A Movie A Day #274: The Dentist (1996, directed by Brian Yuzna)

Alan (Corbin Bernsen) may be a wealthy dentist in Malibu but he still has problems.  He has got an IRS agent (Earl Boen) breathing down his neck.  His assistant, Jessica (Molly Hagan), has no respect for him.  His demanding patients don’t take care of their teeth.  His wife (Linda Hoffman) is fucking the pool guy (Michael Stadvec).  When Alan feels up a beauty queen while she’s passed out from the nitrous oxide, her manager (Mark “yes, the Hulk” Ruffalo) punches him and then goes to the police.  Under pressure from all sides, Alan loses his mind and a crazy dentist with a drill means a lot of missing teeth.

“You’re a rabid anti-dentite!” Kramer once yelled at Jerry Seinfeld and even people who were not already uneasy about going to dentist will be after watching Corbin Bernsen stick his drill in Earl Boen’s mouth.  The scene where Alan tells a group of dental students to yank out their patients’ teeth represents everyone’s worst fear of what dentists talk about when there aren’t any innocent bystanders around.  The Dentist may be predictable but Corbin Bernsen gives the performance of his career, playing the nightmare of anyone who has ever had a toothache.

Of course, good health begins with healthy teeth and real-life dentists provide a valuable service.  Take it from Robert Wagner:

Quickie Review: Return of the Living Dead 3 (dir. by Brian Yuzna)

In 1993 horror fans were greeted with the release of Return of the Living Dead 3. This third film in the Return of the Living Dead series produced by John Russo ends up being a very good zombie movie and actually has genuine horror that the second film lacked. What ROTLDIII, its writers and directors seem to have left behind was the comedy side of the series which made them cult-classics to begin with.

Taking up directing duty this time around was genre-veteran Brian Yuzna (Beyond Re-Animator) who films this third entry purely on a horror standpoint. This film is serious horror from start to finish. This time around the military is still trying to find a way to use 2-4-5 Trioxin as a way to create zombie soldiers, but ones that could be easily controlled by them. To say that this project hasn’t met with success is an understatement. But it’s the story of the son of the military project director and his girlfriend who dominate the film’s plot. As portrayed by J. Trevor Edmond and Melinda Clarke, these two star-crossed lovers find themselves enmeshed with the dark secret of the project being held in secret. Son soon uses the Trioxin gas to try and ressurect his girlfriend who gets killed early on during an accident. What he gets instead is an undead girlfriend whose hunger for live brains (for some reason the zombies in this ROTLD sequel also feed on other bodily parts) can only be controlled when she causes herself bodily pain through extreme forms of piercing. The rest of the film deals with the father trying to save his son not just from himself and his undead girlfriend but from the hordes of escaped zombies in the facility.

The horror in the film was actually pretty good and this was helped a lot by the gore effects work which surpasses anything the first two films in the series had. The acting was decent enough with Melinda Clarke as the zombified girlfriend putting on a sexy, albeit creepy performance. If it wasn’t for the brain and flesh-eating she sure would’ve made for quite a poster girl for teenage boys.

In the end, Return of the Living Dead 3 continues the series admirably. Despite not having much humor and comedy in the film, this third film in the series more than makes up for it with high levels of gore and a definite sense of horror the first two didn’t much have not to mention a bit of romance which seemed to work.