Featured in “Nightmares and Dreamscapes” – this is the story of what could go wrong when you pick up a hitchhiker.
The title story, “Chattery Teeth,” narrated by Kathy Bates, tells of a young man purchasing a somewhat larger and more durable version of the gag gift of the same name (wind it up, it chatters and walks at the same time). Of course, the teeth turn out to be more than they appear, and there are scenes of horror and tension and fear and blood and gore and guts, but there’s a very satisfying twist, and heroics coming from a surprising source. Ms. Bates’s narration is dandy!
Salesman Bill Hogan notices an unusual pair of metal teeth in a convenience store and the store’s clerk claims they are broken and gives them to him.
Hogan reluctantly (having been robbed by a hitchhiker once before) gives a ride to a hitchhiker outside the convenience store; his fears prove prophetic when the hitchhiker tries to carjack him and then kill him. During the struggle, Hogan wrecks the van, and before the hitchhiker can recover and kill him, the teeth come to life and gruesomely dispatch the criminal. Hogan passes out to the vision of the Chattery Teeth dragging the hitchhiker’s body off into the desert.
Nine months later, Hogan stops again at the same convenience store, where he is unexpectedly reunited with the “broken” teeth again. He decides to buy the teeth again, realizing that instead of trying to kill him, the teeth want to protect him. His theory is proved correct when a dog snarls at him as he leaves and the teeth stir in his pocket, ready to attack anything that means him harm. He says also that he will give the teeth to his son, so his son is always protected.