Nope, I’ve never seen this movie. Well, I saw it the ONE time, just recently, in order to talk about it, but before that, not even once. I don’t really know why I’d passed on it for all these years, but I did remember that it came out Christmas weekend back in 1998 and with the holidays approaching, I figured it was worth giving The Faculty a shot. I also couldn’t really remember what the consensus was on people loving or hating this movie, but considering it was directed by Robert Rodriquez and written by Kevin Williamson, I know there must be some people out there who loved it even before being released. Why am I still talking? Just read the damn thing!
Ah yes, the good old days when Jon Stewart was just a comedian taking roles in movies, even if he had a goatee.
After football practice at a high school, we see the coach (Robert Patrick) getting attacked by something. As if this wasn’t enough we then see the coach start attacking other members of the faculty! I wonder if that’s where they got the name from? Anyways, after finding out that the teachers are all acting like psychos, we are introduced to a cavalcade of different high school stereotypes. Nerds, jocks, hot chicks, loser girl, they’ve got all their bases covered. The nerdy kid (Elijah Wood) finds a weird worm type of thing on the football field where the coach was attacked, so he brings it to his science teacher. The worm thing attacks the teacher, and a few hours later, the teacher attacks the kids. During the attack, the teacher ends up being stabbed in the eye with a pen fill up drugs, which the kids learn dehydrates whatever kind of creature the teachers have turned into. They load up on drug-filled pens in search of the alien that started it all, because apparently killing her will kill all the other symbiotes? How they came to that conclusion I think I missed, but they find that alien and kill it, and things go back to relative normalcy. Well, except that now all the stereotypes are in love with each other and it’s so cool!
Think these guys get together for a reunion every year? Hahaha, of course not! Some of them still have careers!
I think that had I seen this back when I was in high school then I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more. Not that this movie wasn’t enjoyable, I just think I would’ve been more naive to some of the things I didn’t really like about it as an adult. In traditional Kevin Williamson style, all of these high schoolers were really clever and liked movies, so there were a few references to movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers that helped the audience learn what this movie was going for. And in traditional Robert Rodriguez style, there were a lot of cool, gross effects involving things going into and coming out of people’s bodies. The whole thing was just kind of a silly monster movie, which I’m okay with, and they set it in high school, but also made it rated R so they could do the more gruesome scenes. The whole concept of teachers being replaced by aliens just felt like I was reading an installment of the Goosebumps books or something. I was planning on giving this movie a semi-favorable review, but then those last thirty seconds had to happen, and holy fuck did that seem completely tacked on. You had the nerd get with the hot girl (Jordana Brewster), the jock (Shawn Hatosy) get with the goth/loser girl (Clea DuVall), and the drug-dealer (Josh Hartnett) get with a teacher (Famke Janssen). Even the actors in those scenes looked like they didn’t believe any of this John Hughes type of bullshit ending was stupid, or maybe I was noticing the complete lack of chemistry between Elijah Wood and Jordana Brewster. If there’s a director’s cut out there that leaves out that bullshit, I’d fully support it, but unfortunately that last scene was so painful for me, I can’t really endorse the entire movie. Maybe you can shut off that last party and just see some silly, paranoid monster fun.
Wolfman Moon Scale