Horror-comedies are often rather short on laughs, but this parody is pretty subpar even by the standards of Saturday the 14th and Swamp Thing. Plenty of earlier films have played with the peculiarities and anxieties of the dental world, from the lighthearted Little Shop of Horrors to the disturbing Marathon Man. The Dentist adds nothing new to the mix besides over-the-top images of mouths being desecrated and queasy allusions to the alleged filthiness of oral sex. The script pays little regard to how things actually work in dentists' offices; since when do dentists double as orthodontists, anyway? Despite such inaccuracies, Corbin Bernsen throws himself into the role of Dr. Feinstone, while the rest of the cast, from veteran character actor Earl Boen to a pre-fame Mark Ruffalo, plays it comparatively straight. Genre buffs will no doubt enjoy the grotesque images of sexy women enduring dental torture, but casual viewers will want to stay far away.
by Brian J. Dillard review