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Dr. Feinstone has everything, a beautiful wife and a successful career in dentistry; but when he discovers his wife's affair, he realizes that behind every clean, white surface lies the stench of decay. Having gone insane, he enacts cruel dental torture on his patients. Written by
Jason Borchers <email@example.com>
For the "Brooke effect", which is the horrifying aftermath of Finestone's wife after he has pulled all of her teeth out, the production needed to hire somebody who specializes in character make-ups. Steve Johnson's X/FX was high on the list, but because of his workload he wasn't able to work it into his schedule. Luckily, Christopher Allen Nelson (a Johnson alum), who had done a stunning zombie creation for Brian Yuzna's Return of the Living Dead III (1993), was available and came aboard. Chris had just come off of a horribly abusive situation working on the new "Tales from the Crypt" movie and wanted a chance to prove himself again. The catch with Chris was that he was in the process of moving back to Los Angeles from Canada. He would be able to create the effect in Canada and then fly out to apply it. This would require a lot of long-distance phone calls and a fickle shipping system that had many of the supplies trapped in customs in transit to him. See more »
(at around 25 mins) When examining April's radiographs, Dr. Feinstone points out to Karen "There's a shadow here on number 31", which is the lower left central incisor tooth, but then says to April "You have a cavity on one of your lower right molars". See more »
This would have been so much fun to see in a theater, back in 1996. There is a guilty pleasure corner of my movie taste which really appreciates really well done shocker movies.
"The Dentist" is panned sometimes probably because people usually have strong feelings over dental matters. Maybe the ADA launched a campaign against it, since dentists report they have to apologize for this movie and for "The Marathon Man" (which only has one scene comparable to the many in "The Dentist").
It's amazing to note that according to the trivia page, the movie was shot in 21 days. Of course, post production can take longer than movie shooting sometimes and the editing for "The Dentist" is picture perfect. The quick cuts heighten the tension so much that in the scene where the Dentist "takes care" of his wife there's only two quick cuts showing what is happening. The rest is left to our very fertile imaginations! Corbin Bernsen was a good choice for the role since he has lots of experience playing psychologically "off" characters and he completely sold the obsessive compulsive aspects of the dentist.
For me the pacing of the movie was just right. The film makers reveal the wife's naughtiness in just the right way. All of the characters in the dental office look like they are actual people working in a real office. There's lots of tension while they are dealing with impatient people awaiting the dentist's arrival. Meanwhile the dentist is off on the cusp of a huge psychotic breakdown! Unlike so many movies of this genre, the script is very very tight. All the victims fall into the dentist's trap in very calculated ways. Two law enforcement types even get involved in a little subplot that ends up creating a shocker of a showdown near the end.
Definitely not for the faint of heart or the dental-phobic but a real roller coaster ride and heavily recommended for fans of intelligent gorefests.
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