31 in 31 – “The Faculty”

(Oopsie. Thought I’d put this up on the 1oth, but apparently I just wrote it on the 10th. My early morning bad. But here, have it now!)

“Looks like you picked the right week to quit football.”

Story: Herrington High is your typical Midwest high school. Football is #1, the school budget is crap…and the teachers are out of this world. Like, literal aliens, now that their human counterparts have been replaced. I’m guessing pop quizzes are really gonna start to suck.

Scares: Jumps, and lots of “ooh, that’s definitely not good” moments.

Splat factor: Teachers getting bloody, gooey, and literally going to pieces.

Closing scene “shocker”?: Nup, but the climax is a fun bit of subversion you’ll probably see coming but will enjoy anyway.

Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Hints of alien/pod/robot takeover stories, but this is original.

Trick or Treat?: Taking a trip back to the 90s with this little gem. And DEEEEAM this cast. Robert Patrick, Bebe Neuwirth, Piper Laurie, Jon Stewart, Salma Hayek… And that’s just some of the grownups. A 90s who’s who of teen and young adult stars are here too, including Elijah Wood, Josh Hartnett, Jordana Brewster, Clea DuVall, and Usher. Yeah, Usher. So grab your overalls and flannel, let’s do this.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez, The Faculty didn’t get much love from critics back then, but it’s a helluva culty classic nowadays. Spooky, cheesy and clichéd, there’s lots to love here. Teachers doing 180 personality turns, high school pecking order based on stereotypes, and that sweet sweet perfect dialogue we were never cool enough to come up with in real high school life.

Still, the cast gives it their all, and that lifts up this story. Plus, it’s fun to play “who’s what now?” as the plot progresses. And the climactic monster reveal is a decent blend of CGI and practical effects whose crazy B-Movie goodness still holds up. Are the last fifteen minutes absolutely gonzo, with a few “hey wait a minute, but earlier…” moments? Of course. But this is 90s horror camp at its campiest. Relax and enjoy.

Score: 4 out of 5 pumpkins.

About Denise

Professional nerd. Lover of licorice.
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