The Dentist was a horror film made in 1996. Directed by Brian Yuzna, the screenplay was written by Dennis Paoli. In the film, Dr. Alan Feinstone is played by actor Corbin Bernsen while Brook Feinstone is played by talented Linda Hoffman. Actor Ken Foree plays a detective in the film, known as Detective Gibbs. According to the production notes, the film was inspired by the real life serial killer who was also working in dentistry, Nick Rex.
The film begins very calm and normal as with many modern horror films. Dr. Feinstone is wealthy and successful, has a gorgeous wife, amazing home, and steady income as a popular dentist. As he is obsessed with order around his office, he is very much one for structure and cleanliness.
One day Feinstone witnesses his wife, Brooke, having an affair with their pool boy. He then pulls out a pistol and begins to follow the culprit home when he leaves Brooke. Distraught, he goes back to work and his life begins to spiral downward. Eventually he imagines female patients as his own wife and begins to harass them while they are sedated.
Eventually Dr. Feinstone is caught by a waiting husband of one of his female patients and is sued for sexual harassment and malpractice. As the movie continues, the doctor is face with more negative life alterations that lead him to a life of a sadistic dental practitioner, tracking victims while he is unsuspected by law enforcement.
Without spoiling the ending for readers, the film takes several dark twists down a dark, horror-filled road as Dr. Feinstone stabs and severs and tortures many unsuspecting victims. Based on the true events of a former dentist turned serial killer, the movie is definite must see for those who enjoy 90s era horror films or who enjoy getting the chills from two things many fear: dentistry and murder!
The original release date for the film was aptly chosen before Halloween, premiering on October 18th, 1996. The film ran for 29 minutes and had a budget of 2.6 million dollars. While many horror movies from its time obtained low critical acclaim, this film followed as many cult classics have before and even after its time. Since the premier of its sequel, director Brian Yunza has gone on to direct even more underground horrors such as Faust, Beyond Reanimator, Bride of Reanimator, Rottweiler, Beneath Still Water, and Amphibious 3D.
A sequel was made in 1998 and the special effects coordinator won awards for each at various film festivals. It is also worth noting that Marc Ruffalo makes an appearance in the film as one of his first roles ever. Truly spine tingling and chilling, this film is a great watch for a stormy night – especially if you’re the type of movie buff that loves to place themselves in cinematographic fear.