As with any movie, there’s always a debate over precisely how bad a bad movie is. Was it truly garbage, or was it merely terrible? A far more fascinating question was raised in the wake of Vampire Dentist’s screening. Was it even technically a movie?
Tagline: Open To Both Teeth And Fangs
More Accurate Tagline: You Maniacs! You Did It! You [made Vampire Dentist]! AH, DAMN YOU! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!
Guilty Party: Writer/Director/Producer/Auteur/War Criminal Christine Whitlock. I’m pretty sure this whole thing happened because her Vampire: the Masquerade LARP got wildly out of control, and everyone involved was too hopped up on Manic Panic fumes to raise some reasonable objections. You know, objections like “the fuck are we doing?” The alternative is that this woman sat down, write this… thing, then got people to “act” in it. There’s no scenario where that doesn’t involve human trafficking.
Synopsis: Okay, right there we have a fucking problem. “Synopsis” implies a plot, and Vampire Dentist doesn’t have one of those. It’s like trying to write a synopsis of those visions you had after that fat guy hit you with a hammer at Burger King. All you’re going to remember is pillowing flesh and the smell of grease.
The movie opens with two sexual predators getting their start as dentists. First, they rent some abandoned warehouse space where the Ukrainian mob used to shoot the kind of snuff that snuff connoisseurs think is “too out there for me, man.” Then they attempt to lure unsuspecting people into their practice. For some reason, no one wants to go to a murder dungeon to get their teeth looked at, so they’re having trouble drumming up business.
Oh yeah, and their names? Dr. Moe Lars and Dr. Pierce Able. Just in case you didn’t get those awesome puns, don’t worry! They will be addressed by their full names throughout the interminable running time. When the universe finally suffers heat death, the last sound you hear before your soul mercifully winks out of existence will be “Dr. Moe Lars.”
Because they attempt to sexually assault every one of their clients, they have a tough time getting the practice going, so they sub-let the office at night to Dr. Drek Vam Dent. Yeah. That name might be the most honest thing happening here. He’s a vampire, and meanwhile, the local vampires are just going apeshit attacking people in a park. So they need dentists.
Everybody following that?
Vam Dent (get it? Get it?! FUCKING GET IT?!) gets a talisman that scares off other vampires, but not him for some reason. And he’s having a feud with the local vampires. Vam Dent and Moe Lars both fall in love with the same blind woman, and it’s essentially a race over who can sexually assault her first.
Look, I didn’t write the fucking thing, okay?
Then Vam Dent makes peace with Moe Lars and Pierce Able. And the whole thing just kind of stops. They hit ninety minutes of runtime, and the Ukrainian mob really needed the space. Gimp Party Massacre wasn’t going to shoot itself.
Life-Changing Subtext: Sexual assault is an important part of dentistry. Maybe the single most important part.
Defining Quote: “Here’s a copy of our fee structure for when you come back! The first visit’s free.” This line is uttered by Aunt May Lars who serves as the practice’s receptionist, usually called after a fleeing patient, wondering why they decided go to the dentist in the middle of I Spit on Your Grave. This line happens enough that it qualifies as a running gag, in the same way that John Wayne Gacy is technically a child’s birthday party entertainer.
Standout Performance: This movie features a narrator. Normally, to justify a narrator, you’d need a plot, or maybe some character motivation. But this is Vampire Dentist. They had a guy, Allen Swerling, and decided periodically, they’d cut to him saying something maybe tangentially related to the plot. He’s dressed up as a vampire, so he fits. I like to think he was cast solely because he’s never not dressed as a vampire.
Anyway, the whole thing is lit like a train going through a tunnel. After a certain point, they give up on even the limp commentary he’s been doing thus far, and he just starts shouting “Bite!” at the camera.
And he’s the best actor in the whole thing.
What’s Wrong: Somehow, this movie regards the “Dentist” part of the title as more mysterious and terrifying than the “Vampire” part.
Oh yeah, and the entire soundtrack features soulful indie guitar strummin’, sometimes at the same time as a cartoon sound effect. This happens during a scene where Dr. Pierce Able takes a new patient to his corner of the office and exposes himself to her. It’s like if you crossed an episode of H.R. Pufnstuf with one of those videos where they catch a pervert in the act, then got Iron and Wine to score the whole thing.
…and then there are the fart gags.
Flash of Competence: Ahahahahahahaha. No.
Best Scenes: The nice thing is, if you like a scene, you’ll get to see it ten more times.
Transcendent Moment: Vampire Dentist ends with what can only be called a terrorist threat. After ninety minutes of torture it closes with the promise of a sequel: Vampire Dentist 2: The Bloody Vial, calling it “the ongoing saga of the Vam Dent family.” This is the most egregious misuse of the word “saga” since it was used to describe the process of crushing candy in order to bilk bored people out of their money.
Also, who watched this thing and was like, “Man, I wonder what Vam Dent’s nephews are up to?”
Don’t watch this. Don’t even consider watching this. Don’t even speak to anyone who’s watched it. In fact, whatever device you just read this review on, burn it. Phone, computer, tablet, whatever. You can’t let Vampire Dentist out on this world.