a rock had been “burned” (i.e. touched). When I first heard the line, I had to pause the movie because I was laughing so hard!

  36. megwood Says:

    Hah! Awesome! I forgot about that line. However, I haven’t forgotten about 400 pounds of defecating menace.

    Because “How do you forget about 400 pounds of defecating menace?!”

    I love that movie!

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