Monday, December 31, 2012

Movie Review: The Dentist

 Brian Yuzna, the director, never fails to make an... interesting film.  While he is infamous for his work as the director of Re-Animator, The Dentist is a far more subtle, but equally ghoulish outing.

 Dr. Feinstone is a perfectionist.  He has a lovely house, a lovely wife, and a dentist practice that is setting the standards for patient care an experience.  Unfortunately, the rest of the world falls far short of his own high standards.  He sees decay and filth everywhere.  He is so obsessed that he must take a prescription in order to manage is tension and anxiety.   

 When he discovers that his wife is banging the pool-guy, he is pushed over the edge.  The body-count rises as he hallucinates during oral surgery, plots to mutilate his spouse and her lover, and deal with anyone who inadvertently discovers his activities or threatens his practice.  
He just really wants you to floss.

 The Dentist has some gory moments, but it relies more on our own psychological issues with going to the dentist to make us cringe.  The hardest scene for me to stomach was not the forcible extraction, but the needle going into the gum for to deliver some anesthetic for a minor procedure.  Of course, everything is over-the-top and stereo-typed.  The pool-guy is a scuzzy but buff stud, the detective is dogged and hard-nosed, the IRS agent is a weaselly worm, the wife is a real bitch.  Dr Feinstone is almost sympathetic, a victim of the decay that surrounds him.  
Imagining a hot client is your slutty wife is going to get you sued.

 The Dentist, for me, falls short of being a good film.  Perhaps I was expecting the doctor to be a bit more sadistic, that the effects were too subtle and the gore too minimized.  Despite having an R rating, it is like the film was going for a PG-13, and but for a few bare breasts was edged over to an R. The Dentist has some cringe-worthy moments, but was mostly a yawner.

Tooth decay can be a real bitch.

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