The Dentist

The Dentist 
Brian Yuzna 1996 USA 

Brilliant film which was bound to be made sooner or later.  After a brief but nearly not as effective dentist scene in Marathon Man we are given the full treatment in this film.  This great little movie is pulled off with quite the talent by Yuzna.  The film begins with clean, rich dentist Corben Bernsen who gets upset over the measliest of things like cufflinks.  Well he goes totally over the edge when he finds out the filthy pool man is fooling around with his wife.  At first he doesn't suspect it but as soon as he discovers this brown grime every where even on his own clothes he goes awry in the mind and is drove to the brink of insanity.  The pills he is constantly taking could also have something to do with it.

He gets a gun from his car and plans on killing the pool man.  Soon he goes to follow the pool man next door to kill him when Bernsen finds out that the pool guy is also fooling around with his next door neighbour.  A dog attack Bernsen out by the house and he shoots it, he then goes to work and has some very serious problems because his worries at home are tormenting him.  His employees notice and suggest he should take the day off.

During the evening he plans something special for his wife.  He straps her into a dentist chair and proceeds to extract every one of her teeth without any painkiller in close up detail.  The next day he puts his wife out by the pool for the pool cleaner to notice and come over by her.  When the guy does just that he notices that his wife is toothless, Bernsen pops out with a carving knife and slashes the sucker to death.  The next day at work the fun begins as every patient Bernsen gets he thinks about his wife and some interesting stuff happens.

One patient he works on who is his next door neighbour he jams a painkiller needle into her gums and drills her teeth messily ripping them to crumbly bits all  in close up style.  Bernsen's employees start to notice something wrong with him especially when he strips one of his patients on sleeping gas and tries to make love to her thinking its his wife.  One of his helpers then gets angry at him and threatens to tell someone about what he has been doing so he strangles her with a stocking belonging to the previous lady.

Bernsen becomes especially tight under the collar when his tax auditor arrives to have some work done on his teeth.  The fellow has his mouth stretched unbelievably wide with a face device and then his teeth and tongue are drilled thoroughly sloppy like.  Bernsen also injects another one of his assistants with a needle through the temple.  Everything comes to a close when the police discover Bernsens wife upstairs in his house and they almost apprehend him before he kills a young lady about to have her braces removed.  The main detective is played by Ken Foree.  The ending has Bernsen still practising in a dental school before he is thrown into a mental hospital.  He has to have a check up one day and to his dismay the dentist is his wife.

An enjoyable watch for those who aren't squirmy against having dental work done.  This is good and different than most of Yuzna's stuff, it will be good to see what he comes up with next.  Bernsens character is delightfully OTT in his role and he plays it well.  All I can say is I thought it was worth seeing.

RATING: 4 Skulls

Richard J.Taylor



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