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Classic Creature Features Primed Oral Surgeon Charles Ptak for Darker Fare


A gentle man with a fearful occupation, Dr. Charles Ptak D.D.S knows that his work can be off-putting. “Many people don’t understand how you could handle the blood, or drilling in the oral cavity with blood and saliva and infectious material and so forth,” he says, adding: “I’ve seen a lot over the 25 years I’ve practiced; I can be amazed, but not surprised.”

While many people consider the prospect of oral surgery to be scarier than a visit from Pinhead or Freddy Krueger, Dr. Ptak isn’t himself immune to the allure of a great scary movie. The classic creature-features that Shock Theater played on TV in the late ’50s primed him for a later interest in darker fare, such as Hellraiser, and clinical detachment doesn’t help. “I’m not so far removed from my emotions and empathy for other people that it doesn’t get to me. That film was horrible, very expressive — and that’s why we love movies,” says Dr. Ptak.

Dr. Charles Ptak’s Top 10 Horror Movies

10. Frankenstein
9. Them!
8. The Blob
7. Invaders From Mars
6. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
5. Village of the Damned
4. The Hunger
3. The Thing From Another World
2. Hellbound: Hellraiser 2
1. The Killing Fields

“These other movies are fun, but this one is sad and horrific too,” says Dr. Ptak about his top choice. “It speaks to all genocide; I consider it a horror

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