Blu Review – The Dentist Collection (Vestron Video)

Blu Release – 4/5

The Dentist
Director – Brian Yuzna (Society, Bride of Re-Animator)
Starring – Corbin Bernsen (Major League, The Nanny), Linda Hoffman (Face/Off, Baywatch), and Michael Stradvec (Sometimes They Come Back… Again, Chairman of the Board)
Release Date – 1996
Rating – 3.5/5

Tagline – “It’s been six months. Time for your check-up”

I often reminisce about the evenings I spent at my local video store, Dewey’s Video, browsing through his tapes looking for something to rent. I would often rent once or twice a week, but it was a given that I would rent a stack on Friday. I often rented anything that caught my eye but there would be the occasional horror title sneak into my stack. It was during one of these trips that I watch Brian Yuzna’s The Dentist for the first time. As an adult looking back at my childhood, I realize now that Yuzna had a huge impact on my childhood. However, as a child you rarely look at the names for the crew behind the camera.

I only rented the film because I saw Ken Foree was in it but looking back at the films I loved and their association with Yuzna I must admit he is easily one of my favorite filmmakers and producers. Hell, he produced From Beyond, Re-Animator, Dolls, and Warlock to name a few along with directing Bride of Re-Animator, Society, Necronomicon: Book of the Dead, and more. I never realized how amazing his body of work was until I started writing reviews.

The Dentist is a film I remember truly enjoying but it had been decades since I had watched it so when Vestron Video announced the release of the film on blu I knew I had to revisit this one. I want to thank Vestron Video for sending this one over for review. It really took me back to a time where my biggest problem was making my mind up about which movies to rent and what snacks I was going to snag for my late-night movie watching.

**Spoiler alert** The film follows the heavily medicated Dr. Feinstone who is a well known and respected dentist in his area. However, he suspects his wife of infidelity and when he finally catches her with the pool boy he snaps. He becomes obsessed with cleaner the dirt and decay out of the world and soon sets his sights on his clients resulting in medical mayhem and carnage. **Spoiler Alert**

The Dentist was not as gruesome as I remembered it but I’ve also spent the last 25 years watching some of the most fucked up film imaginable, so I am a little desensitized. With that being said, the film was just as campy and fun as I remembered. It’s not my favorite Yuzna film but I could watch it again and have just as much fun.

The acting in this one is very uneven. Corbin Bernsen makes the film. His intensity and delivery sent chills down my spine as a kid and now I still feel eerily uncomfortable when he becomes unhinged. He gives this campy film his all and makes it so much fun. I also enjoyed Ken Foree’s performance as the hardboiled detective hot on his tail. We also get a well rounded performance from Molly Hagan who is best known for her role in Red State. Aside from those three performances, we are given some extra cheesy performances from the gorgeous Linda Hoffman, Michael Stadvec, the rest of the cast. Their performances are over exaggerated and awkward at time. I found myself laughing a few times and lost it during Stadvec’s death scene but the cast’s lack of direction at times really shows from scene to scene. I love a goofy horror films and I could see this one being just as funny as Ice Cream Man if they embraced it. Instead, we have some seriously great performances with campy performances and they clash in several scenes.

The story for this one blends mental slasher and fear of dentists into something that only could be described as a seriously enjoyable straight to video horror title. We get some dentist themed deaths mixed with unlikable character that we want to watch die and a killer that makes the film. While I do prefer my slashers masked I still find this one to be very effective especially with the stellar performance from Bernsen. Some of the scenes are a bit stretched out and dull with way too much dialogue. The movie could use a good trimming to make it flow a lot better.

Finally, the kills in this one are a lot of fun. As I stated earlier, they fit the theme of the film and the effects are phenomenal. Yuzna does not disappoint in this department but I do feel like the movie was a lot bloodier when I was younger but I can’t swear to it. Overall, The Dentist may not be as well loved as Child’s Play and Scream but I would choose it over those overrated franchises anyday. Be sure to snag this release from Vestron. It’s worth the price.

The Dentist 2
Director – Brian Yuzna (Return of the Living Dead III, Necronomicon: Book of the Dead)
Starring – Corbin Bernsen (Zodiac, Psych), Jillian McWhirter (Song of the Vampire, After Midnight), and Jeff Doucette (Weird Science, Mom and Dad Save the World)
Release Date – 1998
Rating – 3/5

Tagline – “You know the drill”

Writing for a site like Horror Society has given me amazing opportunities. Not only do I get to review films I had never heard of before, but I get to revisit films from my childhood in formats that have better quality. Many films I enjoyed on VHS still hold a place in my heard for nostalgic purposes it’s nice to read the scrolling introduction to films like Monster Squad that was almost unreadable on tape.

When Vestron Video announced the blu release of The Dentist and The Dentist 2 I was beyond excited. I remembered a lot from the first film but I only remembered something about bugs with the second, so I was beyond ready to revisit them. As soon as I finished the first film, I had to quickly hit play on the sequel. Like always, I want to thank Vestron Video for sending this one over for review.

**Spoiler Alert** The film follows the good doctor from the first film who has conveniently escaped the mental facility who was placed in. He travels to a secluded small town where he soon finds himself the town’s new dentist. He suppresses his murderous impulses by cutting his arm with a straight razor but when he suspects his new love interest is seeing someone else the old urges come back. **Spoiler Alert**

The Dentist 2 is not as good in the first film in my opinion but it’s fairly close. It’s not often that a sequel reaches the same level as the original film but this one almost does. There is some things about this follow up that I enjoyed more than the original but I would still pick the first over this one any day. With that being said, I would prefer to watch them together because they both are spectacular films that could be found on any video store’s shelves during the 90s.

The acting in this one is more enjoyable than the first film. Bernsen once again nails it as the diabolical dentist. I loved how intense his performance was and he could have easily brought him back for another film. The supporting cast is more grounded than the first film which is one of the only few complaints I have about it. The cast, aside from Bernsen and a few others, felt campy and out of place. However, the performances here fit the film a lot better. Even Clint Howard delivers a fairly decent performance and not his typical cheesy performance.

The story for this one is more of the same but works as a solid continuation. Sure, we follow the doctor who once again finds his love interest is dishonest and this opens him up to murder patients. With that being said, we begin the film knowing of his past atrocities. The film doesn’t really push the idea much further than that but it doesn’t over stay it’s welcome either. It gives us some fun kills and memorable moments before it’s conclusion. As much as I think a third film would have been fun I honestly believe it would have pushed it too far and became a turd.

Finally, the film keeps the dental themes in full but they do mix it up some to offer up a bit of variety while keeping it in tune with the film. It was awesome to revisit the bug scene and the practical effects were great but I would have liked a little more gore. Overall, The Dentist 2 may not be as well known as the original film but it’s damn near just as fun. It’s one of the few sequels that can compete with the original like Halloween II, Return of the Living Dead Part II, and Bride of Re-Animator. I highly recommend it especially if you enjoy the first film.

Special Features:
Audio Commentary with Director Brian Yuzna and Special Makeup Effects Supervisor Anthony C. Ferrante
Isolated Score Selections & Audio Interviews with Composer Alan Howarth and Director of Photography Levie Isaacks
“The Doctor Is Insane” – An Interview with Actor Corbin Bernsen
“Medical Malpractice” – An Interview with Co-Writer Dennis Paoli
“Mouths of Madness” – Interviews with Special Makeup Effects Supervisor Anthony C. Ferrante and Makeup Effects Artist J.M. Logan
Still Gallery
Audio Commentary with Director Brian Yuzna and Special Makeup Effects Supervisor Anthony C. Ferrante
Isolated Score Selections & Audio Interviews with Composer Alan Howarth and Editor Christopher Roth
“Jamie’s New Neighbor” – An Interview with Actress Jillian McWhirter
“A Tale of Two Dentists” – An Interview with Producer Pierre David
Still Gallery

Written by Blacktooth

(Staff Writer) Lover of all things horror and metal. Also likes boobs and booze.

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