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Dr. Feinstone has everything, a beautiful wife and a successful career in dentistry, but, when he discovers his wife in an 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Director Brian Yuzna has had an uneven career in the horror genre, creating masterpieces such as "Return of the Living Dead 3" or "Bride of Re-Animator", but at the same time he has done awful movies such as "Faust: Love for the Damned" or the mediocre "Progeny". He is obviously better in the seat of Producer where his work producing Stuart Gordon's films has been superb.
"The Dentist", is one of his lesser works as director, but the low profile it has benefits the film and its lack of pretensions makes it a very enjoyable experience. It tells the story of Dr. Alan Feinstone (played superbly by Corbin Bernsen), a successful dentist who one day discovers that his perfect life is not really as perfect as he thought when he discovers that his beautiful wife (Linda Hoffman)has an affair with the pool boy. This event disturbs his mind and puts him in a killing spree as he takes revenge on the world for being so "filthy".
The premise is very well handled by Yuzna, as he takes us on a ride following Feinstone's day of revenge. What makes this movie different from most slashers is that we are not in the victim's perspective, we follow Feinstone because he is the main character. We witness how he goes from respected professional to psycho murder in a day. Yuzna manages to give the movie the exact amount of suspense but adds a good dose of dark humor that really helps the movie.
Most of the success of the premise is in Bernsen's performance as Feinstone. He can make you feel sympathy and hate towards him at the same time, and the subtle humor his character has is another aspect that aids the film. The rest of the cast is not as good, and I think that their sub par acting hurts the film more than it should. A notable exception is Ken Foree, as the detective trying to catch Feinstone. While his part is quite small, he makes a great job with it.
With a dentist as killer, gory scenes are expected, and Brian Yuzna delivers great SFX in the correct amount. It's good to see that he does not go over-the-top with it as he usually do, and I dare to say that this is a highlight of the film. It has the exact amount of gore that is expected, nothing less and nothing more. Yuzna restrained himself of his common excesses and the result is great.
While this is not among Yuzna's most well-known films, I would say that it is one of his best. Sure, it is not classic material as his masterpieces, but it is a movie that entertains and never gets tiresome or boring. It is a low-budget simple film, but for what it is, I think it rocked. 7/10
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