"Well... here I... am."
— The Tooth Fairy
The first Film of the Book
of the Thomas Harris novel Red Dragon
, this 1986 film features Hannibal Lektor (note the spelling) as played by Brian Cox
. Like in Silence of the Lambs
, he is used to help an FBI investigator. His name is Will Graham and he is trying to find a serial killer known as Francis Dollarhyde, nicknamed "The Tooth Fairy". As he tries to find the serial killer, Graham's personal demons start to haunt him, affecting his work and his relationships.
A box office flop on release, despite critical approval. It has become a Cult Classic
for many Hannibal fans. The lead investigator is played by William Petersen, feeling at times like an extended audition for his CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
The film relied on heavily-tinted scenes and overpowering music. The use of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"
is very unsettling to anyone who has not seen its use in The Simpsons
("Remember when we used to make out to this hymn?"), and the look of the film is very much The Eighties
as Red Dragon
, this time featuring Anthony Hopkins as Lecter.
Not to be confused with Sierra
's series of adventure games with the same name
, or the comic
of the same name.
This movie contains examples of:
- Berserk Button: Graham doesn't like it when people bring up his past experience with Lecktor, especially when the one bringing it up is the same tabloid reporter who took advantage of said experience to sell newspapers.
- Consulting a Convicted Killer: Graham seeks help from Hannibal Lektor in order to gain better insight in finding the Tooth Fairy.
- Cursed with Awesome: Graham's ability to get inside the heads of the killers he tracks makes him good at his job, but puts serious stress on his own sanity at the same time.
- The Danza: William Petersen as William "Will" Graham.
- Disabled Love Interest: A blind woman at Dolarhyde's employer happens to mention that she always wished she could have "seen" a Bengal tiger (by touching it). Dolarhyde knows someone at a zoo where they happen to have a tiger having dental work under anesthesia. After Dolarhyde's lady friend gets to touch this tiger all over, she goes home with him and engages in very vigorous woman-on-top sex with him.
- Eureka Moment: When Graham finally figures out how the Tooth Fairy chooses his victims.
Graham: And you know you need a bolt-cutter and every other Goddamn thing. Because everything with you is seeing, isn't it? Your primary sensory intake that makes your dream live is seeing. Reflections. Mirrors. Images. .... You've seen these films! Haven't you, my man?
- Evil is Hammy: Largely averted with Brian Cox's cold and understated portrayal of Lecktor (in contrast to Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs).
- Freudian Excuse: Deconstructed. During his Eureka Moment, Graham acknowledges that Dollarhyde must have been abused and states that he pities the child Dollarhyde used to be. However, in the same monologue, Graham states that he feels absolutely no sympathy for Dollarhyde as an adult and states that Dollarhyde is a selfish, utterly-disgusting human being who deserves to die violently.
- A God Am I: Lektor's justification of why he and any Serial Killer commits murder- it makes you feel like you are God. He tells Will to look forward to that feeling.
- Jerkass: Brian Cox's take on Lecktor, in contrast to Hopkins's later, Affably Evil performance.
- Jerkass God: Lecktor insists this, along with A God Am I.
Lecktor: Did you really feel depressed after you shot Mr. Garrett Jacob Hobbes to death? l think you probably did. But it wasn't the act that got to you. Didn't you feel so bad, because killing him felt so good? And why shouldn't it feel good? It must feel good to God. He does it all the time. God's terrific! He dropped a church roof on 34 of his worshipers in Texas last Wednesday night, just as they were groveling through a hymn to his majesty. Don't you think that felt good?
Will: Why does it feel good, Dr. Lecktor?
- Locked into Strangeness: Graham's hair has some gray tinges, due to his experience with Lecktor.
- Spell My Name With A K: Lecktor?
- Sympathy for the Devil: Deconstructed in the uncut version.
Jack: You feel sorry for him.
Will: As a child, my heart bleeds for him. Someone took a little boy and turned him into a monster. But as an adult... as an adult, he's irredeemable. He butchers whole families to fulfill some sick fantasy. As an adult, I think someone should blow the sick fuck out of his socks.
- To Know Him I Must Become Him: Graham's method for profiling serial killers. Sometimes it works too well.
- Unintentional Period Piece: The soundtrack and fashions in the film permanently mark it as a product of The Eighties.
- What Could Have Been: According to Brian Cox, Brian Dennehy was "sort of in the loop" to play Lektor. Dennehy, for whatever reason, recommended that they check out Cox, who was performing in a play at the time.
- You Have 48 Hours: Since the Tooth Fairy operates on a lunar cycle, the FBI has until the next full moon to catch him before he kills again. They start out with two weeks, but end up taking it right down to the last minute before the killer claims another victim.