The Dentist Review

Movie: The Dentist
By: Maniac E
Date: August 7, 2012

It's Time For Your Final Appointment

I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble here but the Dentist is not a documentary film delving into the history of dental hygiene. I know that is exactly what you were thinking, so don't try any of that crap with me. To be honest with you, The Dentist is an educational film where we learn about dentistry tools and their various uses. We learn what each tool looks like, how they work and how quickly they can destroy your teeth and gums. As a bonus, we get to learn how far a mouth can open before snapping the jawbone. But most importantly, we learn what happens if you neglect good hygiene. I tell you folks I have seen the punishment and it's not pretty.

The story of a dentist gone mad is what first intrigued me to watch this film. Just the idea alone is enough to warrant an eyebrow lift. But director Brian Yuzna takes this oddball concept one step further. He approaches it with the utmost care and devotion; relishing in every gory detail. Right from the opening scene, we see that Dr. Feinstone (Corbin Bernsen) is obsessively a clean freak. Every wall in his house is white. His shirts are white. The carpet, the countertops, his car - white. Everything this lunatic owns is white. There is a moment in the opening sequence when the doctor and his wife suck face, just after Mrs. Feinstone has been secretly smoking a cigarette. He immediately tastes the smoke and is so repulsed that he excuses himself to wash-up. The scene is great because we truly understand how gone this guy is. He is a ticking time bomb on the verge of exploding. Wait until he gets to the office - all those cavities. Tick... tick... I know, just when you thought it was safe to go back to the dentist.

The Dentist

Corbin Bernsen, the master of dual personalities, heads up this stellar cast of unfortunate teeth cleaners. Surprisingly, I really can't imagine anyone else playing the role of Dr. Feinstone. He was perfect as the nice, calm guy who brings smiles to the faces of children and equally great as the drill happy maniac. He delivers really funny lines with the utmost seriousness. One of my favorite lines is "You don't know what it's like - the discipline, the long hours, lack of respect, in a world that goes on ignoring dental hygiene." I am laughing even now. He's just nuts! In the supporting cast we have Mark Ruffalo, Molly Hagan from Election and Devil's Rejects Kevin Foree just to name a few. Mark is the only marquee name in the film but almost everyone is recognizable.

The Dentist

Where The Dentist really shines is in the directing. The film never loses its tone, which is quite an accomplishment considering the quirkiness and delicate balance between comedy and drama. Director Brian Yuzna uses this really cool technique when showing how Dr. Feinstone perceives certain situations. A patient will be sitting in his dental chair with a mouth full of pearly whites. We can clearly see this but not the dentist. All he sees are run down, wretched, green, plaque infested teeth and gums. While watching from the doctor's point of view, the camera shot distorts; similar to that of a funhouse mirror as we hear odd atmospheric sound effects. These moments do an exceptional job of conveying the doctor's inner workings. No wonder he's drilling everything he sees.

The Dentist

The only problem I had with The Dentist was the finale. Right from the beginning you know this ride is going to be a crazy one. The film screams quirkiness and when that kind of tone is established, you just know the ending will be anything but traditional. It's tough because the ending needs to be smart, unpredictable and it needs to surpass everything that has come before it. Unfortunately, I don't feel The Dentist accomplished this. The film should have ended fifteen minutes before it actually did. Just something a little more interesting would have done it for me. For example, maybe he dies and returns as a bitchy tooth fairy. That would have hit the spot.

The Dentist

Overall, The Dentist is a great way to spend ninety minutes. The script, acting and directing are all above average for the genre. Did I mention the doctor's wife is very hot and very naked? Did I mention teeth will be removed one by one with a set of pliers? This is recommended for those looking for a really good creep-out film, while those with an extreme fear of dentists might be advised to skip it.



The Dentist


The Dentist


Brian Yuzna






Corbin Bernsen, Linda Hoffman and Michael Stadvec