HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
   
 
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
   
 
  Faculty, The Strange BehaviourBuy this film here.
Year: 1998
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Jordana Brewster, Clea DuVall, Laura Harris, Josh Hartnett, Shawn Hatosy, Salma Hayek, Famke Janssen, Piper Laurie, Christopher McDonald, Bebe Neuwirth, Robert Patrick, Usher Raymond, Jon Stewart, Daniel von Bargen, Elijah Wood, Jon Abrahams
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: The football coach (Robert Patrick) at an Ohio High School is having a bad day, not least because he thinks that his team are slacking, especially the captain, Stan (Shawn Hatosy). Stan is none too happy with this reaction, but walks away, leaving the coach alone - but not quite, for someone walks up to him after he has suffered a tantrum... That night, the headmistress (Bebe Neuwirth) is turning down the teachers' applications for more funding, and as they head for home she is left behind to lock up the school. However, the coach is still around, and there's something different about him...

Not that the untrained eye would notice, but there's something very odd happening in this educational establishment. The trained eye belongs to someone who has seen Invasion of the Bodysnatchers and John Carpenter's The Thing, and maybe even has read Robert A. Heinlein's novel The Puppet Masters as well, for The Faculty unashamedly treads familiar ground, so much so that it has to name the works that inspired it in the dialogue. Most people know the premise of those stories, and it would appear odd if none of the characters here had even heard of them.

So by and large this is screenwriter Kevin Wiliamson's science fiction update of a renowned genre staple in the same way that his script for Scream rehashed and revived the slasher movie. The Faculty did not have a comparable impact, but it did pick up a number of fans who responded to director Robert Rodriguez's witty handling and the intelligent dialogue and characterisation. It was well known how much a fan of eighties teen movies Williamson was, so it's no surprise that this was very much a tribute to John Hughes' The Breakfast Club, only this was better because Hughes made the foolish decision not to include any alien parasites in his film.

Here, no such errors were made, so we can enjoy the steady build up of tension as the plot pits kids against adults, then goes further to pare away the protagonists' allies until there are hardly any good guys, the unafflicted, left. Our main heroes are the six students who cotton onto the strange events going on, that is, that the teachers are being taken over, which is most apparent by the way they are attracted to water: they drink gallons of the stuff so as not to dehydrate. When bullied nerd Casey (Elijah Wood) finds a strange little pod on the football field, he takes it to the science teacher (Jon Stewart) to find that it springs to life when wet.

And takes a bite out of the teacher, too. From then on things grow pleasingly paranoid as Casey gathers his troops around him, from another outsider, Stokes (Clea DuVall), who handily knows her sci-fi, to bitchy popular girl Delilah (Jordana Brewster). Stan is in there too, as are Southern new girl Marybeth (Laura Harris) and local drug dealer - he makes his own product - Zeke (Josh Hartnett). As is the way with such films, they realise what is up and accept the reality of their dilemma pretty quickly with the minimum of cries of "bullshit!", and soon they discover the tide of extraterrestrial takeovers is lapping at their feet. Well presented without being groundbreaking, indeed it's pretty slavish in regard to its influences, the starry cast sell the outlandish story well, making The Faculty a highly polished item of Hollywood thrills. Music by Marco Beltrami.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3748 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Robert Rodriguez  (1968 - )

Hip, hard-working American film maker, a former cartoonist, who directs, produces, writes and edits most of his movies. El Mariachi worked wonders on a tiny budget, and since then he's made Desperado, the only good segment of Four Rooms, gangster/vampire horror From Dusk Till Dawn, teen sci-fi The Faculty, kiddie adventure quartet Spy Kids, Spy Kids 2, Spy Kids 3-D and Spy Kids 4-D, semi-sequel Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Frank Miller adaptation Sin City (which gained a sequel nine years later). He next teamed up with Quentin Tarantino for double feature Grindhouse, and although it flopped it did spur him to beef up the fake trailer Machete, featuring the Danny Trejo character from the Spy Kids movies, a sequel Machete Kills following soon after. James Cameron gave him Alita: Battle Angel to play with, but the results muffled his flair.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: