“WE’VE KEPT MEGA-MONSTERS MUNCHING FOR FIFTY YEARS.”
Dr. Vincent DeCarlo stands in his small factory in Newark, New Jersey, surrounded by oversized teeth. For the last 50 years, Titanic Teeth Dentistry has focused only on the biggest stars in moviedom.
“We’ve done dentistry on King Kong, Godzilla, King Ghidorah – the Three-Headed Monster, Rodan, Gamera. Mothra…all the big ones,” Vincent sighs. “I knew the business had to come to an end eventually but I was hoping I could keep it going a little longer.”
THE KONG JOB
Vincent’s father, Ennio, founded the company back in the mid-seventies. “My Dad was one of the most popular dentists in the Vailsburg section of Newark. It started with my Grandpa, who came from Italy and gravitated to Vailsburg because of its Italian culture. My Dad was also a brilliant artist. He hung his paintings all around his offices. They were mostly dinosaurs. He just had an obsession to get their faces ‘right.’ To make sure their teeth and jawlines were accurate.
“A local display of Dad’s art caught the eye of movie producer Dino DeLaurentiis, who was re-making ‘King Kong.’ He was worried about Kong’s teeth. Dad went out to see Kong and made me come along. It was amazing.
“Kong had put on a few pounds but his mouth was a mess. He’d lost quite a few teeth, had terrible plaque, and a lot of nasty stuff jammed between his teeth; wood bark, dinosaur skin, slow-moving natives.
“Dad gained Kong’s trust through the use of a dozen blonde East European strippers, polka music and a train-load of laughing gas and did an amazing job. He capped teeth. Pulled teeth. Put in implants. Flossed him. And I was by his side, helping.”
“The deal is, with this kind of Kong job, you not only need a small army of dental technicians you need union guys operating heavy construction equipment. That steel floss won’t get to Kong’s mouth by itself. It’s like a military maneuver.”
“GODZILLA WAS IN BAD CHOMPER SHAPE AND WAS DUE TO START ANOTHER MOVIE.”
Kong emerged, transformed, and acted in the movie with a newfound zest. The movie tanked. (“We’re not screenwriters,” points out Vincent.) He smiles. “I think we really changed Kong’s life. All the strippers chose to live on Skull Island, afterwards. Kong forced the natives to learn polka music. They’ve been celebrating Oktoberfest for decades”
After word got out about their Kong transformation, they received a call from Toho Studios in Japan. “They do all the ‘Kaiju,’ or giant monster movies. They hired us immediately. Godzilla was in bad chomper shape and he was due to start another movie in six weeks. Dad and I flew to Japan. I mean, we couldn’t bring Godzilla to Newark. That would not end well.”
Arriving in Japan, they examined Godzilla and found that his canine teeth were gone and he was losing his molars. “He’d pretty much have to ‘gum’ his victims if this continued,” says DeCarlo. “His biggest plus and his biggest minus was his radioactive breath. The plus side was that he was practically invincible without even having to bite down. The minus side was that he was destroying his teeth.”
The father and son team removed many teeth, put in implant anchors to hold in a set of steel false teeth. “We make six sets of false teeth a month,” DeCarlo says. “That way, he can ‘zap’ people with his breath, pop out the choppers when they implode, pop in a new set and, then, start ‘zapping’ again.”
KING GHIDORAH IS A MORON
Vincent and his father had, basically, all of the Japanese monsters as clients. “I think Gamera was the funniest patient. I mean, he’s a giant turtle who spins through the air flying while shooting fire out of his butt. He gets it. And, man, can he tell jokes. I told him, ‘Gammy, you should go into stand-up.’ He never did, though.”
Vincent’s worst patient? “Ghidrah, the Three-Headed monster. It’s a dragon with three fire-breathing heads. I called them ‘Moe, Larry and Curly. I’ve seen tree-stumps with more smarts. Larry, the middle guy, got neck cramps, which made him shoot fire in all different directions. Moe and Curly had half of their teeth melted. And, yet, they wanted no dentistry. What they needed was shock therapy and a good shrink. Eventually, we used a trainful of tranquilizers and jammed in whatever false teeth we had. Ghidrah smiles a lot more, now.
“And, another thing,” he smirks. “He got an agent and now is known as ‘King Ghidorah.’ Yeah, that’s going to change things.”
With so many clients, why is Titanic Teeth shutting down? “Because none of my clients are getting any work. They’ve been forced to retire. My father retired ten years ago. He saw this coming. He moved to Skull Island and married one of the strippers.”
Why are the monsters out of work? “Computer Generated Imagery, CGI. Kong was the first to get fired. The ‘real’ Kong was considered outdated, so a CGI Kong began appearing in films. The real Kong settled in on Skull Island and got into real estate.”
THE ISLAND OF DISCARDED MONSTERS
Vincent continues, “Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan and even Ghidrah have been given the Hollywood heave-ho. Fortunately, Kong’s real estate gig got him into ventures capital. He’s opened up his island to all the unemployed monsters. Everyone is moving there. It’s like ‘The Island of Discarded Monsters.’ Of course, this is beneath Ghidrah who’s eyeing Staten Island, instead.
“Kong’s island is where I’m going, now. Dad says there are a lot of pretty single girls. He also adds that many of them have bad teeth. Win-win.”
At that point, the roof of the warehouse explodes upwards and both Vincent and this reporter are buffeted about by what seemed to be hurricane winds. Two six-inch Japanese women appear, singing a song about Mothra.
Grabbing a duffle bag, Vincent yells, gleefully, “My ride is here!”
This reporter gazes up and sees a gigantic moth, with a wingspan of at least five-hundred feet. It shrieks and spits out webbing. Vincent ensnares the webbing and, with the two six-inch women, is hoisted into the air. Mothra flaps its mighty wings and ascends, with Vincent shouting to this reporter.
“Oh, maaan.” he bellows. “Where’s my head been at? Can you take care of my cat? Her name is ‘Slasher.’”