The Faculty Reviewby "Steve Rhodes" (Steve DOT Rhodes AT InternetReviews DOT com)
December 30th, 1998
A film review by Steve Rhodes
Copyright 1998 Steve Rhodes
RATING (0 TO ****): **
You've always suspected that your teachers were aliens. THE FACULTY supplies the proof.
Mixing equal measures of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, ALIENS, and SCREAM, Kevin Williamson's script is smart enough to realize it is a parody. Never taking itself seriously, the film may not be much of a movie, but at least it's not a pretentious one.
One day, at a rundown high school staffed with hopeless wimps, an alien comes to visit. Making his way onto campus in someone else's body, he soon has infected the brains of the entire faculty and most of the students. As directed by Robert Rodriguez, the film layers gobs of horror film gore onto what is basically a science fiction plot.
Fighting against this evil unleashed upon the earth and spreading rapidly is a rag-tag group of 6 uninfected students. (That they will get it too becomes obvious so they devise a test using a caffeine-based, diuretic powder that they force themselves to inhale in order to discover any new alien converts. The aliens, you see, are a moisture-craving species.)
The students includes nerd-in-residence Casey (Elijah Wood), pseudo-lesbian Stokely (Clea DuVall), cocky cheerleader Delilah (Jordana Brewster), ex-football team captain and star quarterback Stan (Shawn Wayne Hatosy), drug dealer and self-trained scientist Zeke (Josh Hartnett), and squeaky clean blonde Marybeth (Laura Harris). Marybeth has just transferred to the school when the terror starts, so she is one of many suspects as the carrier for the alien.
The movie uses stereotypes to advance the comedy. Brainy Casey refuses to get into sports, telling the coach (Robert Patrick), "I don't think a person should run unless he's being chased."
When Casey and Delilah witness the possessed faculty engaging in their alien rituals to recruit new members, Casey tells his parents. After investigating and finding nothing, his parents figure he must be on drugs, so they give him a most modern punishment. They go to his room and remove his cell phone, his Internet connection, his boom box, and even his "porno," which he had carefully hidden under his mattress.
On the football field, accompanied by one of the tunes from PINK FLOYD THE WALL, the team of players with alien-charged bodies plays with a vengeance. Never have the cheers from the stands of "Kill!" been taken more literally.
THE FACULTY runs 1:40. It is rated R for horror movie violence, profanity, brief nudity, and drug usage and would be fine for most teenagers.
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