Director: Brian Yuzna (1996)
Starring: Corbin Bernsen, Linda Hoffman, Ken Foree
Even as hardcore horror fans, we all have things that make us cringe and go "oof." For some, it's eyeball trauma, snipping of the achilles tendon or fingernail stuff. For others it's Megan Fox pretending to act. For me, it's the films of Rob Zombie. Sorry, I mean teeth. Anything involving teeth.
I think it stems from that one time my dentist shouted at me and told me to brush my effing teeth. Or even earlier than that, when I fell over walking in the Lickey Hills (it's kinda like Scotland, localized in Birmingham and not at all like Scotland) and chipped the fuck out of one of my teeth. Which caused trouble for years to come and ended with me wearing a brace. There's also that old stereotype of British people all having bad teeth. Whatever, I hate tooth stuff. I hate that bit in Marathon Man and that new Saw film and even Steve Martin in Little Shop Of Horrors is kinda icky. I have reoccurring dreams in which all of my teeth fall out and, what I'm trying to say right, is, this: I hate the shitting dentist.
So The Dentist, then, is one of the few horror movies that I find genuinely difficult to watch. Even when The Dentist (Bernsen) isn't doing evil things to people's mouths, I find myself cringing. I think that were this not a horror movie - say, a romantic comedy starring Christian Bale and Dame Judy Dench - I'd still be cringing. Where dentistry is involved, it doesn't take much.
Its scenes of oral violence (ha. I said oral) better any modern torture movie hands down. Brian Yuzna is the man who brought us(well, produced) Re-Animator, mind. Crazy-ass doctors are kinda his forte. Corbin Bernsen is fantastic as the dentist-driven-crazy (although I always forget he's in this movie and forever confuse it - and him - with Dr. Giggles. Despite my never having seen Dr. Giggles). You've also got professional movie asshole Earl Boen and the legendary Ken Foree in smallish roles. The Dentist is a proper psycho movie, like The Stepfather before it.
I've been needing to book an appointment with my dentist for a while now. After watching The Dentist again, I think I'll give it a miss thanks.