Sloane (Kirsten Prout) and Katie (Tiera Skovbye) are best pals who've just finished High School. It's established very quickly that Sloane is the worldly one - not against dropping the occasional ecstasy tablet; flirtatious with older men - while Katie is the clean-cut girl next door.
Together they've planned a weekend shopping spree in New York. First, they need to raise funds for the trip. To this end, they've arranged to work for a month an organic farm not far from where Katie's cop uncle, Jason (Michael Karl Richards), lives.
He has them overnight at his place and then drops them in the nearby town where they plan to get a bus to the farm. However, while popping into the local cafe to use the bathroom, the girls are approached by two seemingly sweet-natured brothers, Jed (Garrett Black) and Lucas (Jameson Parker). Good-looking and outwardly sincere, the boys eventually win the girls' trust and off to give them a lift to the farm in their truck.
Of course, they totally ignore the turning for said farm, and end up driving all the way to their home, a short distance further. Although the boys are still being very nice in nature, this latter point has the girls understandably unnerved. Until, that is, the boys' bubbly old mother (Gwynyth Walsh) comes to the door and kindly beckons the girls in for pie - promising to walk them to the farm immediately afterwards.
Alas, while enjoying their pie, Sloane quickly realises that she and Katie have been drugged. They attempt to flee the scene anyway but, at mother's beckoning, Jed and Lucas swiftly capturing the girls and carry them back to their remote abode. The next time we see them, each girl has their own portacabin in the woods, where they're shackled by chains. They've both been stripped to their underwear, and their bodies are bloodied and bruised.
"My advice", warns Jed, "is shit is going to happen. If you want to keep all your teeth, just go with it". Moments later, more men turn up - including hardnut Boris (Patrick Gilmore) and oversized, oversexed Viagra-popping Sheriff Andrews (Craig March).
It's soon evident that Jed and Lucas are running a woods-based brothel-of-sorts where all of their DELIVERANCE-type pals are invited to pop along and have sex with these two unfortunates. And these guys don't play gently. Rape, beatings, cigarettes stubbed out on their midriffs: these girls endure quite a bit of suffering.
One punter is so menacing that even Jed and Lucas are afraid of him. The girls aren't even allowed to see his face; they only see him with a piggy mask on. We can only imagine how he brutalises Sloane behind closed doors...
In the meantime, Jason's suspicions are aroused when he fails to receive a text from Katie with the agreed safety word in it. He rings the farm only to discover the girls never turned up there. Unfortunately, his first port of call is discussing the matter with a certain Sheriff Andrews. That doesn't get him far. Luckily, he's willing to investigate further.
Meanwhile, the girls get busy plotting their escape...
What I've described above is literally half the story. I hate giving a synopsis that goes beyond the halfway mark. So I won't! But, suffice it to say, we're in classic rape-revenge territory here along the lines of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE and MOTHER'S DAY - the two films this movie unabashedly alludes to.
I doubt it's naivety on writer-director Terry Miles' part. From the simple one-two nature of the screenplay to the 80s-esque vibes of the score, he's pretty unapologetic in aiming to recreate the kinetic audience thrills of grindhouse dramas of yore. At the very least, he doesn't blight his film with faux "film damage".
Rather, this is a highly polished and aesthetically pleasing proposition. The performances are all decent and the two leads are surprisingly likeable. The blokes are all convincing cads. In many respects, EVEN LAMBS HAVE TEETH exceeded my expectations.
Okay, it doesn't score high in terms of originality. And the second half - the revenge half - is a tad undermined by the one-liners the girls share between each other while doling out their retribution. I'm all for female empowerment but, you know, these girls have been through Hell ... and the glee with which they start turning the tables on their aggressors robs proceedings of gravity somewhat.
Still, if you're up for something proficiently staged, a little lighter than your normal rape-revenge fare (the rapes are all off-screen, there's no nudity, the violence is largely suggestive as opposed to being overtly graphic), and simplistic in how it all plays out - no thought required - then this fits the bill perfectly.
Matchbox Films' UK DVD presents the film uncut and in its original 2.35:1 ratio. The transfer is 16x9 enhanced and looks good for the most part. Blacks are deep and colours are vivid, while flesh tones remain accurate-looking throughout. Some edge enhancement seemed evident on occasion, but there's nothing too problematic to report of.
English audio is provided in 2.0 and 5.1 mixes. Both are solid, evenly channelled affairs.
The disc opens to a static main menu page. An equally static scene selection menu allows access to the film via 12 chapters.
The only bonus feature is a 1-minute trailer for the film which does a rum job of advertising it: it makes it look like a hugely amateurish affair.
EVEN LAMBS HAVE TEETH is a curiously likeable film. It looks good; the cast are all game and the formulaic, derivative plot works in its own curious way.
It looks good on Matchbox's DVD.
Review by Stuart Willis
|Released by Matchbox Films|
|see main review|