As you can probably imagine, a film entitled Even Lambs Have Teeth was bound to get us dusting off some obvious and utterly irresistible cheap jokes in anticipation of a lo-fi, low-budget, low-quality straight-to-DVD horror shocker. The fun we could have had complaining about “wooly” scripting and warning you that the film is a “shear waste of time”. But sadly we have to put away the jokebook because Only Lambs Have Teeth has defied our expectations and, some quibbles aside, turns out to be a rather good little revenge thriller which lurches – quite uneasily it has to be said – from the genuinely quite disturbing to the genuinely quite silly.
Best friends forever Sloane and Katie set off to spend some time at an organic farm, but after they befriend a couple of likely local lads at a diner they’re driven out to a wilderness farmhouse and drugged. They wake up, stripped to their underwear, and chained up inside a couple of grim industrial container units deep in the forest. Under pain of death they’re – there’s no pleasant way of putting this – used and abused by any number of grubby low-lifes (including the local sheriff and a priest who prefers to wear a grotesque pig mask) who pay handsomely for the privilege. This is actually uncomfortable stuff for a while; the girls’ dilemma is genuinely appalling and degrading and the indignities they suffer aren’t just unpleasant, they verge on the voyeuristic. But, as the film’s title warns us, even lambs have teeth. Inevitably the girls turn the tables and manage to free themselves – whereupon they tool up and set off looking for bloody revenge on everyone who has tormented and humiliated them over the last few days.
Fortunately, the film’s tone lightens somewhat once the girls are free; we’re mercifully spared any more of their ordeal and it becomes a more stylised and fairly predictable revenge romp. Logic and realism are hurled out of the window as the girls – still in their pants and covered in blood - hack and hammer their way around the neighbourhood dispensing their very own brand of justice, at least one example of which is sure to bring tears to the eyes of the gentlemen in the audience. The film ignores the fact that the girls have effectively been repeatedly raped; they don’t seem especially traumatised by their experiences and they slip into their new roles as ruthless, calculating killers with unlikely ease. It’s surely best to not worry about the giant plot-holes and the extraordinary half-time change of tone as this snappy, no-nonsense bloodbath canters towards the finishing line and the girls merrily batter and immolate their tormentors.
Even Lambs Have Teeth is a bit all over the place but it’s hard not to admire its guts and its chutzpah. Despite his over-reliance on irritating jump-cuts, Terry Miles directs his own snappy script with gusto and the performances are pretty much just about as competent as they need to be for what is, in essence, a better-than-average B-movie exploitation flick. If you can cope with the first forty minutes or so, which promise an entirely different and much darker film than the one we finally end up with, we think ewe’ll find that Even Lambs Have Teeth is worth dipping into. (Hang on now... - Ed)
EVEN LAMBS HAVE TEETH / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: TERRY MILES / STARRING: KRISTEN PROUT, TIERA SKOVBYE, MICHAEL KARL RICHARDS, CRAIG MARCH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW